The War on Online Training

The war on online training has been raging for many years and shows no signs of abating. The chief proponents are those that have a vested interest in running classroom training – big surprise!

To safeguard their own interest they continually trot out the old hoary chestnut of “How do you know the person enrolled is the one doing the course” Well let me tell you, if you are not the person doing the course then you won’t have the knowledge to do things right on the road and that’s going to cost you plenty.

As you may have read in the Competency Standards and the Road Transport Industry blog, the actual learning component in a training course is not endorsed. There is absolutely no restriction on how you can learn. No one cares how you learn a subject as long as the assessment is valid.

Many people are made to sit in the classroom to “learn” things that they already know. Unfortunately in your job you don’t make money sitting on a chair in the classroom. Time is literally money.

To get people into a classroom I have heard competency standards twisted in such a way as to make people believe this is the only way you can get a qualification. That’s not just deceptive, but it is just plain wrong.

AFMs latest course Complete a Work Diary is a prime example of this. Because one section of the Competency Standard says “Simulation and online assessment are not suitable for final assessment of this unit of competency”, some classroom trainers are claiming that the classroom is the only place this course can be delivered. Wrong!!

In the case of this unit, AFMs final assessment is not online or simulated. You actually have to either send in some diary pages you have completed yourself or download the exercise on the website, complete it and submit it. AFM’s course has been accredited with this exact mode of assessment.

Online training gives flexibility in allowing you to do the learning and assessment in your own time. It gives access to training for people in remote locations. It is also financially efficient for both you and/or the company that’s paying for you.

Now don’t get me wrong on this, there is a place for classroom training and many people feel much more comfortable in a traditional setting. To be honest I have seen some crazy things offered as online training, but when we are dealing with our Industry where flexibility is a requirement, online training is the way to go. What really gets up my nose is the constant attacks on a valid method of learning and assessment by those whose only motivation is financial.

Now there is a new twist. A brand new set of Standards for Fatigue Management are soon to be released and will have dire consequences for the Industry. It may mean that every HVNL driver will have to do yet another much lengthier course in fatigue management. Watch out for our Newsletter update in your email in box.

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