In order to accelerate operator and maintenance personnel training, many projects require the delivery of instructional materials and courses before design maturity is established and training/ support and test equipment are available. The resulting inaccuracies in course technical content and lack of available equipment delay operator and maintenance personnel training or result in inadequately trained personnel. Additionally, if the equipment delivery schedules require the early initiation of equipment design for technically risky systems development, costly redesign or modification may be required due to configuration changes in the prime equipment.
To ensure that training equipment and materials are adequate when delivered, development should not be initiated until prime and support and test equipment design stability is ensured. In addition, realistic schedules need to be developed. Training requirements should be established early in the design process. During the development phase, the contractor must provide some manner of training for Test and Evaluation (T&E) personnel. As development progresses, efforts are sometimes made to modify these early training programs for use by operational personnel. It should be recognized that such programs may not be suitable due to differences in skill levels between T&E and operational personnel and changes to the equipment resulting from the T&E phase. To aid these development efforts, contractors should be provided with clear descriptions of user personnel qualifications and current training programs used on comparable systems. To ensure that adequate progress is being made during the development phase, training materials and equipment should be included as part of regularly scheduled design reviews.
Frequently, equipment such as simulators can be more complex and costly than the hardware they support. In order to reduce the need for such complex and costly equipment, consideration should be given to incorporating an on-the-job training capability in both the prime and support and test equipment. This factor should be included in trade studies made during the early design phase and then implemented during FSD. Often, built-in training features can be incorporated in the prime or support equipment with little impact on the cost or complexity. This is particularly true for computer based, bused systems with automatic maintenance test programming.
The use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) techniques is rapidly expanding throughout the defense industry. During design and development of training materials and equipment, computer-aided techniques should use the information contained in the CAD/CAM databases to ensure consistency between training material and equipment and the configuration of the system they support.