When was the last time you went to training? Not as the instructor, but as the student? Unfortunately, in many cases, instructors are some of the most undertrained personnel in the entire agency. Because when training is going on, the instructors are usually up in the front of the room.
And that can cause some problems. Maybe more than some, maybe multiple problems. Because when our instructors, the subject matter experts fall behind in their knowledge and skills it doesn’t just hurt them. It hurts the entire agency.
There is a twofold responsibility here. First, there is an agency responsibility to ensure that instructors are trained properly and regularly. What was once cutting edge or new technology can quickly become obsolete. The same concept applies to skills. Most agencies “refresh” their computers on a regular and ongoing basis to avoid any issues. Agencies should take steps to ensure that their instructors stay just as current.
But there is an individual responsibility as well. Instructors must participate, no, they must take the lead in staying current. Instructors are the SME. And who should know best what the SME needs? That’s right – the SME.
The truth is, our profession needs to be intentional about continued professional development of instructors. Not just in their area of expertise, but in the science of learning so that they are better instructors. Better instructors produce better results in training and in the field.