Q&A from "Top 10 Features to Include in a PDA" webinar

Thank you to all those who attended our January webinar. Here is a recap of some of the questions asked during the webinar.

Are there specific or standard definitions of cognitive demands that the industry follows when doing CDAs (Cognitive Demands Assessments)?

There are cognitive demands definitions that are widely accepted in the industry, but I am hesitant to call them 'standards'. If you look at CDAs from various companies, consulting firms, etc., you may notice slight variances in style or look of the CDA, but the cognitive demands headings or categories are very similar. They will most often include: Supervision, Communication, Relationships, Memory, Time Management, Aptitude, and Focus & Attention.

How often should PDAs be updated?

This will vary with each company, but a good general rule of thumb is every 3 years, or as significant changes occur in the job (i.e. tasks added/removed, change in products or tools used, etc.). If you have a large number of PDAs, you could make a plan to review a certain amount each year to make this a more feasible task. If you only have a small number of PDAs, it may be feasible for you to do an annual review. Choose a timeline that works best for your company but it is important that you do put a plan in place to review them on a regular basis to ensure the demands documents remain current and accurate.

We don't have PDAs currently. Do you have suggestions on how to start?

Some companies may choose to complete PDAs for all jobs (building a database), or they may choose to complete them as required (e.g. for a specific injury case). This will likely depend on a few things:

  • Company goals (e.g. compliance with safety group initiatives)
  • Your frequency of needing them
  • How many jobs you have to create PDAs for
  • Who will be doing them (someone internal or an external consultant)

We actually posted a newsletter articles on PDAs this month which has some great tips on determining how many PDAs you may need if doing PDAs is on your radar for 2015. Click here to read that article.

Can PDAs be done by someone internally at our company?

A PDA should be done by someone experienced and qualified to conduct a PDA to ensure you get a comprehensive and OBJECTIVE document. That's not to say that someone internal couldn't do them. We work with a few clients who have done their own PDAs (and good ones at that), but find them time consuming to do with the other tasks on their plate and therefore, outsource to us to do PDAs for them. Since PDAs are something we specialize in, we are often more efficient in doing them and can produce a detailed, comprehensive report in a much faster turnaround time.

I am wondering if you offer training in how to complete PDAs and, if so, can you advise of the training dates and locations?

At this time, we do not have any workshops scheduled in 2015 for “how to complete PDAs". That's not to say we may not add one to our schedule, though. We do provide in-house training and workshops so we could come to your location and provide a workshop on how to complete a PDA. This workshop could be done for a group of people (i.e. your joint H&S committee, ergonomics committee, etc.) or just for yourself (depends on who will be completing PDAs for your organization).

Hope to "see" you at next month's webinar: "5 Ergonomic 'Must Haves' for 2015"

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