Port of Melbourne Corporation

Before 10,000 workers access 100 nautical miles of extremely busy water, they need to know the ropes.

Deep water

The PoMC manages Australia’s largest container and general cargo port. As one of the world’s top 50 container ports, PoMC handles a third of the nation’s container trade (with around 3000 ships from 300 ports each year).

The PoMC is a vital trading gateway that processes around $90 million in exports daily. This makes it a major strategic asset of the Victorian economy.

As a key part of the wider logistics industry across Melbourne and Victoria, the PoMC generates direct and indirect employment for tens of thousands of people.

Many of these are visiting contractors with little or no prior knowledge of the PoMC’s diverse, sensitive and potentially hazardous environment. To give them a head start before commencing their assignments, the PoMC wanted to create an easy-to-absorb online induction program.

The program had to ensure contractors could access important information and satisfy all safety and other compliance obligations.

With so much to data convey to such a diverse, time-poor audience, this was a very big ask.

Steering a course

In 2006 the PoMC engaged DeakinCo to develop an extensive education program called the Online Contractor Induction Series. The series enabled the management and delivery of learning content and resources to participants – anywhere, anytime.

Its ten modules included General Overview, Occupational Health Safety and Environment and Security (compulsory for all contractors).

Seven project-specific modules included Water Activities, Corporate Office and Road and Rail (which required participants to understand the rules and regulations for working on PoMC roads and railways).

The courseware included interactive activities such as learner checks, factoids and simple quizzes to validate participant understanding of each module’s content.

To flag important information and make the series as user friendly as possible, DeakinCo also devised an animated Harbour Master character.

The whole program was supported by the Prime Online Manager web-based learning management system.

This system let program administrators register and manage participant progression, create general and project-specific announcements and generate reports. It also let participants view, enrol in and undertake their assigned modules.

All shipshape

A pilot test of the three core modules was conducted with PoMC contractors. Most participants agreed that the modules were easy to understand and the learner checks and assessment activities were relevant to the content.