South Pacific countries that have implemented the Code used existing personnel who were expected to carry out activities immediately due to their experience with forest harvesting. After several years of Code implementation, South Pacific country representatives convened in Vanuatu in mid-1999 to exchange information. It became apparent that personnel assigned to Code implementation should first be trained (or retrained) to carry out the new harvesting techniques specified by the Code more effectively.
This meeting and other fora determined that it is inappropriate to subject the various groups in the forest harvesting sector to the same kind of training since each group has separate responsibilities and tasks that require particular skills. Therefore, it is necessary to identify these groups to assess their training needs and the appropriate training courses for them.
Personnel and their tasks in Code implementation
Based on logging operations observed in the region, and on feedback from experienced personnel, it is understood that tasks related to Code implementation are a continuum of related hierarchical activities. Starting from the top, national policy formulation is needed to provide clear direction for forestry programs. Under the policy umbrella, Code formulation is necessary to provide a guide for sustainable forest management. Considering the Code, corporate plans and subsequent operational plans are prepared to ensure efficient harvesting with minimal negative impacts on the forest ecosystem. Finally, the harvesting plans are implemented at the field level.
Representatives of various other groups carry out appointed tasks. National policy-makers in governments and industry or corporate planners in the private sector are responsible for developing high-level policies. Middle management officers develop management plans for corporations. Front-line supervisors directly oversee field activities, while fieldworkers execute harvesting operations. These groups and their corresponding tasks are shown in Table 1.
|• Government policy-makers||• Formulate national forest policy and propose enabling legislation for national governments|
|• Industrial/corporate policy-makers||• Develop policies for industry and corporations|
|• Middle-management planners for forest management (government)||• Formulate sustainable management plans for government forests|
|• Planners for forest harvesting operations (private sector)||• Develop detailed operational plans for sustainable forest harvesting|
|• Front-line supervisors (private sector)||• Directly oversee operational activities of field staff|
|• Fieldworkers (private sector)||• Carry out field activities for sustainable forest harvesting operations|
Since these groups have different job descriptions, they have different training requirements; therefore it is necessary to assess the nature and scope of their work to determine their training needs. Likewise, stages of forest development and management vary in the Asia-Pacific region and Code-related tasks and training needs may differ among countries. For instance, if a country has a national forest policy firmly established and is positioned strategically to undertake Code implementation, it may not need to identify policy-makers as a group requiring training. On the other hand, a country that has yet to establish policies to create a policy climate conducive to formulation and adoption of the Code may have to include policy-makers for training.
The importance of TNA
An essential step in developing a training strategy is a training needs assessment (TNA) for different key training target groups.
This is necessary because:
TNA involves three basic steps:
The gap reflects the deficiency that can be bridged by training.
A TNA is necessary for each key training target group assigned to a specific task (e.g., tree felling). Since each task is defined clearly, the required standard capacity is known. Thus, it is easy to compare the present capacity with the required standard to ascertain the gap to be bridged through training.
Since there is a wide variety of tasks in forest harvesting, there should be a TNA for each group, e.g., one TNA for skidder operators, one for truck haulers, and another for fellers/buckers (chainsaw operators).
Determining the present capability of personnel
This task may be carried out by using methods such as:
Even if members of a group have had similar work experiences over the same period of time, there may still be performance differences. However, these are often not substantial enough to require different training.
Setting the standards of competence
In forest harvesting, the nature of certain tasks is unchanging. For example, a standing tree has to be felled to harvest the wood. However, the tools and equipment used in felling evolved from the use of axes in the early twentieth century, to two-man handsaws by the middle of the century, to chainsaws today. Thus today's felling crews require standard competence to:
Determining training needs
In forest harvesting, felling crews already possess sufficient competence to operate, maintain and use chainsaws, in the same way that skidder operators are expected to have mastered driving the machine and log loader operators are experts in operating the front-end loader. Therefore they no longer require training on the ‘equipment operation’ aspects of their work. However, they require training in processes and techniques such as environmentally-friendly felling, skidding and loading techniques that minimize damage to soil, water, residual vegetation, wildlife etc. without adversely affecting productivity.
Alternative approach to TNA
An alternative approach is “organization analysis”. The whole range of activities of an organization, for example a logging company, is examined and performance criteria are identified or set up, such as damage to residual trees, rate of forest destruction, injury to field crews. If an indicator shows performance below accepted standards (e.g., damage to residuals becomes so extensive that it threatens the sustainability of the forest) then training of felling crews may be needed to reduce or eliminate the particular problem.
The importance of establishing the training objectives
This appendix is based on the assumption that:
In the development of a training course or program for any of the stakeholder groups, the training objectives will be based on the training needs. This is logical since the main objective of training is to fill deficiencies in knowledge and skills.
The objectives, in turn, will become the basis for the development of the training course. The choice of training content, materials and training methods will be influenced heavily by the objectives of the training course.
If the TNA is not conducted properly, the training objectives may not be appropriate to fill the identified needs. This interdependence should be borne in mind so that each “link in the chain” will be as strong as possible.
Factors influencing training objectives
The objective of training personnel groups will be influenced by the following needs:
Policy-makers and top government administrators set the parameters for forest management, focusing on sustaining the forest resources for both economic development and environmental services. They need to recognize the importance of the policy environment for the Code and that the Code is a tool for achieving sustainable forest management. But first they have to understand Code recommendations and how they contribute to sustainable forest management in particular, and environmental management in general. A major objective for such policy-makers and administrators may be to internalize the concepts of sustainable forest management (SFM), how SFM contributes to long-term economic development of the country (or of the region) and how SFM is also a strategy for environmental protection. Another specific objective may be for these trainee groups to recognize the link between the Code and SFM.
Planners in forestry agencies and in the forest industry translate policy into strategic and operational plans. In the context of the Code, the training objective may be to enhance their skills to analyze options (at the strategic and operational levels) for incorporating Code recommendations in the plans.
Recommended processes and outputs
The following steps should be taken in formulating a training course:
|Trainee group||Identified needs (from TNA)||Objectives of training||Expected knowledge/ skills gained|
|Policy-makers||Knowledge of the Code recommendations and its importance in promoting national development interests||To familiarize policy-makers with the Code, and how its national implementation can promote sustainable development||Positive appreciation of the Code as a tool to stabilize the forest resource base and promote environmental protection and conservation|
|Strategic and operational planners (government and industry)||Skills in cost-benefit analysis of Code implementation at strategic and operational levels||To provide planners with the skills necessary to undertake cost-benefit analysis of implementing Code activities at macro-and operational planning levels||• Familiarity with the rationale and recommendations for Code implementation|
• Cost-benefit analysis of Code implementation
|Fieldworkers||Yarding methods under the Code||For fieldworkers to be able to implement yarding methods recommended by the Code||Yarding crews able to make on-the-spot decisions that distinguish between “with” and “without” Code yarding methods|
Training module for policy-makers
On completion of the training, the participants should:
Day 1: Introducing participants; explanation of the objectives of the training; discussion of the training methods; expectations of the participants; expected outputs of the training. Discussion of the state of the forestry sector of the country; main reasons for the degraded status of the forests; remedial measures that have been applied by the government; introduction to Code.
Day 2: Identification and analysis of existing policies that may have contributed to the deterioration of the forests; identification of policy options that could help reverse forest degradation. Discussion of the nature and goals of the Code; analysis of problems in Code acceptance and implementation by industry; identification and analysis of policy and economic incentives that may encourage Code adoption and application.
Day 3: Field visit to observe: logged over areas where the Code has not been applied; areas logged under the Code; collect data on comparative costs and outputs of “with Code” and “without Code” logging operations.
Day 4: Exercises in cost-benefit analysis of the Code and SWOT analysis of policy options that favour Code implementation.
Conclusions: Code adoption (drawn from the discussions and analyses); recommendations to the government and industry that policy-makers may submit.
Training module for trainers
At the end of the training course the participants are expected to have a good working knowledge of the objectives and scope of the Code and a good grasp of the advantages of observing the Code. They should also be able to:
Day 1: Introducing participants; explanation of the objectives of the training; discussion of the training methods; expectations of the participants; expected outputs of the training. Main features of the Code.
Day 2: Preparing a training course plan:
Day 3: Field visit to observe/demonstrate differences between logged over areas where the Code has not been applied and areas logged under the Code. Relevant provisions of the Code will be discussed in the field.
Day 4: Exercises on preparing visual aids using computers, presentations on selected Code topics using visual aids, course summary and closing.
Training module for fieldworkers
At the end of the training course, the participants shall have a good working knowledge of:
Day 1: Introducing participants; explanation of the objectives and significance of the training; discussion of the training methods; expectations of the participants; expected outputs of the training. Preharvest field preparation.
Day 2: Harvesting operations.
Day 3: (Field). Harvesting equipment maintenance, servicing.
Day 4: (Field). Safety.