Fish Quality Assessment programme blends remote and in person (face to face) delivery
In late 2021, Anthony Horan, Senior Port Health Inspector with Hull & Goole Port Health Authority contacted our Onshore Training team about fish quality assessment training. At the time, it had been nearly two years since any of our training programmes had been delivered in person due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of our learners now attending our training courses remotely using a laptop or studying via an online eLearning programme.
Initially, we offered Anthony and his colleagues our half-day remotely delivered Principles of Fish Quality Assessment training course. This was seen by Anthony as only part of the training solution. He wanted to have the opportunity to learn more about assessing the quality of fish by touching and smelling it, and also felt this would be beneficial to his colleagues. This new knowledge would assist them when checking fish imported into the UK.
As we said goodbye to 2021 and welcomed 2022, we started to witness the easing of lockdown restrictions. In late January 2022, Lee Cooper, our National Learning and Standards Manager and I held a remote meeting with Anthony. We agreed that we’d start to plan the delivery of our Intermediate Fish Quality Assessment training course. This consists of our theory-based Principles of Fish Quality Assessment training programme along with at least one, but usually two, full days of practical assessment.
Fast forward to the end of March 2022 and the planning was in full flow. Lee, along with Seafish approved trainer, Paul Neve conducted a site visit with Anthony at a newly built facility in Killingholme, North Lincolnshire. This was where the two days of practical training would occur. Due to the number of learners, it was decided that two courses would be delivered in May 2022.
There is a lot to organise for the delivery of an Intermediate Fish Quality Assessment training course, from coordinating the personal protective equipment to ordering the fish. However, the time and effort put into arranging the two courses, including the site visit, paid dividends in terms of the delivery.
The first day of each training course was delivered by another Seafish approved trainer, Adrian Barratt, via Zoom. This was the theory-based element where the learners expanded their knowledge about the Torry and QIM fish quality assessment schemes. Then on the second and third days, Paul delivered the practical, in person sessions, where the learners were able to assess the eyes, gills, skin and flesh of whole raw fish. This was followed by the tasting of cooked Cod and Plaice samples. Following the three days of delivery, each learner was able to test their knowledge by completing a 90 minute online ‘open book’ test.
The training went well. The content of the courses was aimed just right with the knowledge the team already had. They all commended Paul on his knowledge and thought that the practical part of the course was very good. Adrian was also praised for the theory section that he delivered.