Despite having teaching qualifications, many Instructors working in the transport and logistics industry may lack the relevant competence required for effective workplace transport training, warns the RTITB Instructor Academy.

Qualified workplace transport Instructors lacking relevant industry competence

“There are many different routes to becoming a qualified’ trainer, but these don’t all take into account the specific requirements of workplace transport training.” Says Simon Docherty, RTITB Instructor Academy Manager. “You wouldn’t take your Porsche to an LGV garage as although they’re qualified mechanics, they don’t have the specialist knowledge and experience you’re looking for. The same principle applies to training.”

For instance, the QCF PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) qualification, sometimes known as PETALS, is an initial teacher training qualification. It is a basic level introduction to planning and preparing training sessions and is geared towards those new to teaching and looking to enter the classroom at assistant level.

“A PTLLS course will typical include students from a wide spectrum of backgrounds all preparing to deliver totally different types of sessions,” explains Simon. “It is usually delivered with limited contact time, with the trainee doing much of the work outside of the classroom – essentially working it out themselves.”

“What this means is that if you’re relying on people with only a PTLLS qualification to deliver your workplace transport training, you run the risk of using an Instructor who is severely lacking in occupational competence. For example, the skills needed to deal with a room full of experienced and highly knowledgeable LGV drivers,” Simon continues.

Another common qualification is the Certificate in Further Education and Training (CertEd). This provides a formal teaching qualification for those looking to work in further education colleges, sixth forms and private training providers. Like PTLLS, it does not equip Instructors with specialist workplace transport training knowledge.

“These courses are academic in nature and designed to cover generic teaching and instructing principles and methods in great detail – they provide a great foundation to build on but are no substitute for a specific Instructor qualification,” says Simon. “In our experience, we have found that Instructors who have completed industry-specific training engage far better with candidates.”

To equip training professionals with the relevant understanding and competence, the RTITB Instructor Academy provides dedicated ‘train the trainer’ and assessor courses for the transport and logistics industry. Courses deliver theory training in context, alongside practical training in a live environment. Less time is spent on the academics of assessment. Instead the courses are designed with a greater focus on the mechanics of examination and testing and give Instructors the tools to teach information in a logical, systematic and engaging way.

From Lift Truck Instructor to LGV Instructor courses, all training at the RTITB Instructor Academy is delivered by Instructors with real world transport and logistics experience, alongside the relevant qualifications.

“We believe both confidence and competence are essential if Instructors are to teach drivers and equipment operators to a high standard – these only come with sector-based knowledge and experience,” says Simon. “What’s more, we have found that industry specific training more effectively equips Instructors with the tools to help employers maximise their return on investment for training.”

For more information visit www.rtitb.com/instructor-academy or call +44 (0)1952 520214.