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Worst Course Ever - PA1

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling Crops & Agronomy' started by jd24, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. jd24

    jd24 Member

    Today i have had the delight of parting with £234 of my money for a PA1 course. I was keen to learn everything i needed to know ie the law, how you should store certain chemicals etc and other things i dont know about.
    Myself and the other participents have been totally ripped off. 09:15 The instructor spent 2 hours talking about the company being shut down soon then we had a break for 15mins.
    11:30 We started looking at a roundup label. Within 10-15 mins the lunch arrived which was a few hard oven chips and fish finger sandwiches. Lunch break begins....
    13:00 we continue looking at a roundup label........
    15:00 finally finished reading the label.
    15:00-16:30 A precession of stories from the instructor mostly unrelated to pesticides. Then finally just about squeezed in a little worksheet basically repeating what was on the label.

    PA1 knowledge gained read the label....
    He gave us some decent handouts but I would have more understanding if i collected the hangouts in the morning and went home and read then for 30mins.

    With the assessment next we i have no more knowledge then when i woke up this morning. Possibly the most pointless day of my life and I had to pay £234 for it.

    (Ps the guy doing the course was a nice chap but the content was shocking)
    7610 super q and JCMaloney like this.
  2. Flat 10

    Flat 10 Member

    Fen Edge
    That is often been my experience with courses, though not that bad. Why can't you buy the textbook teach yourself and rock up for a test a la driving theory or similar?
    Courier likes this.
  3. jd24

    jd24 Member

    Yeah thats what i wanted to do. I would have learnt loads more if i spent a day reading on my own...
    Flat 10 likes this.
  4. Flat 10

    Flat 10 Member

    Fen Edge
    But in most cases its just not possible. They won't tell you the syllabus:mad:
  5. Kidds

    Kidds Member

    Just more parasites living off our backs
  6. JimAndy

    JimAndy Member

    I did my PA1 at a department of argi collage as i though they be the best for teaching,as well it a teaching collage.
    paid just over £200, it was to run on a friday from 8.30am to 5.30 pm including testing
    arrived at 8 to get checked in and find the class room
    by 8.30 about 15 of us were there, at 9 the instructor showed up, took a roll cal said there meant to be 25 people and he give them a bit longer ( to be fair there had been a big storm and a lot of trees were down )
    by 10.30 he started the coarse by give us a time table of the day which was going to be study to 12.30, dinner to 1.30 , study to 3.30 then the exam at 3.30 (not 4.30) i thought mmm to can tell it a Friday and these guy work for the dept as they want home.
    come back after dinner were we told the exam is now 2.30 (well it is friday)
    come 2 he says we going to the computer lab to start the online city and guilds exam
    and then spends 15 mins at the start of the computer lab explains how to us a computer, and truthfully by the time he had explained the computers, i had the exam done , was marked straight away and got a 92, and the sad thing was i wasn't the first finished
    went for a coffee and talked to a few of the guys that had finished, we all had over 90% grade and that it was basically common sense with the hardest bit being reading a label and what it means, and that it was a waste of £200, but the law says we need it
  7. jd24

    jd24 Member

    Yeah its a total joke. I have worked in construction for 11 years and there is the CSCS test you have to pass to go onto any major site.
    The test has a book(about £15) you can buy and has a load of sample questions. You read this and go to a test centre for about £30. 10 mins and you are done. Not £234 plus a day wasted. Plus i had to go back and take the test on a different day which i got 100% but as you have pointed out its mostly common sense.

    After doing the joke course i found you can download the code of practice which is all you need to know....ahhh
  8. JWL

    JWL Member

    Go on then, who has done the Sheep Dip course and test? When I did it a number of years ago it was in a classroom at the local Ag College, we spent all morning going through the handbook then in the afternoon we answered questions using said handbook. The best of it was, half the handbook was in Welsh so we only had to read half the booklet :banghead:
  9. Clive

    Clive Staff Member


    It’s all about preparing you for paying to join NROSO so you can pay to keep Red Tractor happy and paying to do the CPD courses so you can continue to use the pa1 that you have just paid to acquire !

    This has all become much more about paying for stuff than any other reason
  10. Wheatonrotty

    Wheatonrotty Member

    And don't forget your PA1 is just the gateway into paying more for the other PA courses that are split down into more and more subsections to keep relieving you of cash. As clearly if you are capable of safely using a 4000 litre field sprayer you're not going to be safe with a 15 litre knapsack.
  11. jd24

    jd24 Member

    I know i asked if i could do both the knapsack and boom at the same time and i cant. A day each 295+vat each. Im all for people knowing what they are doing but there should be a dual course for both in a day. Its not that hard.

    Whats makes me laugh is the pa2 course is done on a quad with what looks like a 50 litre tank...then i can jump in my tractor with 4000 litres and apparently im trained....
    ollie989898 likes this.
  12. Kidds

    Kidds Member

    It's not just agriculture, if you want to drive a HGV you have to have CPC training and keep it renewed.
    All you have to do is pay the money and turn up. No exam, no real training in my experience, no need to be sober, awake, speak the language .........
    Complete and utter (expensive) bollox.
    This whole training industry is a massive scam. Besides anything else how can you possibly justify a room full of people being charged £300 a day each for such rubbish?
  13. There is no way that the PA1 course needs to be a full day.

    The others I have done (6,9,12) have been interesting and informative.

    Having said that, the only way to fail a PA module is to fall out with the instructor or be dangerous, both of which you would only do if you wanted to fail.
  14. nuffield1060

    nuffield1060 Member

    All these courses seem to be the same, if you get the answers wrong they'll baby you through it, perhaps because you're paying so much for the course? Seems we are all in the wrong business and should be teaching groups of people how to read the labels on spray bottles or drive telehandlers in an extremely inefficient manner at £100/hr. Considerably greater profit than clearing snow at £100/hr!!
    Flat 10 likes this.
  15. johnb5555

    johnb5555 Member

    Co Durham
    I have been on a course where someone was failed. Though the examiner was being examined at the time so not much leeway.
  16. JWL

    JWL Member

    Makes a mockery of when I used to do all the in house training of at least 20 new workers every year for a fence panel distribution company on both rough terrain forklifts and normal 3.5 tonne yard trucks all for a normal basic wage :banghead:
    ollie989898 and nuffield1060 like this.
  17. If 95% plus of students are passing the test, does that not devalue the whole process and invalidate the reasons behind having an exam in the first place?

    Image the idiots that would be on the road if 97% of people passed a driving test first time?
  18. Courier

    Courier Member

    I once heard of an oldish very experienced guy being failed coz he never learned to read and let his boss measure out the chemical into a big trailed sprayer on a ring fenced farm before going back to the field. Had to be made redundant.
  19. nuffield1060

    nuffield1060 Member

    Agreed, it does devalue the test. But then the driving test does bear some similarities - many students are simply taught to pass the test and not actually taught to drive
  20. Very true.

    The first instructor I passed with said "now you've passed your test, you can go out and learn to drive".

    It really took the jam out of my doughnut at the time, but I soon understood what she'd meant.

    The first time pass rate is 21% (according to google) which means the standard of drivers should actually be quite good, until people get complacent and rusty.
    ollie989898 and nuffield1060 like this.

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