The Surf Life Saving NSW and Hunter Branch needed more of its volunteer members to be qualified as assessors.
This round of TAE training for 13 members was completed online via ZOOM because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
HSLS Director of Education, and a former workplace trainer, Gail Henderson, said she was initially hesitant about training solely online but the feedback from training participants was that they enjoyed using ZOOM and found it easy to use.
“ZOOM can accommodate breakout rooms which Forsythes’ accredited trainer and assessor, Di Sweeney, was able to go in and out of,” Gail said.
“I was able to easily join several sessions as part of my quality control and assessment of the training,” she said.
Pre-planning was a key to success
Gail said Forsythes Training took the time to understand HSLS and thoroughly pre-plan. Forsythes Training’s CEO, Chad White, met with Gail and HSLS CEO Rhonda Scruton several times to ensure the content was contextualised to meet the organisation’s needs.
Gail met with Di on several occasions before training got underway to ensure she understood the special nature of training volunteers who come from all walks of life.
“Our members are volunteers, so the training has to be really worthwhile for them to give up more of their time.”
“One of the main reasons for the success of the program was the time spent on upfront planning.”
Gail said the other successful ingredient was Forysthes Training’s long server trainer and assessor, Di Sweeney. She said Di’s experience, flexibility and responsiveness made all the difference.
“Di was not only up to date on the course content, but she had the skills to deliver that content effectively.”
“And training people effectively over an online platform takes special skill.”
“Di really understood how to use the technology and guided the participants along the way,” she said.
A successful training program
Chad said it was a pleasure to again serve the needs of an important local community organisation. He said HSLS do great work to keep the community safe.
“We have a lot of experience in working with emergency services and first responder organisations,” Chad said.
“We understand the volunteer nature of organisations such as surf life saving” he said.
Gail said HSLS knew of Forsythes Training’s capabilities. In 2019, Forsythes was able to obtain NSW Government Smart and Skilled Funding to provide HSLS with skill sets training for other volunteer members.
“The team at Forysthes Training were excellent. Member feedback has been very positive.”
“I would certainly recommend Forsythes Training to other emergency services organisations and those who work with volunteers.”
“We would not hesitate to use Forsythes Training again.”
About Hunter Surf Life Saving
Hunter Surf Life Saving was founded in 1918 and incorporates 13 local surf lifesaving clubs from Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest to Catherine Hill Bay. NSW Government funding was obtained through SLSNSW to make the training possible. The training will help it to be fully prepared and equipped for the return of the surf lifesaving season.