- THE MAGAZINE
The standard method of training in the cleaning and restoration industry has traditionally been via a seminar or school attendance. Usually, the trainee is required to travel to a nearby city to attend a training class sponsored by a local supplier or association. There are a limited number of these training classes available and many times the trainee has to travel quite far and may be required to wait a long time before the next opportunity comes to their area. These classes can be expensive to the company if you consider the costs of travel, course fees, time away from work, and incidentals. It’s important for students attending these classes to be properly prepared and able to get the most from the classroom experience.
This leads to a need for some form of training to fill the gap between the newly hired technician’s basic knowledge requirements and the certification class. Likewise, there is a need for some accurate technical training that can be used as refresher and/or follow-up in the months and/or years since the certification class.
Recently, several alternative training options have begun to appear that give greater flexibility and opportunity to get new technicians trained, or experienced technicians some refresher training, in a timely and inexpensive manner.
Internet TrainingThe IICRC has recently approved (for continuing education credits) several online Internet training courses. For example, there are carpet cleaning and water restoration training programs offered by Clean Care Seminars (www.CleanCareSeminars.com) and a basic Oriental Rug training program offered by A2Z Inc. (www.a2zinc.net). These programs allow the user to work at their own pace, with testing along the way to insure learning is taking place.
Computer-Based TrainingTwo CD-ROM computer-based training programs have been approved for IICRC continuing education credits as well. These programs can be used on most office or home computer systems. Students can access the lessons individually and work at their own pace. Testing and review are built into the program to monitor the student’s progress. Two examples of these programs are Carpet Cleaning Workshop by Pemberton Learning Center (email@example.com), and Carpet Cleaning Basics by T. Hill & Associates (www.tjhill.com).
Video Taped TrainingHigh-quality video taped training is available showing basic skills, common methods, and even sales and marketing ideas. These can be used with any TV/VCR system. Some examples of these courses are the Partners for Success video series available from Jon-Don (www.jondon.com) and a video series from Clean Care Seminars (www.CleanCareSeminars.com).
Hands-On Learning CentersFor advanced hands-on training, especially in the restoration arts, several permanent learning centers have been constructed where students can work to dry a water-damaged structure or clean a smoke-damaged building. Some of the leaders in this area are Unsmoke with its Un-House (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dri-Eaz with its Dri-Zone Center (www.dri-eaz.com), Bolden’s Hydro Lab (www.boldens.com), and Chuck Dewald’s Emergency Hands-On Drying School (www.vortexdrying.com).
TeleconferencesMarketing companies such as Piranha Marketing are conducting teleconference seminars with members of their marketing team.
Many alternative methods of training are already available with many more to come in the near future. If you are not taking advantage of them, you are missing a real opportunity.