If this year has taught traditional face to face trainers (like me) anything at all, it’s that there are always new approaches to consider. As a physical ‘same space’ trainer I always believed you couldn’t beat putting learners in a room with a great trainer, for the most effective results to deliver a learning need to a group at the same time. In fact my business for the last 26 years has been built on it! So I was very reluctant to give it up just because of a short term interruption like the COVID pandemic. But the various lockdown intervals have enabled me to rethink, and I now believe that virtual training is not so different from being in the same physical space that it can’t be just as effective and probably more efficient and flexible in many cases. It does need some re-engineering of training programmes, but that’s no bad thing. So watch this space as I develop a whole new portfolio for virtual training delivery for clients old and new. It should be an exciting journey. Stay safe, trainers!
Virtual training (not the same as e-learning) is fast becoming a norm for training delivery, at least for the foreseeable future for many of us. When delivered well it can be as suitable as any other form of delivery, including physical face-to face, and certainly at the moment it has the expected benefits of accessibility, time and cost savings, plus keeping all those favourite aspects of interaction, discussion and connection.
Those trainers who have ‘bravely’ dipped their toes into the water have discovered a positive and rewarding new experience, and are also wishing they had tried it out long ago under less stressful societal circumstances, and not just of absolute necessity.
It certainly demands a rethink on training delivery, time management, keeping engagement levels up, handling technology, and managing personal energy levels. So, no difference there with physical face to face training? But virtual learning does involve replacing your natural physical presence (standing up, moving around the room, voice projection, using props etc.) with other ways to captivate and enthuse the learners.
If you have already discovered and embraced all of this – congratulations. As for me, I am finding it an exciting journey and hope to get even more creative course by course. So I am pleased to offer virtual learning courses for groups as small as 1! Oh yes, it can work very well for one candidate, who otherwise might have to wait a while to find a course that suits them in terms of timing, group make-up and learning preference. And costs can be adjusted to fit in with most budgets by shifting some of the programme to directed self-learning using appropriate learning materials.
Finally, I am happy to support any trainer who wants to do this by offering a no-obligation (free) coaching session to support your business offer.
In the meantime good luck with keeping your training offer alive and successful.
Keep safe too!
So many businesses have suffered financially during COVID 19, that they may have little spare cash to spend on good quality training, which is a real dilemma – good businesses know that good training in health and safety and food safety is vital to protect their business, staff and customers. Resorting to the cheapest, usually online, learning maybe all that they can afford. So, I am putting something back to select businesses in my local area again, by offering free high quality training to the businesses I trust and would like to work with. It is not entirely selfless mind you, it keeps my training business active and creative, and helps me do what I do best, whether virtual or face to face (COVID Safe) – which is help people learn what they need to learn, and apply it to maintain standards and comply with or exceed legal requirements. Limited capacity as you would expect, but contact me if you are interested.
Having successfully trialled virtual learning versions of my popular and long established face to face courses, I am pleased to open up this ‘new normal’ programme to individuals who are committed to a new way of learning 1 to 1.
This programme is initially only open to those who already have a level 3 or Intermediate Food Safety qualification from a reputable provider (including me!!!). I only have capacity for one or two participants each month so there may be a waiting list.
It takes the form of an update and refresh, using the current CIEH course book, with a set of online conversations and discussions one to one, and concluding with a live exam online.
It is suitable for those who are committed to independent self study and have reasonable confidence and facilities for online conversations through Zoom etc. Its also great fun!
Anyone who wants to contact me for a free consultation about suitability can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Costs depend on consultation and how many sessions each individual needs, but they are always highly competitive and great value.
Any trainers who want ideas for how to do this themselves can also contact me for a free one hour 1:1 discussion session on the pros and cons as I see them.
Exciting times, although coming out of a terrible time – but food safety must prevail.
Our highly popular ebook giving you 107 great ideas for livening up your courses has now been reduced to just £1.99 + VAT. We will be reviewing this book and updating it very soon to include virtual learning ideas too, as many of us will be blending our learning offer for the foreseeable future. But for now the original book is still ideal inspiration for all your food safety training as we all try to head back to some form of ‘new’ normal.
You can still get a copy of our original book now, for just £1.99 +VAT if you copy and paste the link below:
Well, I survived, and so did my participant! We had a good two hours with a brief coffee break and that has got us through a good chunk of learning, mainly consolidation and updating.
Disaster nearly struck when my PC decided to find a problem from deep inside the motherboard, and ignore what I was doing. It concluded that it had to immediately shut down in order save me from something far worse than interruption and embarrassment. Recovery and reboot took two minutes or so, but in the meantime I was on the mobile and we were talking through the end of the day’s course with no real problem. Good job I didn’t have several learners on the call! I now know that I need a backup plan rehearsed. There are several options to now consider. I am fortunate that I had a willing, tolerant and supportive learner, which isn’t always the case.
As for any other lessons learned, I will share these when I have finished the whole course.
Time to review and adjust, plan out next week’s sessions, and get that backup sorted!
And we’re off. An initial zoom meeting and introduction to the coursebook last night (CIEH of course) has set our agenda for this bespoke 1-1 course for one of my former ‘students’ David. Our zoom lessons proper start today so I will blog along to let you know how it goes. Total time expected including pre-assessment, directed reading, zoom lessons and exam is around 20 hours- so very similar to face to face delivery. Very excited and good to be teaching again.
I am about to launch my brand new level 3 virtual programme – a very special course for very special people! I will be teaching 1-1 with a uniquely tailored agenda designed to refresh existing knowledge and leading towards a full CIEH level 3 award. Very limited places will be available, so anyone who wants to get a proper qualification that’s also enjoyable and inspiring, now is the time to sign up. Just email me for a personal consultation and pricing plan and let’s get this show on the road!!!
Yesterday saw my last day for a while delivering face to face food safety training. We started the day with a coronavirus briefing, taking all the right precautions in a spacious training venue opened just for this group. No handshakes, high fives, no handing round of props, pens, etc. And at the conclusion of a successful day with 100% pass, most unusually no hugs of congratulation. Strangely inspirational. And all the more poignant as I was working with a fantastic new client partner developing new projects which is now on indefinite hold! That’s life. To all my contacts – keep well – I hope to move online as soon as I can get the technology sorted. Keep in touch, and I will be thinking of you all.
It was so good yesterday to reconvene my learning group for the final part of their Intermediate Food Safety programme and take them safely through the exam (CIEH). They were an absolute pleasure to coach and teach. Will they remember me in three years time when we refresh? I will certainly remember them!!!!