Pest management label training is about to become more convenient, interactive and fun! For decades, trade publications, manufacturer websites, and educational programs sponsored by distributors have been the go-to resources for keeping up with new product introductions, label changes and treatment protocols, and they will continue to play a pivotal role. But now, PCT is introducing an exciting new digital dimension that puts product knowledge and label training as close as your mobile device or PC.
“We recognize that time is a precious commodity for PMPs, and that it’s increasingly difficult to schedule all the educational programs required to keep technicians up to date on the latest label changes, treatment protocols and other technical developments so critical to the success of pest control companies,” says PCT Publisher Dan Moreland. “The PCT Distance Learning Center featuring our state-of-the-art label training empowers users to decide the time and place of their training, and to pace themselves according to specific product and information needs.”
The Distance Learning Center provides interactive online label training courses designed by Board Certified Entomologist and consultant Stoy Hedges to challenge users’ knowledge, experience and problem-solving skills for a wide range of products and pest problems. Use of photographs, video clips and reference materials further enhance the learning experience.
“Our goal is to deliver a different kind of learning experience — an interactive experience,” explains Hedges, who is working closely with leading manufacturers to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the label training courses. “The user is asked to answer questions related to the included reference materials augmented by use of photographs and video clips. Instead of reading pages of text or listening to narration before answering questions, the user has the benefit of searching for the needed information in the reference materials to decide on the correct answer or answers. The format can be completed alone or as part of an instructor-led class, if desired.”
How the Courses Work. Accessible by PC, tablet or smartphone, Distance Learning Center training will be presented in modules designed to take a half-hour to an hour to complete. Their brevity gives individuals the opportunity to fit this education in whenever their schedules allow — even during breaks or lunchtime. And if a user needs to stop while taking a course, no problem: He or she can close the program and pick up at the point left off later.
At the end of each module or course, users will be asked 10 to 20 content-related questions. Correct answers will then be revealed, along with explanations and additional information and insights, where appropriate. The user will be given the opportunity to review any incorrect answers; however, scoring (pass or fail) will be based on first responses.
“The successful collaboration of PCT and Stoy Hedges has resulted in yet another home run with the development of a series of online, interactive courses that address both technical and regulatory aspects of pest diagnostics and management,” observed Dr. Gerald Wegner, a respected urban entomologist with more than three decades of industry experience. “The content is practical for all pest management practitioners. The question-answer format, allowing easy access to printed and visual resources, makes for an excellent learning experience. The process of establishing a user account, logging on, working through well-illustrated courses and accessing certificates of successful completion flowed smoothly from start to finish.”
“As one who has been in the pest management industry for over 30+ years, the need for quality, accessible training is a must,” added Fred Strickland, a Board Certified Entomologist and former vice president of service for Terminix International. “The PCT Distance Learning Center courses and website fulfill that need. It is fresh, current and tests your knowledge while providing a user-friendly experience. The quote from the Greek poet and warrior Archilochus in 650 B.C. brings to mind how important training is. ‘We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.’ The PCT Distance Learning Center opens the door and will enable you to grow and rise above to a new level of pest management knowledge.”
THE LABEL IS THE LAW.
The centerpiece of the PCT Distance Learning Center, now accessible at http://training.pctonline.com
, focuses on label training, an area where knowledge is critical yet specific product training is lacking. “We all know that the label is the law,” says Hedges, “so to us, this was the logical place to start.” (See related article below for a complete listing of the specific products featured in the PCT Distance Learning label training program.)
Each label course is designed around reading and interpreting a specific pesticide product label, covering all aspects of the label — from trade name, target pests, hazards and first aid to areas for treatment and directions for use. As the user takes the course, he or she will be required to identify pests or treatment sites by photograph and determine whether such pests or sites are included on the label and/or interpret how that product may be used to treat the pest according to label directions.
“This is a positive and innovative learning opportunity and offers a different style of label training from what already exists in the marketplace,” said Norman Goldenberg, president of Namron Business Associates, an industry consulting firm based in Miami, Fla. “When studying the slides and answering the questions, it is beneficial that the program allows you to go back-and-forth between the questions and the label or other content. If a wrong answer is selected the program provides the correct answer and an explanation of that correct answer,” providing an enhanced learning experience.
“We are committed to providing business leaders, managers and technicians with the informational resources they need to build lasting relationships with their customers and continue raising the profile of the pest management industry,” says GIE Media Founder and Chairman Richard Foster. “By taking industry education to a digital platform and engaging Stoy’s talents as well as the expertise of our manufacturer partners, we hope to make the label training process easier and more enjoyable across the board.”
Training is divided into sections with three to seven related questions, and upon selecting the correct answer(s), an explanation of the correct answer is provided, sometimes with a tip on where the pest professional can find the answer in the reference materials. These explanations help to improve the user’s understanding of the topic materials.
This is a free service available to all pest management professionals. Additional labels will be added on a regular basis.
The author, Donna DeFranco, is a frequent editorial contributor to PCT magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lesson 1: The Label Is the Law
The PCT Distance Learning Center initiative focuses on reading and interpreting product labels. Initial courses offered include:
Kills Bed Bugs Plus
Bait Block Rodenticide
PT Alpine Flea & Bed Bug Pressurized Insecticide
Avert DF Dry Flowable Cockroach Bait
Alpine WSG Water Soluble Granule Insecticide
PT Cy-Kick Pressurized Insecticide
PT Alpine Pressurized Fly Bait
Maxforce Impact Roach Gel Bait
Temprid SC Insecticide (two modules)
Suspend PolyZone Insecticide (in progress)
Maxforce Complete Insect Bait
Maxforce Quantum Ant Bait
Premise 75 (in progress)
NUVAN Directed Spray
WISDOM TC Flowable (in progress)
FirstStrike Soft Bait
NyGuard IGR Concentrate (in progress)
Onslaught FastCap Spider & Scorpion Insecticide (two modules)
EcoVia EC Emulsifiable Concentrate (two modules)
ActiveGuard Mattress Liners
EcoRaider Insect Killer
Manufacturers, if you’re interested in having your products featured in the PCT Distance Learning Center label training program, contact Michael Kelly (757/233-4100) or Mike Zaverl (216/393-0299).