More and more of our lives are able to be taken care of online. You can now find numerous places that are offering safety training courses online. The question is, are they worth it? Are they actually recognized? Will they actually increase your employability? The following is a comparison of the courses that MI Safety has available online vs. those that require a classroom setting, along with things to consider when choosing your course.
Online training has a lot of convenience. You can take the course at a time and place that works for you. It's the perfect way to fit training in with the demands of your job. It offers a lot of flexibility when scheduling training for your staff. You can make it a group course or you can build it into your orientation process. Often, an online course will be more cost effective than a live classroom course that requires a paid instructor and training material. If you are new to an industry, or curious, you can take an online course to learn more about the scope of work and the safety hazards you would face. It helps you know if you have further questions or research you'd like to do before completing college level training or leaving a career you're familiar with. Having online awareness certificates is a great addition to your resume when you're just starting in an industry. Finally, awareness certificates are helpful when you are required to "be aware" of certain hazards but you are unlikely to actually encounter those hazards.
As can be expected, online training can also have some challenges. When taking a course that is pre-recorded you do not have an instructor immediately available to ask questions. There is also no possibility of having a supervised practical component. Finally, we've all heard of situations where students have cheated the system by having someone else take the course in their name or fast forwarding through the training material. Technology is helping in these areas, as it will no longer allow you to simply skip through chapters. Additionally, some courses have verified or "proctored" versions that have several steps of identity confirmation built into them, including using the computer's webcam.
If we haven't done high school or post-secondary education in a number of years the idea of classroom training can bring groans of dread. Or for some who have been in the industry for many years the idea of recertifying their training every three years brings about images of a boring instructor and struggles to stay awake. At MI Safety we have a built a reputation where students leave feeling as though they have learned something new - even supervisors who have been in their industry for 20 years! How do we accomplish this? With instructors that have ongoing, real-world experience and a recognition and passion of the importance of their training. MI Safety is also known for our ability to conduct site specific training with practical training as requested. This training can be conducted at your site using your equipment or at our training facility using real equipment such as oil derricks. Having an engaged instructor in a live classroom setting allows the instructor to get to know the students and to teach at an appropriate pace. A class full of new students is going to require a different level of scenarios and discussions then a class with a lot of experienced workers. A live instructor is also a great option for those with learning difficulties or anxieties. These students can be assisted by being able to ask questions and have chapter summaries reviewed until understood, for example. The goal of adult learning in the safety sector is not just about passing the exam - it's about learning to protect and preserve your own life and the lives of those working around you. In some cases your employer may require you to carry specific training that has been certified by a large organizing body, such as Enform or OSSA. These courses are almost always live classroom courses.
Of course, live classroom training can have challenges as well. Distance can be a big one. Some courses are only offered regularly in major areas. If you are one individual in a rural location a training day may mean a long or overnight commute. If you're not quite sure of what training you will be required to have but you are wanting to increase your employability, classroom training may cost a bit more and you may not know if it's exactly the course you require. If you are unsure, contact us and we can help you find the most suitable training for your needs and goals.