Until recently, participating in one of the expert courses offered by Preferred by Nature often involved travelling to locations as far flung as Riga and Bangkok.
Then Covid struck and forced training coordinators to rethink the logistics of Preferred by Nature's expert courses.
“The need for certification expertise is growing steadily. Unfortunately, there are very few specialised quality courses out there, so we had to come up with a solution quickly. Online training was the obvious answer,” said Training Coordinator Olga Polyachenko.
According to Polyachenko, the benefits have proved significant. Course participants and their employers save the costs of travelling, the carbon footprint is reduced, and time is generally spent more efficiently.
“Online training gives more flexibility both to participants and us. Looking to the future, we believe that both options can successfully complement each other,” said Olga Polyachenko.
Preferred by Nature is offering a range of expert courses on leading sustainability standards. Before Covid most of the courses were exclusively classroom-based. Today, however, many courses such as FSCTM Expert Training, Controlled Wood Expert and LegalSourceTM Expert are also taught online.
“At first, some participants and trainers were questioning whether it was possible to maintain the high quality of the courses online. After all, direct interaction in a classroom setting has advantages and some participants may respond better to this. However, while putting more responsibility on the participants to prepare and study course material before the live sessions, online teaching is more time efficient without compromising the quality,“ said Olga Polyachenko.
Preferred by Nature’s global team of technical experts has spent time under lockdown adapting course material to a virtual environment, cutting down long Power Point presentations to more dynamic content and creating new videos, which can be used for independent study.
“Participants have different reasons to join our expert courses. While some train to become auditors or to upgrade their knowledge of specific standards, many work for companies preparing to get certified and want an in-depth understanding of the standard and its requirements for certification. We have designed the courses to suit both groups,“ said Olga Polyachenko.
Managing your footprint
Preferred by Nature is currently experiencing an increased interest in Carbon Footprint Management (CMF) and a new course to meet the demand for CMF auditors is on the drawing table, says Olga Polyachenko:
“We are all becoming a lot more conscious of our carbon footprint. The new course will be designed to train experts in our CFM Standard, which is offering companies and institutions a strong framework to manage your footprint and contribute to global carbon reduction targets,” said Olga Polyachenko.
Needless to say, the CFM course will also be offered online.