L.A. Grime & Associates, Inc. AcroServicesJ • September 22,1999 • For immediate release

NewsRelease . . .

Major Revisions and Cost Changes for Computer-Based 10 CFR 50.59 Training Announced by AcroServices


The news in a nutshell

AcroServices personnel are now developing a complete rewrite of the popular program,AMeeting the Safety Evaluation Challenge,@ using new software and educational techniques. Larry Grime, AcroServices= president, discussed the enhancements planned in the CBT (computer-based training) program to address the major regulation changes and to significantly improve the value of the program. AOur objective is to provide a comprehensive training program including tools to improve evaluation efficiency and quality, and to fully accommodate differences in licensee programs. Achieving these objectives requires much more than a typical CBT program. Our approach to CBT uses the AcroHelpJ performance support system for detailed guidance during training and when performing the tasks in the field.@

New pricing for the CBT program was also announced. Licensees who purchase the current program before the price increase will receive the new requalification and initial training programs when they become available.

We anticipate that licensees will continue to have variations to their programs that must be addressed to produce effective training. The revised program includes our exclusive AcroPointJ system for presenting training content. The content uses ordinary PowerPoint7 files that can be easily modified by anyone with Microsoft=s PowerPoint program. This also makes the content available for use in instructor-led programs. AcroHelp, instructions, and objectives are HTML files. These may be modified by numerous readily available HTML editors and most word processors. Questions are in text files that may be edited by most word processors and numerous text editors such as Notepad.

With the pending revision to 10 CFR 50.59, our research indicates that the best way to upgrade personnel presently qualified to perform 10 CFR 50.59 evaluations is to use the AcroHelp performance support system as part of the training and on the job when they perform 10 CFR 50.59 screenings and evaluations. We also use formative questions extensively where we encourage participants to find the correct answer. This approach gives participants more control of the learning process and gives them experience using AcroHelp.

The new software includes additional programming support. This includes services to interface the new program with the various course managers that may be in use at different sites and to modify corporate 10 CFR 50.59 screening and evaluation forms to enable users to launch AcroHelp directly from various portions of the forms. AcroHelp is custom programmed to be content sensitive with the forms used by the licensee. The programming services may also be used to change content, questions, or to customize AcroHelp.

The revised training content is based on the new regulation, NRC documents, and NEI 96-07, Rev. 1. In many areas it goes beyond these documents to provide detailed processes to address various issues. Subject to NEI support, AcroHelp will include numerous links to applicable portions of NEI 96-07.

Cost savings with the new program are expected due to the reduction in time normally required to complete CBT versus instructor-led training and the AcroHelp system will reduce the time required to write screenings and evaluations and increase the approval success rate. The CBT participant will experience an estimated 200 interactions and hundreds of screens of focused information on the new regulation for the requalification program. If the same material is presented in an instructor-led format, the classroom time is typically twice as long as the CBT time. For a typical site with 300 evaluators to requalify, the CBT cost savings can easily exceed $50,000 in participant labor cost. This analysis assumes 3 hours for CBT at an average hourly value of $60.00. Other advantages of the CBT program include the following: it=s available whenever needed; each learner participates fully and without fear of peer reactions; and efficient documentation of content and course completion. Participant questions and comments are collected for resolution by the course administrator with assistance from the 10 CFR 50.59 >process owner.=

The current program will continue to be shipped for use until licensees convert their programs to meet the new requirements. We anticipate that licensees will start changing their programs early in 2000. New procedures and forms will be issued after the NRC publishes the final endorsement and comments on using NEI 96-07 guidance. Implementation will be required within 90 days of the final publication. Currently, NEI and the NRC staff are proceeding with a schedule that would permit publishing the final endorsement next summer.

The site license price for the new requalification, initial training, and AcroHelp programs will be $ 25,000 for the combined programs. Since purchasers of the current program will receive the new programs, pricing based on the new program will apply to purchases and ongoing maintenance for the current program as of December 1, 1999. The current prices, which are $ 19,500 for source license purchasers and $ 14,500 for the run time program for single plant sites, will be honored for orders placed before December 1, 1999.

Information Contacts:
• Larry Grime
• Fred Plata

L.A. Grime & Associates,
Inc. AcroServices
115 W. Front St.
Perrysburg, OH 43551
Phone: 419.872.9999
Fax: 419.872.5588