This is an excerpt from the Auditor Training Online Facebook Live, check it out here
We are receiving a high number of enquiries from students who have traditionally trained in the classroom. We could say that their beliefs are being challenged at the moment, now that classroom training has primarily transitioned to virtual training. So Online Learning is a little different to what they are used to.
To put everyone’s minds at rest, we have been providing online learning for seven years. We haven't decided to suddenly switch over from classroom to online learning in the last three weeks. We've already ironed out the issues and are always implementing continual improvement. So, you can be comfortable that we are experienced with online learning!
I just wanted to share with you the common myths of online learning and provide our feedback on these – as experts in the area!
Myth One – is the certificate I receive worth as much as one that I receive from classroom-based training?
The answer – YES, absolutely!
Auditor Training Online is an Exemplar Global Recognized Training Provider. We have a close working relationship with them. So, in terms of recognition, the competency you receive for any of our External Auditor and Consultant courses are Exemplar Global recognized and you also automatically receive Graduate Certification with Exemplar Global. On top of this it is an Industry and Internationally recognized qualification – you can’t get much better than that!
What we are offering does provide our students with a pathway to get to where they want to go. Our courses undergo audit exactly the same as classroom-based training providers and I often think because we are online, the process is a lot more stringent to ensure we are meeting the criteria requirements.
It is a Certificate of Attainment that you receive, not just a certificate of completion or a pat on the back!
You receive your certificate within about an hour of completing the course successfully. You receive it by email, and you can log into the student portal whenever you need to download your certificate if you misplace the email or certificate. It’s that simple!
Myth Two – is there a huge assignment that I have to submit at the end of the online element?
I can see why this question comes up as traditionally you do some sort of online element and then there's this massive assignment at the end that you have to complete on your own.
Our course assignments are all online. The only courses at this stage that do have a workbook at the end of it are our HACCP course and Diploma Pathway as understandably there is a technical element to this that requires some verification.
Our courses are structured so that during the course content sections you have what we call Practice Activities. These are all about embedding the learning from the content. Then we have what we call Practice Quizzes at the end of each content section. You can work through these as many times as you like, so that's an opportunity to further embed learning but most importantly it is practice for the assessment questions. The Assessment questions come from the same question pool as the practice quiz questions so there’s no surprises. These are all self-marked so you are not waiting for an assessor to review them before you can move on.
We're not here to put obstacles in your way. The practice quizzes and the actual formal assessments are at the end of each module. It’s not all this big chunk of content, and then everything's at the end and you have to remember what you did last week! It's not like that at all. We break it down into bite-sized pieces. So, for example if we are talking about a standard, say ISO 45001, we break it down, so you work through clause 4 Context and get an understanding of the content and you do some practice activities. Then you'll do your practice quiz as many times as you as you need to and then move on to your formal assessment – you can then move on to Clause 5 Leadership and so on – see, nice small bites of information at a time.
There is a requirement to achieve 100% in the assessment as this is a part of how we're required to assess you by the authorities that govern us. The good news though is that you get three attempts. The worst thing that happens is if you fail on that third attempt is the module gets locked and it's a great opportunity for us to jump in and just review and see how you're going and see what help you need.
You can also review your results after each attempt of your Practice Quiz and Assessment questions. As soon as you've had one attempt, you can actually go and click on ‘review results’ and you can see what you got right and what you got wrong. I always advise people or suggest that they should save that as a PDF, which you can, and then you can reference what your previous attempts were, so you know what you answered last. This is a great process to follow for learning – it’s smart!
Myth Three – I have to complete everything all at once otherwise I’ll lose my spot
Another question that we get a lot is if I need to have a break from my online learning can I start exactly where I left off or do I have to start all over again?
Take as many breaks as you need! Even log off and turn your PC off if you need to. Come back the next day, week or month even! When you log back in you start the course exactly where you left off. We’ve developed and designed it to be as simple as possible for you to use.
Myth Four – I’m all alone and nobody is here to help me
Absolutely not – you are not on your own. By all means, if you want to learn on your own, we don’t continually annoy you along the way – and there are students like this. However, if you’re looking for support then we are always here.
I have one-on-one zoom calls with students often. I am looking at our student enquiries every day, all day and if there are any areas that I can jump in and help out with I’m there. I love sharing and helping you out.
We are now looking at including ILT (Instructor Lead Training) by Zoom as part of our course now as the Zoom calls have been so warmly received.
We also have our ATOL Community Group on Facebook where all of our students can connect and ask questions about auditing and management systems. I get on there once a week with a Q&A Live session where I can answer all of your questions about auditing – I love to answer them!
That's what I'm doing this for - essentially, I want to share with you all. I don't want to be this sort of hidden figure out the back and you have to go through this alone. It's because it's not just about the training, it's about those next steps to becoming an auditor.
And to close I hope this helps you to understand how the courses are set up and that this online learning is an option for you. It’s solid – just as solid and valid as classroom training (now virtual of course). Remember that virtual training is different to online training. Virtual training still depends on the trainer being there all the time at a set date, set time and set duration. It’s basically a Zoom classroom training, so it has those same restrictions as classroom training. Online training is where you are self-sufficient. You can do your course whenever you want to, wherever you want to, and you can stop and start whenever you want to as well.
All the best and Happy Auditing!