After a round-table at the IEA Congress, in 1991, in Paris, an international network was created around the question of the relations between training, ergonomic work analysis and the transformation of working situations.
Throughout the exchanges within the EWAT network, two lines of thought were unfolded: the training in ergonomics work analysis, and the use of the work analysis for the improvement or design of training interventions. Both share a common theoretical and methodological background based on three pillars: the focus on real work, the adoption of a systemic and participatory approach, and the intentional emphasis on a multidisciplinary proposal.
Focusing on the contributions of ergonomics and its analysis of work for vocational training, and more particularly on the contributions of activity analysis in real work or in training situations, the research of this network has explored various facets of research-intervention in ergonomics in the field of training (i.e. formal training at work or in educational settings, workplace learning, internship, transmission and knowledge sharing, etc.).
In fact, we can name four main thematic areas:
1) The analysis of the activity in the work situation: to identify the critical skills that should be trained to equip workers; to design teaching tools adapted to the needs of future trainees and trainers; to identify the acquired skills that can be transferred for professional reconversion; and, to identify the difficulties of appropriating on the job the knowledge and know-how seen in training.
2) Training in and through the analysis of the work activity of occupational or workers health, risk prevention actors or trainers in order to debate their approach/understanding of the work, the actions to be taken and to transform their skills.
3) Analysis of the individual and collective work of transmitting knowledge and know-how in work situations (tutoring, companionship, or in an educational situation).
4) The analysis of the learning activity to identify the work and learning conditions encountered by trainees that may enhance or obstruct their work for the appropriation of knowledge.
This work has also given rise to a reflection on the evaluation of such programs and their impact on skills development, health and performance in training situations and at work.
- To develop a research community interested in the relations between training, work and health and professional development.
- To advance understanding of the interactions between training, work, health and practice of ergonomics.
- To organize collaborative events for researchers and practitioners interested in this area.