Instructor Development

Instructor Costs


Michael Warren

July 21, 2022

July 21, 2022

If you’ve read the Iron Blog for any length of time “you know that we are huge, huge fans of public safety trainers. Being public safety trainers ourselves, when we get the chance to interact with other motivated, qualified, and professional trainers it gets us going. Truly, some of the finest people in all of public safety are those that are public safety trainers. We love you guys!

But let’s talk if we can about some issues when it comes to costs associated with instructors. As has been mentioned before everything comes with the cost. We just need to spend wisely.

The first cost that we will address here is the cost of keeping our instructors up-to-date. It bears repeating, some of the most undertrained individuals in our public safety agencies are the trainers themselves. And that’s because whenever training is happening, they’re usually in the front of the room. Very rarely are they ever seated in the seat of the student. Very rarely are they sent to outside training to ensure that they are delivering the material that is most up-to-date. And I get the fact that there’s an organizational responsibility to train our instructors, that there’s an organizational cost with that. And we’ve addressed that in a different blog.

But what are you, the instructor, doing to keep yourself at the forefront? What are you doing to improve your skills? Your knowledge? What investment are you making?

Furthermore, what are you doing to broaden your expertise base? We often have this belief that in order to prove improve our skills as a public safety trainer that we need to go to public safety classes. And that just isn’t the case. There have been numerous studies that have shown that a work group that is diverse – not just a verse in ethnicity, race, gender, but diverse in knowledge, specialty, and passion – that these groups have a broader scope, a broader base and better decisions are made because of this diversity. You going out and getting training in other topics, and other disciplines, or going back to school simply helps make you more diverse. And a more diverse you produces better material, with better delivery, and produces better results for your students. And you know if you’ve attended our classes or if you’ve been reading here the training is always about the student. Or at least it should be.

How about this cost? How about the instructor cost that comes along with failing to hold those that have been entrusted to us accountable for their actions? And the accountability that I’m referring to here is accountability for their actions in the training environment. Ensuring that people are listening, ensuring the people are engaging. Ensuring that people are participating. Ensuring that they are doing what needs to be done in order to become masters of the topic that we’re teaching. Because if we fail to hold our students accountable then all we’re doing is delivering training that is designed to protect us. And that simply isn’t good enough.

With instructors who fail to pay the cost or have organizations who fail to pay the cost there’s still a price to be paid. Sometimes that bill is paid by our students because they simply aren’t prepared to handle things that we should be preparing them to handle. Sometimes that bill is paid by the organization. Because the organization is held civilly liable for the poor quality of the training that you have developed and/or delivered or have failed to deliver at all. And sometimes that bill is paid by the profession. The bill is paid by our brothers and sisters who are negatively impacted by the actions or inactions of your people. And I know that sounds abstract. But it’s true. Sometimes the profession pays the price.

All of these costs are too high. And except for the cost that is paid to ensure that our instructors are all that they should be, those costs may be high. I get it. But those costs are still reasonable. They are prudent. And they are ethically required from the organization and the instructor. Pay the bill, your people deserve it.