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Important Changes to the Instructor Trainer Apprenticeship Process

Paddle Canada is pleased to announce several major changes to the Instructor Trainer (IT) training process which affect both new and existing IT candidates. If you are considering starting an apprenticeship or already part-way through an apprenticeship, please read carefully as there are major changes that will affect you. All existing ITs also need to aware of the updated process so they can correctly advise their apprentices.

Beginning in early Fall 2016, Paddle Canada undertook an extensive review of the IT apprenticeship process looking for ways to modernize the process and make the overall system more effective. Several potential problems with the existing system were identified included: difficulty for candidates to find apprenticeship opportunities, lack of training consistency between different disciplines, and lack of formal assessment resources for IT mentors.

New Application Process

The first major change to the IT apprenticeship process is the implementation of an online application process. This will ensure that the proper prerequisites have been completed before apprenticeship begins, and will provide necessary statistics to illuminate successes and bottlenecks in the overall process.

Once the application has been received and entered into the database, candidates will be sent a welcome package with information regarding the next steps of the process, access to the mentor of hire list, expectations of the mentor and apprentice, evaluation criteria, etc.

IMPORTANT: This application process is mandatory for both new IT candidates as well as those currently taking part in an existing IT apprenticeship. Just like any instructor course, IT training must be sanctioned before started, and that process starts with the online application. This is a mandatory step and will be strictly enforced.

The registration system is currently under development and we anticipate it to be online with the new Paddle Canada website sometime around the beginning of March. Anybody scheduled to apprentice on a course before it goes live should contact their respective Program Development Committee (PDC) for more information.

Pre-mentorship Training Module

To increase the level of training and resources we also are developing a new online training module for all new and existing IT candidates.

The online training program will allow candidates to work at their own pace from any computer. When the assigned readings and lesson plan development has been completed, the candidate will move to the final stage which is working with mentoring IT(s) to apprentice on the required number of instructor courses.

IMPORTANT: The new training module is a mandatory step that all candidates (including existing) MUST complete before the traditional apprenticeship can start (or continue, in the case of IT candidates partway through the apprenticeship process). It will take time complete it so it’s important to plan well ahead and allow time for this important training stage. We suggest that prospective IT candidates allow approximately 5-6 weeks between application and first mentorship but this can vary greatly depending on the speed of completion of the online training module.

Instructor Trainer and Candidates for Hire Lists

Later this Spring we will be rolling out updated contact lists to help connect candidates with apprenticeship opportunities. Information will shortly be sent to ITs regarding how to get their name added to the IT for hire list.

Instructor Trainer Learning Outcomes & Assessment Benchmarks

The final significant change for 2017 is the clarification of the specific learning outcomes and assessment benchmarks which IT mentors will use during the apprenticeship assessment. Until now there were very few formalized learning outcomes which lead to a wide variety of learning experiences. These changes will enhance the level of learning received by the apprentice, standardize the training of IT apprentices and provide greater guidance for IT mentors.

We are currently putting the final touches on the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Benchmarks and expect to release them at the end of April. Any IT mentor scheduled to do an assessment before that time should contact their PDC for more information.

Updated Training Process

Once the new system is fully online, the general process of how one becomes an instructor trainer will look like this:

  1. Candidate completes the required prerequisites.
  2. Candidate submits an application to start the IT apprenticeship process.
  3. Application is received by the PDC and the candidate is accepted into the training program.
  4. Candidate completes the pre-apprenticeship online training module.
  5. Candidate connects with an instructor trainer(s) and assists on the required number of instructor courses.
  6. The IT mentor(s) debrief their assessment results with the candidate.
  7. If successful, the IT mentor(s) submit a recommendation for instructor trainer certification, on behalf of the candidate, to the Paddle Canada head office.
  8. Certification is awarded to the candidate.

Future Changes

Once these initial changes have been implemented, the Program Coordination Committee will develop additional resources and policy adjustments for the next phase of changes which we hope to have in place for January, 2018. The proposed changes include a streamlined method of transferring existing IT certification between paddling disciplines, and an intermediate level training module for those existing IT’s seeking to achieve a higher certification status.

As we get closer to the unveiling of the online application and new training module, we will send out more information. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any Program Development Committee chair.