About us

Our story

How it all started

Practicum Training Institute is a family owned and operated Private Vocational School in Saskatchewan that was established over 20 years ago, specializing in Heavy Equipment Operator training.  PTI has provided training services throughout Canada to major contractors in the industry, cities, towns, rural municipalities, the mining sector, Ministry of Highways, and the public.  PTI, instructors, and qualifying programs are registered and accredited by the Ministry of Advanced Education Government of SK.


Year of Establishment: 2003         

Programs Completed as at January 2024: 368+              Successful Graduates as at January 2024: 1900+            Near Misses, Accidents or Injuries: 0

Our team

We are ready to serve you

Darrell Johanson


Darrell has been involved in this industry for over 40 years. He became a member of the operating engineers in 1977, maintaining a career in the pipeline sector.  He has held journeyman status on the Excavator since 2002.  Darrell has worked with the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission to develop the Occupational Analysis and test questions, and has instructed with OTIS in trade training for pipeline operators from 1999-2003.  Darrell sat on the Pipeline Equipment Operators trade board since its inception in 2001 and is currently a chairman of that board.  He contributed to the National Occupation Analysis for the Red Seal program and has contributed to the Inter-Provincial Training Guide for the Red Seal program, in Ottawa.  Darrell continues to have a strong presence in the industry by maintaining memberships and holding positions at board level.

Russ Jones

Lead Instructor

Russ attended and completed the 240 hour HEO program with PTI in 2011, before pursing a career in the industry.  Having been a student himself and receiving years of valuable experience in the industry since, he understands the value of this training, the requirements and demands of the industry, and the importance of setting future students up for success.  Russ understands that starting something new can be intimidating and always ensures that our students feel welcomed, comfortable and enjoy their time with us.  Along with learning, you are sure to spend your time laughing and entertained in Russ’s presence. He has maintained contact and friendships with many of our graduates throughout the years!

Erin Johanson

Office Manager

Erin has been with PTI for 15 years, working behind the scenes to assist our students through the registration and enrollment process. She is the friendly voice on the phone, offering helpful information and answering your questions.  Erin maintains connections with many funding organizations that have been valuable resources in assisting our students realize their dreams of receiving training and employment in this industry, and can help guide you through that process. Erin is located in the on-site office and is available to our students throughout their time in the program.  Upon completion of the program, she offers assistance within her ability, in your journey to employment. Erin encourages all of our graduates to stay connected post training with further questions or guidance needed, or just to let us know how you are doing!