Every Working at Heights participant must show they can correctly put on and take off equipment and maintain 100 per cent tie-off. Participants must demonstrate these necessary skills in module two of the course. If a participant cannot demonstrate these skills, the instructor must not sign-off the participant’s evaluation.
However, it is absolutely not our goal to fail participants. Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is dedicated to ensuring our training participants gain all important skills and knowledge required to work safely at heights. So, during the practical demonstration, if a participant isn’t getting it right, the WHSC instructor may need to switch from evaluating the participant to coaching, which continues the hands-on learning.
An instructor should coach a participant through the demonstration as many times as necessary until the skill is learned. However, then the participant must be able to demonstrate the required skill without coaching. So, while coaching through a demonstration is encouraged as many times as necessary, to meet the learning objective the participant must complete the demonstration at least once without any coaching.
Only when the participant has completed the demonstration without coaching can the instructor evaluate his or her abilities. And only when the instructor evaluates that the demonstration has been done correctly—without coaching—can the instructor sign-off the participant’s evaluation form.
Making the distinction between coaching and evaluating is critically important. WHSC instructors need to coach, but they must also evaluate to ensure, after all the coaching is done, the participant can demonstrate the required skills. Only by evaluating can we be sure the participant has learned the necessary skill.
WHSC needs all our instructors to be effective coaches and
evaluators—and fully understand the critical difference between these tasks. After all, as we are all keenly aware, lives and livelihoods may very well depend on quality training.