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PEST MANAGEMENT TRAINING FOR THE NEW ERA

Shane Rich, Training Manager at MPL Training (pictured above), shares an update of what he and the team have been up to and outlines the training opportunities available for 2022 and beyond.

Well, what a time it has been over the last two years! The pandemic saw the training industry having to adapt, with Zoom meetings and classes becoming the norm and practical experience only occasionally allowed. While it has been undoubtedly challenging, at MPL we took it as an opportunity to strive for improvement. The lockdowns gave us time to sit back and evaluate where we were at, tighten our teaching approaches, and plan ahead for 2022 and beyond, with face-to-face teaching now happily back on the agenda.

We started by gathering feedback from our students and industry experts, and we listened carefully. At MPL we have a collaborative approach to achieve our training outcomes. With combined pest management experience of over 250 years, it would be crazy if we didn’t take advice from each other!

During one of our regular moderation meetings, one area of improvement that we all identified was our paperwork. The new training package CPP30119 gave us extra incentive to ensure all our paperwork is ASQA compliant and the knowledge and skills included in the paperwork are up to date.

We also closely examined the workbooks for the courses on Timber Pests (CPPUPM3008 and CPPUPM3010). We took the time to read through each question that our students were having issues with and discussed whether it was the question itself or finding the answer that was the issue. This process enabled us to identify the knowledge gaps and see where students were most in need. Some old, ambiguous open-ended questions were scrapped and new tasks for Australian Standards, inspections and calculations were added, amongst others.

With the workbooks for Timber Pests almost complete, the rollout date is scheduled for the start of April, 2022. Workbooks for General Pests will follow shortly after and an overhaul of Certificate III and IV will be finalised mid-year.

New for 2022, we will be saying goodbye to the tedious hand writing of notes – students would often tell us that they hadn’t written so much since being in school! As no one in the pest management industry presents a handwritten inspection report anymore, pest management training should be in line with the common practice in the industry. With the help of Prue Wernicke from Formitize, 2022 will see us offering students a faster, tidier, and more advanced way of completing set assessment tasks, whilst also making the job of the trainers more efficient.

We have a raft of training opportunities available for 2022 and beyond, including in Melbourne, where we’ve been busy helping some students to gain recognition of prior learning (RPL) in light of the change in licensing requirements outlined by Victoria Health. The new licensing requirements have seen us receiving a number of enquiries, and we have been pleased to offer assessment-only pathways as well as RPL to help pest managers keep up to date.

 

Training updates for 2022

Melbourne

Following the easing of restrictions, MPL will return to holding face-to-face classes from February 2022. The classes will reflect the recent change in licensing requirements in Victoria, followed by NSW EPA (effective in 2023).

Sydney and Brisbane

MPL’s Sydney (North Rocks) and Brisbane (Rocklea) sites offer new entrants the chance to experience diversified building structures, a variety of conducive conditions, and even live target pests on site. New students, who are struggling to find licensed pest managers to work with, can gain both theoretical knowledge about urban pests and some work experience from MPL’s experienced trainers, helping them on their way to enter the industry. MPL offers three-day and four-day practical workshops for General Pests and Timber Pests, respectively. Suitable for new entrants and those already within the industry, the workshops offer a unique opportunity to gain on-the-job experience. The two-day assessment session is a combination of verbal, written, and practical assessment.

Online refresher courses

Following a significant amount of interest from pest professionals, MPL will soon be offering online refresher courses, developed and supported by its team of internationally recognised entomologists, experienced pest managers, and administrators. A recent trial course consisting of Zoom meetings held over a four-week period – with students directing the topics and receiving guidance and clarity – were well received, and more are scheduled for 2022.

Industry seminars

Plans are underway for regular industry seminars to be held at MPL training venues, which will include displays of a wide range of pest specimens and samples.

 

Shane Rich, NSW Training Manager and Assessor, MPL Training