Given the unprecedented nature of the current health crisis, IPAF have taken the necessary step to add facial recognition to their IPAF Operator training course.
Big news for safe learning
Eagle Platforms are fully on board with this change and it has also been added to the MEWPs for Managers eLearning course. The facial recognition function enables delegates to be identified in the comfort and safety of their own home, facilitating an online only eLearning version of the theory test for IPAF Operator training course.
The elearning option means that the practical training can be done over the course of a full day rather than the half day that is allowed for by the classroom based theory session. This has two advantages in that group sizes can be reduced by booking at different times during the day and also that simply more time can be given to the practical training dependant on the experience of the individual delegates.
Why is this necessary?
Having the ability to identify delegates online before taking the course is essential for maintaining the credibility of the course, as it makes sure that the person taking the course is the same person hoping to get their PAL card. Having the theory element as an eLearning course reduces the need for classroom learning and the unnecessary risk of bringing people together in an indoor environment.
Often with any fundamental changes to practice there are upsides that might not be linked to the actual idea behind the change. In this case, at Eagle Platforms we have been able to host a greater number of tests, especially when you consider that any ‘safe’ class sizes would have to operate on a greatly reduced level.
While the shift to eLearning was left up to individual training centres, Eagle Platforms were always intent on making sure that the safety of all of our delegates was at the forefront of any decision. By taking this step we believe we are eradicating the risk that Covid-19 can pose in an indoor environment, guided by the scientific evidence.
What about the practical side of the course?
There is actually a very big distinction between practical and theoretical learning, in that the practical component of all of our courses is usually carried out in very well ventilated environments allowing for greater social distancing. In addition, as the theory element of the course is now completed online, the practical training can be arranged for either morning or afternoon sessions. This not only allows for smaller numbers of trainees at any one time but provides much greater flexibility for employers to arrange the training around other work, as each session can be as little as several hours rather than a full day.
What IPAF have said
Peter Douglas, CEO & MD of IPAF, gave a recent interview in which he said: “We think this new flexibility will be of benefit to our training providers as they look to reconfigure the way they work going forwards, and to bolster confidence that their staff and training candidates have the best range of options to allow them to undertake IPAF training with maximum confidence.”
He went on to elaborate that “…many of our members delivering training are eager to return to offering courses on the scale they were doing before the coronavirus pandemic, but equally they are very keen to ensure this is done as safely as possible and in line with the best guidance available to minimize risk of candidates or training centre staff coming into contact with or spreading the virus.”
Eagle Platforms are already seeing the very real benefits of this forward thinking, progressive step and believe it to be a very good thing for training providers and trainees alike as training providers look to bring training in line best practice during this pandemic and beyond.