Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: May 18, 2021
Please review the Temporary PSA Grower Training Course Policy Update prior to reading the following FAQs.
- Is the remote training delivery policy permanent?
No, the policy is temporary to address the need for growers to access the course during the COVID-19 outbreak. The policy will be in effect until March 30, 2022, and may be extended, pending guidance from CDC and public health officials.
- I had/have an in-person course registered with AFDO and I have decided to cancel it. I now want to deliver the course remotely. What should I do?
If you had a previously registered in-person PSA Grower Training course and plan to deliver it remotely, please cancel the original in-person course by contacting AFDO (firstname.lastname@example.org). Use the PSA Grower Training course registration form to request a new course and select ‘I would like to register a new course for remote delivery’.
Important Note: Originally, the PSA was going to allow trainers to switch an already registered in-person course to a remote course. We are now asking all trainers that previously scheduled in-person courses that need to be delivered remotely to cancel the in-person course and register a new course for remote delivery.
- How do I register a NEW remote course?
Visit the PSA Grower Training course registration form. Select the second option ‘I would like to register a new course for remote delivery.’ Complete the form and select ‘Submit’. AFDO will be in contact with you with your course approval, attendance documents, evaluations, and additional instructions.
- Can two Lead Trainers share the responsibilities for a single remote PSA Grower Training?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of PSA Lead Trainers or PSA Trainers involved in the delivery, but at least one PSA Lead Trainer must be present through the entire course. A best practice would be to have all instructors attend the entire course. This helps with the continuity of the training and the ability to answer questions in context of the discussions that occur throughout the training.
- Can I host a remote PSA Grower Training over multiple days?
Yes, remote deliveries of the PSA Grower Training can occur over multiple days. In order for participants to be eligible for the PSA/AFDO Certificates of Course Completion, attendance must be confirmed for each module by the course monitor. This requirement is the same for all PSA remote trainings, whether they are delivered in one day or over multiple days.
- Can I deliver the training by pre-recorded presentation using web technology (i.e., asynchronous presentation)?
No. Presentations for a remote PSA Grower Training must be delivered live. The course must have at least one PSA Lead Trainer and course monitor present to engage with participants throughout the course and confirm attendance. This allows participants to ask questions as needed during the presentation and have those questions answered.
- Do all participants in a remote course need to be in the same geographical region?
No. Participants can be based in any location as long as everybody speaks the same language that is being used to deliver the training, have a copy of the manual in a language they understand, have access to the required technology, and are able to use it properly. Start and end times should be clearly communicated, especially if participants are located in different time zones. A best practice would be to have all participants in the same time zone to avoid confusion and delays during the training.
- How many participants can I have in a remote delivery PSA Grower Training?
A 30 participant maximum for Remote PSA Grower Trainings will be enforced (effective October 16, 2020). Feedback from evaluations indicates that smaller courses result in better learning outcomes, especially for courses hosted remotely using technology such as Zoom or Go-to-Meeting. This policy does not affect in-person courses.
- Is there a required student to instructor ratio for remote PSA Grower Trainings?
No. However, it is required that at least one PSA Lead Trainer must be present for the entire course. In addition, the course must have an appointed monitor to track attendance and engagement. It is strongly recommended that multiple PSA Trainers and/or Lead Trainers are involved in delivering the remote course to engage with participants through the chat box, polling, and other web-based features. At least one individual (can be PSA Trainer, Lead Trainer, or administrative help) must be familiar with the web technology to ensure the course runs smoothly and that all participants and trainers can see and hear the presentations.
- If there was an in-class course monitor but trainers were remote, could the monitor confirm whether all participants were present?
Yes. However, meeting in-person is discouraged due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing is recommended. Trainers must still have visual confirmation of course participants through the online platform and have two-way communication to facilitate discussions.
- Can more than one course attendee share one computer and audio/visual equipment?
Yes, though social distancing is recommended. Each course participant must have their own printed manual even if they are sitting at the same computer for the presentations. Their video must be able to capture all participants at the location so the course monitor can verify their participation. Each course attendee should fill out the evaluation separately, even if they are participating in the course from the same location.
- Do I have to have visual confirmation of participants at all times during the course?
All participants must have the ability to use the audio and video features during the training. The PSA recognizes that having the video functionality may present bandwidth challenges, and therefore PSA Lead Trainers, PSA Trainers, and the course monitor may choose one of the alternative approaches listed below to ensure participants are present and engaged during all modules.
- Video checks at beginning, middle, and end of modules to ensure all participants are present and engaged. If individuals are missing during these video checks, they should not be eligible for a certificate.
- Use of non-verbal feedback functionalities built into the web interface, if available. For example, trainers can ask a question that requires each participant to answer with yes or no. This technology must be able to identify individual participants so the course monitor can ensure all participants are present.
- If a participant has technical issues or cannot attend the entire training, can I “catch them up” or have them attend those modules in a different course I am teaching?
- If participants have technical difficulty or internet connectivity issues that impact the quality of the training delivery for two or more modules, they will not be eligible for the PSA/AFDO Certificate of Course Completion and should be directed to attend another course in full. Participants will not be eligible for the certificate if they only attend the modules they missed/experienced technical difficulties during another course. The same applies if a participant is not engaged in the course or does not return to the web-platform after breaks.
- The Lead Trainer may use discretion as to whether they are willing to “catch up” a participant who has an extenuating circumstance which prohibits them from attending the entire course. One option is to have a one-on-one catch-up session after the course concludes.
- How do I order manuals for my remote PSA Grower Training?
NOTE: Trainers should not tell participants to order their own books from the bookstore since there is no way for the bookstore to know what course these participants belong to or to ensure they get the manual before the course begins.
- Trainers may order bulk manuals through the bookstore using the standard bookstore order form, then ship the manuals directly to participants.
- COVID- 19 Special Shipping Option: Trainers may order manuals through the bookstore that are shipped directly to individual participants through the bookstore using our Grower Manual Order Form for Remote Delivery.
- Trainers will be able to order an entire course worth of manuals and provide each participant’s mailing address so the bookstore can mail them individually. Cost per manual will be $50 each plus shipping and specific state tax.
- The trainer is responsible for paying all bookstore costs including manuals, shipping, and taxes.
- Shipping individual manuals outside the USA is not supported by the bookstore. Trainers for international courses will have to make their own arrangements to get manuals to remote participants. Local printers have supported in-person trainings outside of the U.S., so this option could be explored by trainers.
- Can participants in my remote course order manuals directly from the bookstore?
No. See #13 above. Trainers must arrange for shipping of the manuals to participants.
- I plan to conduct a remote PSA Grower Training and my participants are located in countries outside of the United States. Can I provide them with an electronic version of the manual?
No. All participants must have a printed copy of the manual. The electronic files are available to download from the PSA website (English, Spanish) and trainers should explore local printing options for their participants if they reside outside of the United States.
- How far in advance do I need to order my manuals in order to guarantee delivery by the training date?
Three weeks is required by the bookstore to ensure the manuals arrive in time for the training course.
- Can I send the manuals I already have on hand to participants for my remote PSA Grower Training?
Yes! If you have Version 1.1 (plus updates) or Version 1.2 manuals, you are welcome to ship them to participants yourself. All participants must have the same printed manual (for example, everyone has V 1.2 manual and the trainer is using V 1.2 PowerPoint slides) prior to the start of the remote course.
- Can I send the electronic files for the manual and have participants print them directly?
No. Participants must be provided a printed copy of the manual either directly from the bookstore or by the PSA Lead Trainer/Trainer hosting the course. The manual is 368 pages and it cannot be expected that participants will print these themselves. Trainers hosting international courses should explore local printing options. Electronic files for printing the PSA manuals are available to download for free in English and Spanish, but cannot be used in place of a printed PSA Grower Training Manual.
- Do I still need to provide evaluations to course participants during a remote training?
Yes. An electronic evaluation with a unique URL to each course will be provided to you by AFDO once the course is registered. Participants should be provided the evaluation URL at the beginning of the course and instructed to fill out the evaluation as they progress through the modules. PSA recommends adding 10 minutes to the beginning of the agenda to review the evaluation process, ensure the link is working for all participants, and answer any questions.
The evaluation form will save the participant’s progress should the course be held over multiple days, or the participant needs to close out of the evaluation and come back to it. Forward and backwards arrows are provided so that a participant can return to previous sections or skip ahead in case the modules are delivered in a different order. Because the submission is anonymous, progress is tracked using a browser cookie. A participant must use the same computer and browser or mobile device to return to the form. Participants cannot mix devices or browsers, otherwise progress will not be saved. When the participant has finished entering the information, the participant MUST hit the submit button on the last page of the survey, otherwise the evaluation will not be counted. Each course attendee should fill out the evaluation separately, even if they are participating in the course from the same location.
PSA requires that at least 50% of evaluations are returned from the total number of individuals registered for the course within one week of the course conclusion. All PSA Lead Trainers registered on the course are responsible for ensuring that at least 50% of training evaluations are returned and that course policies and protocols are followed. lf the evaluation return rate is below 50% for three courses, the PSA Lead Trainer status of all Lead Trainers associated with the courses may be revoked for delivery of remote PSA Grower Training Courses only.
- How much can I charge participants for a remote PSA Grower Training?
The PSA does not set a limit on course costs, though we strongly recommend that PSA Trainers and Lead Trainers keep costs as low as possible to make trainings accessible and affordable to many.
- Am I required to conduct a test run of the technology with registered course participants prior to the remote PSA Grower Training?
No, but hosting a practice run for course participants with the technology is strongly recommended to ensure a smooth course delivery. Trainers should also consider building in extra time on the agenda at the beginning of the day and after all breaks to allow for troubleshooting any technical issues that may arise in audio and visual connections.