Why Face-to-Face Training is Here to Stay
Not long ago, having more than 100 people attend a Responsible Distribution workshop was a lofty goal. What started out as very small meetings has now blossomed into large, multi-speaker workshops boasting triple-digit attendance year over year. We’ve truly found the best way to reach the practitioners and advocates of Responsible Distribution, the leading management system in the chemical distribution industry, is to bring them together all in one place.
While online training platforms, like NACD’s NACD U, make professional development courses more readily available, I believe there are certain benefits of face-to-face training that web-based training simply cannot provide.
- Exchange of Ideas: NACD members are located throughout all four corners of North America, each with their own operational paradigms and operational challenges. At our upcoming workshop on August 15, we anticipate having over 100 employees (and still counting!) from 24 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada, representing more than a quarter of NACD’s membership — that’s an extremely wide range of experiences from which to draw! This diverse group presents a great learning opportunity for every attendee. Coming together at a workshop allows our members to problem-solve with one another. Hearing how other companies, handle issues is invaluable as you work through the comprehensive Responsible Distribution Specifications based on the Code of Management Practice. Why reinvent the wheel when you can hear how others in a similar situation have handled it?
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to learn what to expect from a Responsible Distribution Verification than to watch mock- verifications. This year, led by Responsible Distribution Committee Chair Terry Aubry Garrett of EMCO Chemical Distributors and Vice Chair Kelly McCabe of Ideal Chemical & Supply, these “Mock Verification Vignettes” will be skits based on verification scenarios we’ve seen over the years. What better way is there for code coordinators, senior managers, and other key employees to learn than a live demonstration on what to look for, and what to avoid, during an organization’s verification! Committee members will act as code coordinators, senior management, verifiers, and in other roles and will show you practices of excellence (and other examples that probably shouldn’t be emulated!) in areas of carrier selection, internal audits, emergency response, and documentation of security.
- Knowing Where to Start: Completing the tasks required to pass your Responsible Distribution Verification is not for the faint-hearted. The program is a large undertaking and can be overwhelming if you are new to Responsible Distribution. Attending a workshop with others who are new to the program is a great way to feel a part of the community rather than feeling like you are taking on this program alone. To help encourage teamwork amongst NACD members, committee members will also host “And the answer is…?,” which was perhaps the highlight of last summer’s workshop. This interactive and dynamic session will group attendees into teams to answer Responsible Distribution-related questions.
- Your Questions Answered – In Real Time: There is something to be said for being able to raise your hand to ask a question and immediately receiving an answer. The most important aspect of the workshop is that we solve roadblock challenges members have encountered while entering their specifications. The upcoming workshop will have representatives from all Responsible Distribution adviser companies and verifying organizations presenting hot-topic sessions like a progress report on actual 6th cycle verifications, lessons learned, and maximizing your management system.
In addition, we are pleased Brett Bulawa and Melanie Bower from ExxonMobil Chemical Company, an NACD Chemical Producer Affiliate, will assist our members and Affiliates in a product stewardship session. Through open discussion with Responsible Distribution Advisers, verifiers, committee members, and Affiliates, we tailor the workshop to fit the needs of all participants so that no one leaves the room without their question getting answered.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of face-to-face training when it is presented to you. If you haven’t registered for the workshop yet, please do so and join your peers in perhaps the best workshop NACD has ever conducted. NACD’s Responsible Distribution workshop and ChemEdge represent the finest educational and networking opportunities in the industry.
If you are interested in joining the Responsible Distribution Committee and working with other top-notch experienced and creative professionals, please contact me.
I look forward to seeing you in Nashville!