The Pragma Academy, which has been in existence for the last ten years,currently offers a range of training courses aimed at improving physical asset management practices at clients in need of the service throughout South Africa as well as parts of the African continent. With industry experiencing a shortage of competent artisans, planners and engineers, the onus has fallen on companies to create internal capacity through training.
Says Billy Wilson, Academy Manager of Pragma Africa: “While many companies are currently investing in apprenticeship programmes, these apprentices, as well as staff being promoted to more senior roles, often lack a basic theoretical understanding of what physical asset management entails. The Pragma Academy aims to rectify this imbalance through theoretically sound, yet practically applicable learning interventions.”
Clients are invited to either attend one of the regularly scheduled public courses running in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, PE, Nairobi and Lagos, or have an on-site course arranged for a minimum of twelve delegates..All courses are presented by seasoned industry experts with an average of 25 years experience.
Says Wilson: “Courses include the Fundamentals of Physical Asset Management, Maintenance Planning and Scheduling, Maintenance Plan Development (OMM), Root Cause Analysis, Project Management and PAS55 Boot Camp. All courses are developed in line with PAS 55 principles and are accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa(ECSA)through the South African Asset Management Association (SAAMA).
Training is open to all companies. “Of course we present a lot of training in support of our services to existing clients of Pragma, but also present courses to companies that aren’t clients but need to improve their physical asset management practices. Clients include some top names such as the Transnet Group, Fresenius Group, Goldfields, Botswana Breweries, Sasol Group, Nampak Group, Debswana, Parmalat, Murray &Roberts, all major Utilities Rainbow Farms, Eskom, Rotek, Nkomati Mine, Tiger Brands, Aveng Group, Bravo Group, BHP Billiton, Sun City Resort, Clover SA, Rand Water, Arcelor Mittal SA, Pioneer Foods, DBSA, Engen, Exxaro, Aspen Pharmaceuticals, Mercedes, IDC, Powertech Transformers, Umgeni Water, De Beers, Paarl Media, and MTN, to name but a few.
“Furthermore, the Pragma Brasil Academy presents a two-phased MBA in Physical Asset Management. The focus in the MBA is on Maintenance Engineering, Lean Maintenance and Shutdown Administration and Management.”
Locally, Pragma, in association with the University of Stellenbosch, also presented a very successfulphysical asset management course earlier this month with eight attendees. Wilson comments: “The course exceeded the expectations of the attendees.Most students were experienced in that they were either working or had worked previously and had some knowledge of the practical aspects of asset management. Thiscourseprovides an overview of the fundamental aspects of modern physical asset management and is delivered at a postgraduate pace and level. Attendees were introduced to the most recent internationally accepted definitions, standards and schools of thought on the subject. The course is further fully aligned with the international PAS 55: 2008 and includes the PAS 55/ISO 55000 overview and contextualisation, the PAS 55 focus areas for physical asset management including strategic planning, enablers and controls, execution and assessment as well as improvement, key performance areas for each PAS 55 focus area, and case studies on the latest developments in physical asset management. Due to its enormous success, we’ll definitely present it again in the near future.”
With regards to PAS 55, there was a direct need to provide a consistent framework for asset management systems, which organisations could use to try and ensure sustainable risk-mitigated operations. Wilson continues: “This resulted in the Publicly Available Specification 55, or PAS 55 (PAS 55-2008 parts 1&2). It is applicable to any organisation that depends on its physical assets for the performance and continuance of its business operations. Companies that have implemented the standard have benefited on two fronts. The first is improved, more reliable and sustainable operations. The second is reduced insurance premiums. PAS 55-2008 is currently undergoing conversion into an International Standard (ISO 55 000).”
Pragma currently boasts an academy in both South Africa and Brasil. “The two work very differently and we’re tasked with the process to take the best from both these business models, mash them together and come up with a model that can work worldwide. Ultimately, we’d like to partner with universities around the globe and establish an exchange programme with Europe, Asia, Australia and North and South America,” concludes Wilson.