NAHAD has always been a leader in promoting hose safety in the industry. Its Hose Safety Institute Handbook has been used for years as a key resource in educating and on-boarding new staff in hose basics. So, it was no surprise at this year’s NAHAD Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this month that the organization announced it has revamped its Hose Safety Institute (HSI) training options.
First and foremost, the association has taken its paper Handbook and put that content into a digital platform, which allows users to sign on and take courses and assessments online. Called the NAHAD Academy, it makes training more readily available to members.
At the conclusion of the business meeting Molly Alton Mullins, EVP of NAHAD, said, “One element that is very important to everyone in this room is hose safety and the Hose Safety Institute. I want your customers and your end users to ask to work with Hose Safety Institute Members. So, the board and staff has spent a lot of time this past year looking at that program, figuring out how we can enhance it, how to better market it and how to propose more value to your customers.”
Secondly, the new NAHAD Academy offers online training for everything from HR to supply chain to basic office skills. “We want to help train your workforce so they can produce a better bottom line for you,” Mullins said.
And thirdly, NAHAD is also beginning to offer regional hands-on training opportunities, the first being this fall in Cleveland on September 10-11. It will be held onsite at Hose Master’s and Summers Rubber’s facilities. Designed for fabrication and sales personnel, it will include short seminars and hands-on activities where they will see HSI best practices demonstrated from beginning to end.
Online training and assessments
Joanna Truitt, Director of Training and Hose Safety Institute, said the NAHAD Academy has given the organization the opportunity to take the curriculum and content from Hose Safety Institute and actually create a series of online courses to make it more readily available to all NAHAD members.
“We want all of our NAHAD members to be HSI certified. We took that huge handbook of 300+ pages and we divided it into logical course curriculum,” Truitt said. “We actually have now created a program that makes it much easier to learn and retain the information that’s being shared.”
The Hose Safety Institute certification series includes three courses. It starts with hose basics, which covers the first chapters in the handbook and is extremely interactive. It clearly outlines all of the learning objectives and has its own assessment.
In the past, after the hose basics chapters, a member would take a 200-question assessment. “You used to have to study the handbook, then go online and take a 200-question test. We took that test and we said, ‘Alright, we’re going to parse out all the questions based on learning objectives,’ and all of those questions then were incorporated into either the course or the assessment for that particular course,” Truitt said.
“We instituted what I call the 20/80 Rule. 20% of the assessment questions that relate to hose basics actually are built in as knowledge checks in the course itself, and the other 80% are part of the hose basics assessment that you take after you’ve completed the hose basics course.”
Truitt said that the courses are designed to be highly interactive, so the learner is regularly asked to interact with content in one manner or another. “Whether it’s to move a feature from one block to the next, or to identify the anatomy of the hose properly and move a title into the respective spot or to complete an equation, the learner is continually engaged with the content,” Truitt said. “Those knowledge checks and that engagement, as well as that shorter period of time and concentration on specific topics, really should promote learning.”
Each course is designed to be about an hour long. After successfully passing the assessment for hose basics, participants move onto a hose specific course. They include:
- Composite and corrugated metal, a one-course block that’s probably around 60 to 70 minutes.
- Hydraulic and industrial, which is divided into parts 1, 2 and 3. Those courses will take about 3 hours to finish.
- Post-fabrication, which covers the last four chapters of the handbook, and really focuses on testing, cleaning, labeling, shipping, and storage.
Assessments are included in all three of those hose-specific courses. When all three assessments have been successfully completed, then that individual receives a certificate from NAHAD and is HSI certified. This certification is good for three years.
“We are having conversations now with our standards committee. We’re going to have a conversation about creating a continuing education requirement. It really doesn’t make sense for one of our members to continually have to take this course every three years, because this is a primer. This hose basics and the hose safety certification is perfect for onboarding and sales people and fabricators,” Truitt said. “For those that are HSI certified, we really want them to continue their education. We’re actually going to be moving the fabrication guides, which were version 2.0, onto the LMS probably within the next 6 to 8 months.”
The association plans to give a certain number of continuing education hours for attending conferences like the annual meeting or attending a regional training event. In addition, members will earn such credits for attending programs such as Gates University or ContiTech’s STAR Distributor Network program.
“The objective is all about education and continued advancement in their career and learning,” Truitt said.
The next goal will be to continue to add additional content and online programs to the NAHAD Academy, Truitt said. The objective by next year is to create an end-user course for NAHAD/HSI members to share with their customers. This would expand upon the hose basics, focusing on things like STAMPED, post fabrication, visual inspections, crimping, bend radius, testing, cleaning, storing, etc.
“We plan to do this with the idea that if the end users begin to understand what’s important related to hose safety, and we give them the tools to do their own visual inspections, that they’ll really see the value of working with a NAHAD partner,” Truitt said. “Again, they’ll understand that the NAHAD partner has gone that extra step to ensure that their hoses are properly fabricated with safety in mind for the end user.”