Do you know how your training certifications work? Make sure you understand if your certifications follow you or if they stay with the company that gave them to you. For one is a climbing certification. When I got trained to be an instructor, it stayed with the company that gave me the training, read Comtrain’s policy here. The thought was whomever you teach for should be the certified company. Make sure you know that. Now the exception was OSHA and CPR training. When I took my 10 hour, 30 hour, First Aid, and CPR training it would travel with me but it would expire. You need to understand your certification and your customer requirements. Some customers don’t care about certifications and for some it’s a requirement. The world is waking up to the need for training and experience. However, you want to be sure you wake up to protecting yourself.
Most people get the certifications because they are eager to get to work. You need to know this if you hop companies or if you get laid off. You don’t want to be in a bad situation where you may be required to show your certifications and the customer will realize that you were with another company and it won’t carry over. You need to take responsibility for you, your employer may or may not be looking out for you. In a perfect world they will be because they should care about you but not everyone thinks that way.
So do me a favor, make a list of your certifications, make a copy of all your certifications, and research them to see if they follow the individual, (you!), or if they stay with the employer, (your boss or company). Be smart when it comes to protecting yourself from any unnecessary liability. You need to look after you! I know this is a pain in the but, I think it is worth it in the end.
So how do you know if they will follow you, well, follow these steps. Get on their website and see if you can find it, or call them. If you are taking the class then ask the instructor, they should know. Understand whether the certification is yours outside of your place of employment. It’s a simple question and once you ask then you know.
Do you understand that training is something that you should track, update, and respect? I know most people want to start out and get to work but it really helps to get all the training you can as well. Experience is golden, training is the icing on the cake, which is required in this job. You may be learning a shortcut that in training you will learn is a bad thing. If you need help tracking your training and certifications, it let me know, I can come up with a way for you to track it. A simple spreadsheet or word document or update LinkedIn so it’s online. Keep record of what you have done.
When you get these certifications you will learn about things that don’t pertain to your business, don’t complain, just keep an open mind and learn what you can. It may be useful in the future. OSHA 30 hour is something where you learn about the construction industry, things that you don’t think will ever apply to you, but they make good conversation when talking to the construction guys that may be building a shelter on your tower site. Just learn what you can and apply what you can. The rest is an added bonus. I know too many guys that just would grumble about learning something unrelated, look at it as expanding your knowledge base. You never know when you may need that information.
One more thing, it pays to keep up to date as long as you are working that job. Since I am not actively climbing I have gotten behind on the processes and procedure. I am learning all over again and things are getting better and more refined and new products are coming out that help the field workers. Innovation is all around us.
So be safe and don’t be stupid, remember your loved ones are counting on you to return!