It's no secret TCEQ-approved, on-demand training courses are increasingly sought after. In fact, they're becoming highly sought after because of the flexibility they offer water and wastewater employees, both in their initial licensing and continuing education endeavors. The increased value and benefits of on-demand learning have forced employees of many civic entities and private utilities to re-think traditional continuing education models.
As on-demand offerings increase, it can be difficult to understand the difference between one course offered by an organization and another brand offering training by the same name—something all-too-common when a regulator rigidly enforces naming conventions.
That's where we step in to analyze with our resources and know-how because we want to help you keep pace with the changing world of on-demand training.
With that said, let's get down to understanding the best 5 traits of highly sought TCEQ training.
The TCEQ offers a great service by screening would-be instructors. The occupational licensing division not only certifies licensees and the training they undertake but also certifies those who wish to teach continuing education courses (on-demand, instructor-led, etc.) to licensees. However, there are two big problems rarely talked about:
Industry subject matter expertise doesn't equal instructional design expertise.
Passing the required TCEQ instructor certification course won't produce excellent learning content.
At the Intersection
A great doctor might not have the best bedside manner. A great artist might have poor social skills. And even a great politician who can schmooze crowds effortlessly might have a horrible personal character that comes back to bite them.
The point is this: knowledge and skill at a job don't necessarily translate to skillfully helping others connect with what subject matter experts do, create, or the services they perform.
In the case of TCEQ-approved, on-demand training, it's far too common for subject matter experts to be successful at their non-teaching jobs (e.g., satisfying customers, protecting infrastructure, managing crisis response, etc.) all the while struggling to translate their knowledge into relevant content aligned with adult learning principles, industry-leading instructional design techniques, and a learning strategy designed to increase engagement and access to training. Water and wastewater employees derive real benefits from their training when they can connect their knowledge to their jobs in a way that increases their productivity and enhances that of their company.
To avoid pitfalls created by the big problems above, here's what you need to look for in a TCEQ-approved, on-demand training company.
The TCEQ certifies individuals within the water and wastewater industry to teach content relevant to their personal experience and the number of years spent in their specific job. In short, any TCEQ-approved, on-demand training provider listed on the TCEQ-Approved Online Training Courses for TCEQ Occupational Licenses site is a trusted training partner that can deliver online training to learners requiring TCEQ continuing education units (CEUs). If this weren't the case, they wouldn't be listed—it's that simple.
At H2Online Training®, most of our web traffic comes from Google searches, not the TCEQ website. It would appear many water and wastewater employees don't know the TCEQ offers a comprehensive guide of approved on-demand training providers. When in doubt, search the TCEQ database or partner with a well-known provider like H2Online Training.
Instructional Design Expertise
This is where the water can get a bit muddy, so focus up and get some top-tier knowledge!
Just like before, a TCEQ-approved, on-demand training provider must be certified to teach content based on their personal experience and the number of years spent in their specific job. Yet, this has nothing to do with their years of experience implementing instructional design (i.e., teaching). Apart from the industry expertise requirement, the only additional criterion for becoming an on-demand training provider is to pass the TCEQ teacher certification program.
So, we're right back where we started. The doctor, the artist, and the politician—all experts without the ability to skillfully connect people to what they do. In the case of an industry expert who's a certified TCEQ instructor, this can diminish your overall experience and potentially lower your chances of success.
Industry expertise isn't the same as competence at instructional design. If the TCEQ was an educational entity, it'd be the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and it isn't. H2Online Training® has a combined 10 years of real-world instructional design/teaching experience from the off—and that's before you count the 10 years of industry experience and five years of information technology experience that go into every on-demand training course.
TCEQ-approved, on-demand training providers are in the best possible position to provide up-to-date content which benefits water and wastewater employees as well as their organization(s). This comes down to the flexibility of on-demand training. The same technology resources that make it easy for learners to access training also enable providers to edit, update, and publish learning content.
Consider the following:
The TCEQ doesn't require on-demand training products to be updated unless it contains out-of-date information (that they know about).
After an on-demand training product is approved by the TCEQ, it can't be un-approved.
TCEQ-approved online training providers (both on-demand and not on-demand) know customers have to train or they can't work. In other words, they're disincentivized to provide the most up-to-date learning resources.
Partner with a TCEQ-approved, on-demand training provider that updates their training resources regularly with the most relevant information. When on-demand training providers demonstrate this, it shows there's a process for the continuous improvement of their products and a focus on adding value.
It also shows a commitment to:
help learners (and their organization(s)) get the most out of their training by providing relevant information.
increase their productivity as a result of their training.
perform better at their job.
Let's face it: a learning strategy that doesn't aim to entertain (at least a little) along with providing water and wastewater employees the best information possible isn't delivering a product designed to increase engagement. And everyone knows engagement is the golden goodie everyone wants to increase because it helps retention, which makes the training more valuable to employees and organizations alike.
Look for TCEQ-approved, on-demand training providers that:
produce stunning websites with attention to detail and whit.
makes you smirk while reading—it's a good sign their learning content will do the same.
talk directly about their interactivity, quizzes, and learning activities. You know, so you know they're there.
offer a money-back guarantee in case the learning process looks like it'll be a drudge to complete after you get started.
Mobile devices empower TCEQ-approved, on-demand training and place water and wastewater employees in the driver seat. With the ability to access their training in real-time from anywhere, the learner is in charge of their own productivity and chooses their own pace. Truly, it blows traditional, instructor-led options out of the water.
For more on what on-demand training is, check out our post What Is On-Demand Training in 2021?
There's a reason why TCEQ-approved, on-demand training providers tend to offer the same resources and programs: they're in high demand. Water and wastewater employees aren't spoiled for choice in this department. And while additional offerings would appear to be desired, there's a strong tendency toward going with what works.
Examples of high demand training might be:
any kind of TCEQ-approved safety training.
Water Utility Management.
Recognizing these programs in a catalog shows a particular brand understands what water and wastewater employees go for. Starting with the basics is the best way for an organization to focus on serving its customers at the point of what they need. If you see obscure titles that create a sense of confusion, best to walk away.
Highly sought TCEQ training should always be written with authentic expertise, contain current information, possess a degree of entertainment, and be on-demand. High-demand options demonstrate the provider's commitment to offering the basics that most water and wastewater employees will take at some point in their careers. Identifying these five key traits will help keep quality TCEQ continuing education squarely within your sight.