We, recently, posted a piece that included some information about quality assurance which you can find here. Given that we are approaching the summer season and are, already, in the height of the training and certification season, I thought I would circle back with this piece to focus on QA.
Training Standards and Quality Training
Training companies, instructors and instructor trainers for any and all brands of training are aware each of those brands has their own standards, quality assurance protocols, and penalties for non-adherence to said standards. But, there seems to be tremendous inconsistency in how non-adherence is recognized or discovered; policed; investigated; and penalized. The whole notion of quality assurance stems from both the desire and the need to produce well-trained first responders, lifeguards, and lay responders. However, inconsistency in enforcement of quality assurance issues leads to inconsistency in training.
Who Is Responsible?
I am not indicating that the quality assurance teams are solely responsible for the breakdown in maintaining standards that I am suggesting. Rather, it is an issue the entire industry must own and help to rectify. Thus, if a finger is to be pointed it would have to be pointed at: instructors/IT’s who may have not familiarized themselves with all of the new standards; the training companies who may be cutting corners to increase profits or simply are not aware of the standards and have not hired a training director; and, most certainly, the brands who may selectively police and enforce violations and sub-standard classes.
We all may believe in what the industry is doing and feel strongly that we should be reaching as many people as possible with high quality training. However, we all need revenue to support our training efforts. So, as strongly as we may feel about providing quality training, decrease in revenue and an increase in operating costs creeps in and works against us.
The brands must bear a large burden of responsibility. On one hand, as we all face increased operational costs, the natural response is to increase prices. Incidentally, some of the brands have continually increased prices and passed this cost on to training companies. Conversely, instructors/IT’s, those very training companies and instructors/IT’s have not been able to pass these increased costs on to their customers. The market will not bear higher prices by the training companies. This may lead to cutting corners to decrease overhead and, hence, lead to sub-standard training.
Additionally, each year there are new privately held health and safety firms entering the market that offer the full range of classes and services. Consequently, this leads to a crowding of the market; and, lower margins for companies as they compete for clients.
How do we get this under control to ensure quality training and classes taught to standard 100% of the time while, at the same time, ensure that privately held firms responsible for delivering the trainings are able to remain solvent and stay in business?