By Jan Kornmann,
Becoming a qualified trainer means knowing your subject, not just getting a certificate, and being able to give the attendees the proper guidelines to follow. Along with being patient, open minded, clear communicator, creative and flexible to train different people the trainer must be experienced and good with people.
Just because you are knowledgeable on the subject – don’t think that makes you a good trainer. There is a lot more to it than showing someone the steps to complete a task. With time people can become very knowledgeable and can instruct others how to train for example: Drug Specimen Collector, Breath Alcohol Technician, Screening Test Technician, etc. But just because you can do the procedures doesn’t mean that you can train someone. I would like to point out, first who should you be trained by to become a trainer. What steps will the trainer take to make sure that you are qualified to do the training? How will the training get accomplished? Will the training follow guidelines set up by Department of Transportation (DOT) and / or Health and Human Services (HHS)? Will you get any tips for being a trainer? Will your trainer be available for questions and consulting? Will you be given the tools to do your training?
Check out the trainer who is training you. Interview them.
- Ask them questions to see how they answer you – how do they speak – is it clear so you can understand them, are they willing to answer questions, and are they listening to you and answering appropriately?
- How do you know they are qualified to train? Ask for certificates and ask for recommendations from others they have trained. Find out how long they have been in the business and doing this type of training. CHECK THEM OUT.
- Ask them what they use for the training. What is the style of training they have? Is it just them telling you what to do or are they willing to work with you on a one to one basis during and after the training. Will there be hands on training? With drug and alcohol testing the mocks and showing that they know the procedure is a must. Are the mocks part of the training the instructor does, or do you have to find someone else to finish your training?
- Do they truly seem interested in sharing their knowledge with you?
Next question to answer before you become a trainer:
- How long have you done the procedures that you will be training others? If you said that you just learned how to do the procedures, you are setting yourself up to fail. A person should become proficient in the procedure to the point of being able to recite the procedures without even thinking about what they must do next.
- Will you be able to answer questions? Expect different questions and always be prepared to answer them. But, if unable to answer the question(s) find the explanation and follow up and show where to locate the interpretation. Will you know where to get the answers?
- Assist in doing the procedures if necessary. The best instructors do the drug and alcohol collections and have had hands on experience.
- Be a person to come to for the answers. Be a role model to the people you train.
Once you trained someone do you follow up with your attendees? Have goals been accomplished? Make it a win-win for both and a long-time relationship. Learn from each other. Never close the door.
The techniques used to train someone is probably the first steps in putting together your training to others. Not everyone has the same learning styles; some learn by reading, watching, or hands on. Quality trainers research prior to training and keep abreast of changes. Some have the attendees do a on line course before the actual hands on training. The trainer should make the courses exciting, interesting, and above all important.
By having qualified trainers in the drug and alcohol industry we will have safe and drug – free workplaces and communities. Education along with training the proper procedures and following set guidelines is a mission all trainers should have.