Choosing an employee to attend DOT Instructor Training.
For more than 20 years, AlcoPro has trained and certified many students as DOT Specimen Collector Instructors and/or Breath Alcohol Technician Instructors. If a service agent or business has multiple employees performing DOT drug or alcohol testing, then that entity may wish to consider sending one or more employees through an Instructor course to help minimize staff training costs. Even though this training model can minimize overall staff training costs, sending one or more employees through Instructor training is still a considerable investment, so it’s imperative the company send the right person(s) with the right skills and characteristics.
Because the expense of putting an employee through Instructor training is a substantial investment in that employee, it is important to select someone who’s been with your company for a considerable amount of time or you feel will be with your company for quite some time.
In our Instructor courses we spend a significant amount of time covering Instructor training resources, as well as effective adult training methods so that our trainees will have the tools to be successful in their new instructor roles. Based on our experience of training hundreds of students, we have learned that these tools are best utilized when Instructor students bring with them certain characteristics and skill sets.
In addition to employee longevity, there are several key characteristics or skills to consider when identifying an employee to assume the role of an instructor or trainer at your facility.
Ability to develop a deep understanding of concepts
The best instructors have or are able to develop a deep understanding of concepts on a particular topic, in this case the DOT Regulations and procedures for drug and alcohol testing. Training others on the DOT Regulations and drug and alcohol testing procedures will consume a lot of time and the information that must be covered is extensive. Therefore, select someone who has or can develop a deep understanding of the content and can patiently impart that knowledge to other employees.
Strong communications and interpersonal relationship skills
It is very important for an effective trainer or instructor to possess strong communications skills. Conveying information and concepts, as well as inspiring staff members, is carried out primarily through words. The best trainers have no trouble communicating and motivating others and can effectively describe the reasons behind the need for training and what’s required of employees.
Not only is a way with words considered a great asset, effective trainers enjoy relating to other people. They excel at not just using words to impart ideas and knowledge, they are able to temper their message with empathy and look for ways to relate to their audience. When they sense someone is struggling to understand the information, an effective trainer will use different words to present the same concept, or find an alternative way to present the information that better resonates with that employee’s learning style.
Detail-oriented and willingness to prepare
Being detailed oriented is important because there’s a lot of detail in the procedures for collecting urine specimens and for performing breath alcohol testing, as well as in explaining in the function and operation of a breath alcohol instrument. It’s a realistic rule of thumb that training content gets watered down as it passes from instructor to student. Regardless of how skilled the instructor, at the conclusion of training it is unlikely that the student will have as much knowledge as the instructor. If the instructor glosses over details, you can expect the students to have even less grasp of the details.
An individual who places an emphasis on preparation will key in on the details, and their students will be more likely to retain those details. Training is more than telling. Especially for brand new instructors, preparation prior to conducting a class is critical to the success of the class to ensure that all information is covered thoroughly yet within the time limitations of the training.