The Australian Convenience and Petroleum Marketer’s Association (ACAPMA) is the peak national body representing every sector in the supply chain from refinery gate to service station forecourt. ACAPMA is an employer organisation and its membership captures 95% of the Australian fuel distribution and storage businesses supply fuel to approximately 4,800 of the 6,400 retail fuel outlets operating nationally .
ACAPMA is formally recognized within Australian law as the industrial advocate for fuel marketing and fuel distribution businesses in Australia.
After a 2010 industry blitz by the national safety regulator and poor compliance results, ACAPMA saw an opportunity to step in, develop and deliver the first standard, industry-wide compliance certification program of its kind in Australia.
With a head office in Sydney and members spread far and wide across the continent (and beyond), ACAPMA runs highly successful online certification training programs, such as the Petroleum Convenience Compliance (PCC) course via xapiapps online with the L&D costs of one full-time staff member.
Comprised of 38,000 people working at 7,300 sites across the continent, the workforce of ACAPMA’s membership is as vast and varied as the membership itself. For any association attempting to develop and deliver standardized training, this translates into a complex picture of training needs.
Some workers are employed by multinational corporations, whilst others are employed by small, family-run businesses, so the context of each trainee and the company for which they work can vary greatly. Many workers are in rural and remote regions, 90% of them are employed in single-operator sites, and almost all of these employees are ‘deskless’, undertaking most of their work away from a desk or outside of an office environment. This has previously made access to training an issue, particularly if courses are run face-to-face or centrally.
In addition to these environmental factors, many of the workers who access ACAPMA’s training program are from non-English speaking backgrounds, and the workforce turnover rate is consistently high. This means that training programs must be able to be deployed on demand to onboard new employees in safety compliance in a timely manner, and the platform which delivers these programs and user management features must be mobile-friendly and support media content, such as videos and images, for increased accessibility.
In an industry which oversees the public’s 24/7 access of flammable liquid, the sale of restricted products such as tobacco and alcohol, and the potential environmental impact of any fuel mismanagement, regulation and legislation is central to compliance and service station forecourt safety.
Programming training courses for the fuel and convenience workforce requires the translation into practice of hundreds of pieces of state and federal legislation across nine different jurisdictions, and numerous enforcement and regulatory agencies, many of which extend to local council level.
Early versions of training packages developed by ACAPMA were delivered face-to-face and incurred high costs, both in the staffing resources required to run the training, and in relation to the travel required to offer this to member sites. Furthermore, because certification requires annual review, and safety compliance training needs to be available to new employees on a rolling basis, it quickly became clear that an online solution would be necessary for the Association to ensure the sustainability and success of its training programs.
ACAPMA launched its flagship suite of online training products in 2014 and is now the national provider of training to the petroleum industry in Australia. In addition to the PCC, ACAPMA has developed comprehensive training programs for managers as well as induction level courses for tanker drivers to promote safe practices.
The PCC course is now undertaken by 66% of the market. This comprises 11 modules and is offered for re-certification annually. Employees are now trained in all facets of fuel retailing operations, including: forecourt safety, personal safety, government regulation and compliance, environmental protection, armed robbery and security, in-store safety and fuel handling.
The ACAPMA training portal is designed for businesses to easily use to onboard console operators in the safe, effective and environmentally responsible management of a service station forecourt.
In an industry where staff turnover is high, the ability to quickly add new users to onboard them in safety requirements is integral to the success of this solution. The xapiapps user management system allows ACAPMA to centrally set up sites with access to the courses which are relevant to their needs. This means that site managers simply add new trainees by name and email and then the xapiapps system does the rest, assigning the new user all the courses that require completion. This reduces the significant workload associated with manually assigning courses at site level, and minimizes unnecessary delays in new employees receiving induction and compliance training.
Once in the xapiapps system, trainees access their courses 24/7 on any desktop or mobile device; most complete their training from the comfort of their own homes. The courses are self-paced, and each module can be paused, reviewed and re-started at any time.
Articulate Storyline packages are plugged into Learning eXperience Pathways in xapiapps, allowing multimodal content to be launched seamlessly from one interface. Designed to increase trainee engagement and understanding, ACAPMA’s courses use audio, video and image elements to replace traditional, ‘text-heavy’ formats, and assessment elements include drop and drag activities and ‘hot spot’ images which are perfect for handheld, touch-screen devices.
Via the ‘My Learning’ screen, trainees are easily able to track their progress, and to see which badges and superbadges they hold and can attain.
By moving to an online learning platform, ACAPMA stepped away from the previous expensive, face-to-face training model, and was able to concentrate its resources on developing course content, and to reach more people, more effectively.
Whilst a course that is accessed out of usual business hours has the potential to increase the need for after-hours support, ACAPMA has seen a 70% reduction in the number of support calls received by the L&D department since their online training platform launched. This saving in resources allowed ACAPMA to further grow the training product from 12,000 users to 21,000 without having to change the size of their training department.
Nine years after the initial safety regulator push for compliance improvements, and five more industry ‘blitzes’ later, there have been no further calls for qualification and licensing in the industry. ACAPMA has instead received praise for its training products and its ability to deliver best practice training in a cost-effective format with wide reach.
The success of the course has also supported its continual expansion; ACAPMA recently launched two new training hubs in New Zealand, and now delivers the PCCNZ to those deskless workers abroad.
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