We are the producer of VISION product system. VISION is the technology backbone for performance based training systems in high consequence industries such as nuclear power, bulk electric (transmission and distribution) organizations, Department of Energy sites, Security Forces, and commercial airlines. But... we are not just a software producer. We are our clients’ source of trusted advice in the design, development and implementation of sustainable learning systems based on over 35 years of experience.
A team of highly experienced instructional designers from a prominent, San Diego based consulting firm was working at PG&E’s nuclear power plant under construction in California. Their mission was to guide PG&E’s training team through the design of nuclear power workforce training programs in accordance with the SAT (Systematic Approach to Training) methodology as required by federal regulations. The challenge was huge and complex. The team of consultants soon became indispensable to PG&E. At that point, both sides got an idea. Result: FOCUS Learning Corporation was born.
The newly established FOCUS team and its PG&E client recognized that the design of training programs based on the SAT methodology was impractical without a sophisticated tool to facilitate and document the process. PCs were beginning to replace mainframes; technology was evolving. Necessity, opportunity and innovation converged; the early rendition of VISION was born.
This first rendition was written in COBAL, on a proprietary database, loaded on a 5 ½ “floppy” disk. It had a primitive interface by today’s standards, with a name that nobody liked. But the fundamental design was unique and sound, and is still at the heart of today’s much more advanced version.
Meanwhile, FOCUS was managing large scale, high visibility training design projects for other nuclear power plants, Department of Energy sites and others based on the SAT methodology. They used the new program themselves, along with client instructors and SMEs, to complete the projects on time, on budget, well documented and in accordance with rigid instructional design standards every time. With the accumulation of such deep, direct “in the trench” experience, FOCUS was able to continually refine, improved and expand the program. More and more nuclear plants and DOE sites took notice, and the emerging version of VISION became the best-known and regarded instructional design tool in the industry.
During these years of experience-based refinement, two things were happening in parallel. For one, something called Microsoft Windows was becoming the standard operating system. For another, FOCUS and some of its clients began to see the enormous potential of generating outcomes (training products) directly from the instructional design database that VISION produced. One of these clients, a large utility with multiple nuclear plants, collaborated with FOCUS to take VISION to the next level: a program based on Windows, with a graphical user interface, and capable of generating on-demand randomized exams, lessons, qualification documents and more. This was when the program formally earned the name VISION.
By this time, each user site had a valuable database comprised of all of the connections representing a solid instructional design foundation for all of its accredited training programs. Could a Learning Management System (LMS) use this foundation to produce and deliver materials on-demand, directly to their workforce trainees? Lessons, exams, qualification materials, individualized training solutions and much more were all potentials, given the unique nature of the database. But no existing LMS could generate materials from a VISION database. So, FOCUS produced its own, and the VISION Learning Station was born. And what if a version of that program could connect any enterprise LMS to the VISION database, enabling the LMS to launch VISION-based training products for workers on demand, and receive the course completion results. VISION Connect made it possible.
During all of the intervening years and to this day, the FOCUS team continues to learn from close relationships with its clients. VISION has been evolving, expanding and improving based on these years of accumulated knowledge and experience.
Today VISION is the only platform of its kind that supports the SAT methodology and rigorous standards imposed on organizations that depend on highly effective and efficient workforce training to get work done while ensuring public safety. Nearly every nuclear plant in the US, many worldwide nuclear plants, U.S. DOE sites, bulk electric (Transmission and Distribution) organizations, commercial airlines and more are part of our family devoted to excellence in sustainable workforce training.