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Sean Mc
Posted: Thursday, December 28, 2017 11:23 AM
Joined: 22/12/2017
Posts: 1

When you pay for your courses you have every right to expect a delivery of service from professional people who are qualified to deliver that service.

MCA/Merchant Navy Training Board approved courses lay down strict criteria for training companies wishing to receive MCA approval to deliver STCW safety training courses and this standard is to be maintained and assessed by timetabled auditing.

Instructors should have training in instructional techniques..."AHEM...???" in many cases would be an appropriate response as the "instructor" switches on a powerpoint with embarrassingly outdated picture and video content (if you are lucky to have pictures and video) and just reads through the slides after slides.

Where is the engagement of those learners who may not physically or intellectually be able to assimilate this style of "learning"

Where are group exercises, discussions, role plays, question and answer sessions, games, formalised reading periods and informalised reading with debate and opinion using real case study material of safety incidents at sea.

Where is the assessment of the learners to ensure they have reached the minimum level of knowledge to be attained according to the MCA/MNTB course guidelines and specific learning outcomes?

How can a fellow learner in your classroom for 5 days with very little command or understanding of the English Language be awarded the same certificate as you when you have observed that person simply hide in the group and take advantage of the training company having a poor administration system and little or no pre course assessment of candidates in place.

I have witnessed office staff in office clothing arrive at the fire unit when instructors are not available in the correct numbers to carry out a potentially dangerous live fire exercise.

These staff are then tasked with directing students on a Basic Safety Training course inside the fire unit as they undertake their "hot fire exercise"

The course students are wearing breathing apparatus in the dark and following a route with obstacles to be crossed following various safety checks, which should be monitored and assessed by an appropriately qualified instructor. This is not only to ensure learning objectives are being met but also that the candidates are being monitored for signs of physical or psychological stress.

If you have paid hard earned money to undertake a specific standard of training then have the confidence to question the PPE you are supplied with.

Will the PPE REALLY protect you in the fire unit?

Are these gloves appropriate?

Are the PPE items complete and well maintained?

Are they CLEAN?

Demand SAFE PPE and qualified instructors.

Demand SAFE extinguishers for extinguisher training.

Demand to know the emergency procedures if something goes wrong.

Who is First Aid Trained ?

Where is the stretcher ?

Where is the defibrillator and how does it work ?

When you are being taught "Elementary First Aid" ask if your instructor has a first aid teaching qualification or even a current first aid certificate or you may be receiving information that is merely being passed down from one powerpoint reader to another and the first aid information you are receiving may not even be valid or safe.

When you are in the pool or at sea undertaking Personal Survival Techniques, do not be blinded by the sun and the beautiful Cote  D`Azur.

Ask how would the instructor could possibly rescue a casualty from the bottom of the 4.5metre deep pool if something went wrong.

Where is the lifeguard that is "SUPPOSED" to be specifically designated to your exercise as per MCA/MNTB requirements ?

Where is the recovery equipment to assist a casualty out of the water?

Where is the resuscitation equipment?

Who is first aid trained and qualified?

When going out to sea, think of the worst case scenario and ask the instructor what the emergency procedures are if there is an accident when you are undertaking your in water exercises.

Where is the radio?

What is your location?

Where is the safety boat with recovery and resuscitation equipment and appropriately trained lifeguard/rescue personnel?

When it goes wrong, it will go wrong badly and you will wish you had got answers to your questions alot earlier. The instructor should be ensuring these things are in place as part of their risk assessment and if they are not able to control the risks, the exercise should not continue but money is the game and turning blind eyes is the shame.

Demand the best and demand to be safe. Training companies make a lot of money from you and some of them could be well advised to spend a considerably smaller amount on wine, food, parties and schmooze and invest where it counts - keeping you safe.