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Since the launch of the Rapid Solutions online learning site in November 2013, hundreds of pest controllers have completed courses online.
We're excited about the new opportunities that online learning is bringing to the market.
Professional training and development are essential in our industry, and with the advance of online learning it is so much easier for everyone to keep up to date with the latest trends and thinking.
With 24/7 online access, students can study in their own time and at their own pace.
Adult education is so much more effective when it is self directed and our online learning courses allow for this. In addition, we support every student when required by phone and email.
Rapid Solutions training courses have been developed over many years. Each of our trainers has also been involved in the pest management industry for many years. All have been practical pest managers at some stage in their careers and so have a very real understanding of the day-to-day needs and difficulties of pest managers.
Currently, Rapid Solutions offer two courses online but more are planned for late 2015.
1. Basic pest management
This course consists of the competency units 5, 6 and 18 from the certificate III in pest management and successful completion enables students to apply for a state or territory pest technician licence (except in WA).
The course is divided into 14 individual modules each with their own video content and a short test at the end.
2. Timber pest management
This course consists of the competency units 8 and 10 from the certificate III in pest management and successful completion enables students to become certified timber pest inspectors.
The course is divided into 18 individual modules each with their own video content and a short test at the end.
Our goal at Rapid Solutions is to have those people who complete our programs know they can do the tasks they will be asked to do with confidence, and be able to provide sound advice to clients.
To this end, all of our courses have three components: an online course and test, a photographic portfolio and a practical assessment.
A recent addition to our online learning site is an assessment centre. This allows pest controllers to assess their skills and complete short update modules to make sure their skills are up-to-date. The assessment centre is aimed at those already in the industry.
It is a fantastic tool for larger companies who need to regularly assess their technicians and provide guidance for where they need to hone their skills.
It can also be used by anyone employing a new pest technician and wanting to check the applicant's current level of pest management knowledge or perhaps find out what they do not know.
In 2016, Rapid Solutions will be enhancing the online learning centre with the addition of more new features.
1. Regular blog
A monthly feature to be launched, this blog will answer questions and give tips based on feedback from the students online.
2. Online student community
This will provide networking and knowledge sharing among course participants. It will enable students to get answers and feedback to problems they are having not only from the Rapid Solutions team but also from others in the industry. This will also include Skype hook-ups, which means that whether you are across the road or across the country, you will be able to see and speak with an experienced Rapid Solutions trainer and also talk with others who are working through the same programs as you at a time that suits all parties.
3. Optional face to face tutorials
Due to popular demand, we have now introduced the option of face to face tutorials for online students. These will be held in state capitals to provide the opportunity for students to get some hands-on experience and discuss all aspects of their course with a trainer.
Online learning makes it easier for students in more remote locations to have "access" to a trainer. The extensive use of video throughout our courses enables remote students to watch the trainer or industry specialist talk to them and show them what they need to know and how to recognise the correct procedures from those not so correct procedures.
Student feedback from our online courses has been really encouraging. We actively seek feedback so that our online offering can be continuously improved.
Although we are passionate about the benefits of online learning, our traditional offline courses and workshops will also continue to be offered. Additionally, we now have one day practical tutorials available for those students, particularly online, who wish to avail themselves of some practical training in pesticide application, pest identification, risk assessment etc.