Rapid Solutions offers training courses that teach the real skills required to be an excellent pest manager, with learning taking place outside as well as inside the classroom.

Poorly trained pest management students not only deliver poor results and increased business risk, but also impact on their employer’s reputation, additional cost in job recalls and reduced customer satisfaction.

Research undertaken by Rapid Solutions indicates that small pest management companies, with fewer than five employees, supply the majority of pest control services. Their training needs are different from those of larger corporate companies that have in-house training, so pest management training for the majority of industry participants must adapt to meet their needs.

Dispelling the training myths

Whilst Rapid Solutions has a long history of providing a premium training service to the Australian pest industry, the company believes it cannot rest on its reputation or what has worked in the past.

Head of teaching at Rapid Solutions Training, Keith Farrow, suggests it is time for the industry to dispel some of the myths that often surround training pest managers and to embrace new technology.

Myth 1: All you need to be a pest manager is a licence

“The reality is that small pest management companies need ‘ready-to-work’ technicians, not just a licence,” said Mr Farrow. “You need your newly licensed technician to contribute to the company’s income. We’ve found five days in a classroom doesn’t deliver anymore.”

Rapid Solutions Training is now taking students out of the classroom virtually, into the field. Online courses use a large number of short instructional videos. “We use video as a medium to demonstrate techniques in a multitude of scenarios that are not available in a classroom,” said Mr Farrow.

A six-part, one-day practical session is another initiative providing the opportunity to get instruction using a typical work order example where students work through a process from pest identification, site inspection and pesticide selection to pesticide preparation and application. “Students are given real-world training,” enthused Mr Farrow.

Myth 2: Training costs are the cost of the course

Mr Farrow pointed out that sending a student to a classroom in the city not only means the cost of travel and accommodation but also lost income. “These are hidden costs, often not part of the calculation in the real cost of training.”

As well as the online course modules that provide the necessary theory to students without them being taken from the workforce, Rapid Solutions Training provides access to trainers by email, phone and Skype, and has taken this a step further by bringing groups of students together in a teacher-led group for Q&A sessions.

Their online technology allows Rapid Solutions Training to quickly determine which parts of their training the students are struggling with, so providing regular online tutorials on these key subjects, with Skype presentations and discussions.

Myth 3: Complete the course and you’re trained

“I think we would cringe if we knew how much of what we learn in the classroom we forget when we step outside the training room door,” continued Mr Farrow. “An important part of training happens when you are in a situation where you need knowledge at the point you need to complete a task. Often smaller pest management companies don’t have the time or the opportunity to provide this training.”

Refresher training is the solution. Rapid Solutions Training now provides free, short (less than two minutes) refresher videos to students via their mobile or internet-connected device, allowing them access to practical knowledge whilst on the job.

There is also a helpline students can call even after obtaining their qualifications from Rapid Solutions.It is clear that pest industry training needs to embrace digital technology and Rapid Solutions are leading the way.

“The training classroom model of the past is not in sync with the needs of today’s pest management organisations. Our training not only saves companies money but also provides a better pest control technician, ready to work.”