The curriculum consists of nine courses designed for port personnel and first responders. All lessons are FEMA-approved and available in both instructor-led training (ILT) and Web-based training (WBT) formats. Each of the self-contained lessons takes only about 30 minutes. That high granularity gives ports the flexibility to prioritize lessons and deliver content employees need, when they need it. Courses include both required and professional development lessons. The instructor-led training has been certified by MARAD to be in compliance with 33 CFR Part 105, MTSA 2002, and the model courses.
The addition of a WBT option allows ports to lower costs through a blended-learning approach. Blended learning uses WBT for content that is informational only, reserving ILT for content that requires hands-on practice or expert feedback. That can reduce instructor-led training by over 75% for most audiences. There will always be a role for trainers, but the most cost-effective use of their expertise is for (1) tasks involving psychomotor skills (e.g. vehicle inspection) and (2) as a follow-up to WBT where they emphasize key concepts, add site-specific information, and answer questions.
High lesson granularity and the option of web delivery also enable on-demand learning. Users can access information when they are most motivated to learn, and they can work through the material at their own pace, which is important for learners with lower literacy or fluency. Industry research shows that learners can cover the same amount of content in one-third the time using WBT. Also, instead of scheduling work around instructor-led training sessions, individuals can schedule their training around heavy workloads. Finally, employees who are motivated to excel have anytime-access to professional development lessons.
Finally, planning tools are available to support maritime facilities as they develop a proactive training strategy for each audience, create individual performance improvement plans, and tie lessons to their drills and exercises.
The cost of tracking and reporting training is reduced through online records management since ports and facilities can document regulatory compliance with less effort than is required by printing, filing, and retrieving archived records. Ports see this digital and networked as the next generation of security training management compared to the classroom training and paper-based record keeping currently in use.
PortStar content is updated centrally and disseminated immediately. Users can receive alerts when significant changes are available. Clients are confident that their training is always up to date and reflects current regulations and industry best practices.
PortStar’s Unique Features
The PortStar system offers features previously not available to maritime industries:
- A menu of 480 brief lessons, enabling ports to configure training programs that fit their unique needs.
- Planning tools for courses so training managers can produce a detailed training strategy.
- A secure online application for tracking all port and facility training events.
- Electronic records designed specifically for port security training.
- Centralized and immediate updates to content based on changing regulations, best practices, emerging threats, and feedback from the field.
- Streamlined reporting for regulatory agencies.
- National portability of an individual’s training records through a central database.