Case Study | Training & Operator Qualifications

UDig NY

UDig NY receives and transmits dig tickets, linking excavators, homeowners, and underground utility operators to ensure safety, reduce damages, and prevent serious injuries. Serving Upstate New York, the area north of New York City, UDig NY started in 1964.

With a mission to prevent damages to underground facilities, UDig NY manages a Certified Excavator Program (CEP) that trains professional excavators. When an excavator completes CEP in person or online, they are certified for five years for their understanding of safe digging best practices and New York State Code Rule 753, the law governing New York’s call before you dig program to protect underground facilities. 

Training, Certification, and Tracking Streamlined and Optimized with Irth

UDig NY used Coursettra, our training and operator qualifications solution, to transform their in-person training program into a fully automated online experience to prepare for a statewide law mandating training for all excavators and continuing education to retain certification.

  • Problem

UDig NY is the starting point for all safe digs in Upstate New York. When they started searching for a learning management system to manage their excavator training and certification program, they couldn’t find one that didn’t require a total overhaul of their curriculum and learning materials.

Most learning management systems are geared toward schools. As a small non-profit organization, UDig NY wanted to build a self-service competency-based online training program to supplement in-person training and professional development opportunities. The team wanted the solution to do more than track sign-in sheets for their certification program. A training platform that provided feedback on training effectiveness, included an ability to facilitate course registration and payment for the certification program, was accessible for laborers who aren’t daily computer users, and automatically tracks the five-year certification credentials were also important features.  

On average, UDig NY trains 15,000 excavators annually. They have five educators in the field and needed a tool to extend their small team’s reach to train even more excavators.

  • Solution

Finding a training and operator qualifications solution built by professionals in the damage prevention industry was key in delivering a competency-based training to really benefit the industry.

With Coursettra, UDig NY has a robust online training program, can reliably track excavator certification credentials and renewals, and streamline its training efforts.

  • Online Training Program and Course Hub

UDig NY had extensive training materials in PDFs and workbooks. With Coursettra, the company moved all training materials from paper to elearning lessons offering engaging interactions and real-world scenarios. And whether classes were online or in-person, there is curriculum consistency.  

  • Streamlined Training

When New York mandated certification for excavators, UDig NY needed to serve more excavators each year and give them more thorough training. Coursettra allowed UDig NY to provide online training materials to streamline the training process for all excavators by allowing excavators to complete the training at home or remotely when their certification expires.

    • Track Certifications

    The state-mandated certification is good for five years but requires an annual refresher course. Coursettra allows UDig NY to accurately track the excavators who need to renew their certification, take the annual refresher, or haven’t completed the certification training.

    Coursettra will automate interactions with learners to notify them of upcoming renewal requirements, walk them through selecting, registering, and completing their training. Oftentimes, the tracking, managing, and notification of all these rolling dates becomes a nightmare for users without such automation. Workers who require or choose in-person training register through the platform, so all training is accurately tracked.  

    • Validate Training Effectiveness

    “The fact that we’re able to validate that someone’s actually learning from the content we’re putting out to them is really beneficial,” said Aimee Doyle, Operations Manager, UDig NY. The ability to review how questions perform and enhance training efforts for the adult learner is a key feature that benefited UDig NY. 

    • Results

    The more knowledge someone has, the safer they are in the field. While many variables are at play in damage prevention, UDig NY’s results show a correlation between additional training initiatives and a reduction in damages.

    In 2015, when UDig NY started its training program, damages were 2.18 per thousand. In 2018, when the certification program became law, damages were 2.05 per thousand. In 2022, the damages reported to the public service commission were 1.7 per thousand, even as the ticket volume continues to increase.

    UDig NY has consistency in curriculum whether excavators take classes in-person or online. The platform allows UDig NY’s small team to facilitate the state’s Certified Excavator Program, train 15,000 excavators a year, and manage the continuing education requirements to maintain certifications. 

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