Virtual Training Environments for Major Incident Response Planning in UK Gas Infrastructure

Purpose: This paper aims to evaluate a virtual training environment for testing UK gas pipeline emergency response plans. Design/methodology/approach: Interviews, observations and desk research were used to identify current methods for testing plans. A virtual training environment was developed and evaluated with industry experts by using participatory design techniques. Key themes relating to both the current methods for testing plans and for a virtual training environment were identified using thematic analysis. Findings: Improved training performance, remote participation and evidence of decision testing are benefits a virtual training environment can bring to current practice. It is suggested that a virtual training environment can enhance, rather than replace, the current process of testing emergency response plans. Research limitations/implications: Analysis of the virtual training environment being used to test plans in a live context would give further ecological validity to the findings. A study of the prototype used to test plans for incidents involving sectors outside the gas industry would further validate the findings. Originality/value: The application of a virtual training environment to facilitate testing plans and the decision-making processes for major incidents involving high-pressure gas pipelines and storage sites is yet to be documented. This paper contributes to the literature by documenting the decision-making process and evaluation of a virtual training environment for testing plans in this context.


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  • Accession Number: 01700385
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 20 2019 3:16PM