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WHMIS Training Comparison:
Classroom versus Online - Who Will Come Out on Top?

WHMIS training is not something companies typically rush out and do. It is like most health and safety training. Everyone knows they need to do it as part of compliance and everyone has a genuine interest in keeping their workers safe and having a reputation as a Safe Employer. But…compared to other types of training that have the ability to grow revenues and dramatically increase productivity, WHMIS training is not topping the 2009 training calendar for many companies. Maybe it’s just time for a new perspective. Most companies are used to the traditional methods of training their staff. Either they bring in a trainer or have someone within the company source training materials and deliver the training in batches to workable groups of employees during the year; or they send their employees out for training to a third party training. In both cases they are using a face to face training option. Bring on the use of technology and consider delivering the training materials over the Internet to any PC, anywhere, anytime. It certainly makes scheduling a lot easier. Anyone who has tried to get 10 people in the same room on the same day can appreciate that. And it may be a lot easier for each individual to work at their own pace rather than going at the pace of the slowest person in the group which is a downside of group training.

Classroom Training Pros and Cons:
A typical classroom training session will last 4-6 hours if you are going through the materials and then completing a paper based test which has to be marked. This is 4-6 hours of lost productivity. In the classroom setting, each trainee moves along at the speed of the slowest person, rather than at their own pace. There are piles of papers to organize, re-tests to schedule, certificates to issue – not to mention the high cost of bringing in an outside trainer. But, on the positive side, classroom training is effective. If someone is not getting it the facilitator can stop and give them the attention they need. It can also be tailored to their specific workspace using more relevant examples. And because of the role of the facilitator it can me more dynamic and flexible.

Online Training Pros and Cons
With no group classes to coordinate, no photocopying, no tests to grade, and no certificates to issue; you can focus on your job while we focus on the delivery of your training. With simple and efficient web-based training programs, certifications are easily earned, in less time, and at incredible savings. Online training is accessible 24/7, from any computer with Internet access. But on the negative side if someone lacks the computer skills to get themselves logged in and work with the materials they are not going to learn or complete the test.

And The Winner Is…
Despite my bias, working in the online training and testing business, there are situations where face to face traditional training is more effective and if the training is not effective it does not matter how much more convenient it is or how much money it saves you. If your employees do not have access to computers, or do not have the computer skills to complete an online test face to face may be your only option.

That being said, online WHMIS training will save you time, effort, and stress. It is also a “green” alternative, since there is very little paper to handle. But, did you know that you could also save your company a lot of money? We see clients saving as much as 69%, when you add up their time savings scheduling the training, the reduced lost time off the job, and the more efficient way of managing their training records.

So while I won’t try and say that online training is more effective, I will say it is effective enough for an organization who has a workforce with the skills to use a computer to access a web page, read and listen to the materials and take the test. And for the other people a classroom option is still available. Allan Dubyts, is the CEO of SafeAndCertified.com Inc which uses the TrainingToDo.com online Training Engine to deliver WHMIS Training online. For more information on this or contact him at:

Toll-Free at 1-877-425-5820
Email at info@safeandcertified.com

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