24 trail builders attend DIRTT train-the-trainer event
4 February 2022
The train-the-trainer week in Portugal marked an important milestone of the DIRTT project. A group of 24 trail builders from 9 different European countries gathered in Agueda to improve their competencies as trainer / tutor in the field of trail building and maintenance. Collectively, the group represents many years of experience as (professional) trail builders for a number of renowned companies and organizations. The role of trainer was still relatively new for many participants and becoming a better communicator and trainer was an important component of the program.
There were many questions we asked ourselves in the development of this project -how do people learn; what is the most effective means of giving back feedback; how do I create a training plan with concrete goals and secure a safe learning environment? In addition to many interactive methods and exercises, the last two days were mainly spent outside in the field, where the different participants taught each other various trail building techniques in small groups. It was also the first time for the group to take note of the various training tools (1.0) developed by the DIRTT project team. The training toolkit delivered at the end of the project enables trainers to develop a highly customized training or full education program.
Whether this concerns a training offer for volunteers or professional training as a trail builder or manager the various project partners will work on a offer that matches the needs of the sector in their country. Project leader Fagskolen Viken will in any case offer a level 5 (EQF) trail planning, construction and mainteance program, starting by the end of August 2022, which will be equivalent to 30 ECTS. It concerns a part-time trajectory of one college year where a part of the practical training will take place in Portugal. The municipality of Agueda provides year round opportunities for trail building and maintenance training, adding value to Fagskolen Viken in Geilo where the winter season can be pretty long. More information can be found here.
The trail builders who took part in the train-the-trainer event in Portugal will conduct test trainings in the coming months in which the skills learned as well as the different building blocks of the educational framework will be tested and evaluated in practice.
The project consortium is now working on a follow-up project. DIRTT 1.0 was such a large project that led to many new questions and development goals. A possible DIRTT 2.0 will also focus more on the issue of certification, something that is clearly needed according to previous market research among trail building companies.