Print full article

The Middlesex-London Health Unit puts aquatic facility training program into action

Customized on-site training pilot

Table 1: Training program activities

Activity Reason or importance Materials/resources
Focus on top non-compliance issues Increases the relevance of the training by aligning it with issues operators may be experiencing. Non-compliance data from the previous year is analyzed to provide the current year’s ‘theme.’
Job-specific and hands-on training (the ‘how’) Turning theory into practice so operators can develop the skills in a supportive environment. Demonstrations are provided and participants have an opportunity to try it themselves (e.g. chemistry tests and record-keeping).
The ‘why’ and importance of compliance Provides an excellent opportunity to have a conversation about the consequences of not being in compliance. The rationales behind the regulatory requirements/industry best practices have been incorporated into training and print material.
Active recruitment of staff from each employee level It is important for staff at all levels of employment to understand and receive training with respect to responsibilities and what is required for safe and sanitary facility operation. The MLHU has enhanced how training dates are made available (e.g. e-mailing/mailing invitations to operators, owners, lifeguards, and property managers; website and social media).
Delivered using a combination of learning methods (e.g. interactive) A combination of learning methods is beneficial. Lecture-style training has been enhanced by incorporating questions, interactive case studies, hands-on activities, and supplemental materials (e.g. record book, a resource sheet, copies of regulations, etc.).
Timing and location It is important to find a time and location that will increase training accessibility.

Feedback indicated parking at the MLHU’s main facility may not make it an appropriate location for the training.

A majority of the sessions are now offered in the spring to accommodate seasonal pools/spas.

In addition to the MLHU’s main facility, training is now also offered at other locations to improve attendance and accessibility.

The MLHU has also added a customized on-site component to the training program to address facilities that have new operators or those which struggle frequently to remain in compliance. This involves a one- to two-hour visit with the operators and staff of the facility on-site, to go over specific regulatory issues. It has also been observed that attending a training session is beneficial and ensures operators are better prepared about site and regulatory specific questions or issues related to their facilities.

What is yet to come?

The MLHU is committed to continuous quality improvement, and the Public Pool & Spa Operators Regulatory Training Program is no exception. The intention is to continually enhance the way the program is delivered to best meet the needs and learning styles of the operators, while improving the health outcomes of those who use their facilities. The following activities are to be completed in the near future:
1. Provide the most up-to-date regulatory information and incorporate adult learning principles into print material.
a) Redesign and reformat the MLHU’s existing Public Pool & Spa Operator Training Guide.
i. To enhance the delivery of written material using evidence-informed strategies and operator feedback. To be developed after updated legislation is enacted.

2. Assess the effectiveness of the enhanced facility operator training program.
i. Design and engage in a post-training survey, to determine whether training led to increased knowledge of the relevant legislative components.
b) Undergo a pre- and post-comparison assessment of compliance items.
i. To determine whether the training improved compliance of pool and spa premises.
3. Readjust the training program to meet future needs.
a) To enhance the training program and meet operator needs.

Leave a Comment

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *