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An Insight into Virtual Training

 

Chris Ryan, Head of International Business, BICSc, speaks about the pros and cons of virtual training.

 

Filed under
Business
 
June 13, 2021
 
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An Insight into Virtual Training
 

While virtual training has been around for some time, existing in many guises, the last 5 years has seen a steady growth in most industries and more so in management training. However, practical training in the cleaning industry has been slower to convert. Virtual training creates a learning environment where candidates can build their skill set over a longer period of time and attend that training at a time to suit the individual. There are options out there, but they aren’t always easy to find.

How effective is virtual training? 

Virtual training in the cleaning industry can be very successful; any theory-based course and workshop can be adapted and delivered via a virtual session. In respect of cleaning skills, the training needs to cover both the theory and practical. The theoretical elements underpin the safe practices of carrying out the skill combined with the physical demonstration to show that process and methodology are being applied to deliver the skill safely, effectively and efficiently. Tests and quizzes can support and confirm theoretical understanding but actual virtual physical assessment for any skills is imperative. Could you confirm that someone could drive a vehicle without observing a practical test as well as completing the theory element?

Weighing the pros and cons

The pros

  • Flexible and convenient delivery enabling candidates to learn at their own pace, on their own or with assistance, if needed
  • Virtual training requires less of a time investment
  • Cost-effective and more affordable by reducing travel time and costs associated with delivering training face-to-face
  • Sustainable through reduced travel reducing carbon footprint
  • Training can be reviewed multiple times and revisited to reinforce learning and offering immediate feedback on the learning process
  • Accessibility – virtual training offers training to a much wider customer base across a global platform
  • Virtual training can enable organisations to train a high volume of staff over a shorter period of time

The cons

  • Lack of in-person verbal communication or social interaction
  • Understanding the theory alone doesn’t mean that safe methods will be used
  • Could be open to abuse if no virtual assessment forms part of the process
  • Physical activity may be compromised
  • Technical glitches

Virtual training vs conventional training

There are varied reports; while virtual training is very much a personal thing, some people learn better as part of a group, and some learn better on their own where they feel more comfortable. The positive comments are definitely where people prefer to learn at their own pace and like a more flexible approach to build on their skill sets.

The challenges of virtual training

The main challenges for BICSc are to ensure operatives remain accredited, virtual training isn’t available for all skills. Health & Safety requirements around posture and manual handling combined with the physical interaction of equipment and machinery and competent use of chemicals where required can be more challenging for some skills. It is important to ensure that the training delivery is absorbed and acted upon to promote safe and effective working and promote best practice. The assessment allows for the candidate to learn from poor technique or mistakes made. Some of these can be identified via live video calls but it is not possible for all skills.

The future of virtual training

The BICSc Business Services Virtual Training Suite has been a successful addition to our training offering, and we will continue to build on our BICSc accredited training and Cleanlogic™ range of courses and workshops. We are aiming for as much virtual theoretical training to be available as is practical. We will not be removing the need for physical live assessments of craft skills where these are required. Face-to-Face training will still continue to be available where possible at the request of the client. As a training and standards provider it is important to give the client the options to choose the most preferred delivery method in the current and any future training market within the cleaning and hygiene sector.

Chris Ryan is the Head of International Business at The British Institute of Cleaning Sciences and brings over 30 years of experience to the industry.

About the author:

Chris Ryan is the Head of International Business at The British Institute of Cleaning Sciences and brings over 30 years of experience to the industry.

 

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