ACOFAS has good reason for making its pre-test non-threatening: "There are an awful lot of really competent technicians out there who really know their stuff, but they don't get along well with testing," Botts says.
That accomodating attitude carries through to the post-test, which technicians can take online after they've returned home from the clinic.
If a technician gets an answer wrong on the post-test, he or she will be referred to the online discussion forums on the ACOFAS website.
"They can find the right answer, then go back into the test, click the right answer, and go on to the next question," Botts says. "In the future, when they're working on this thing, and they run into something they're not sure of, they can go right straight into that manual and find the answer.
"The important thing is not that they know the stuff, but that they know where to get the answers."
Technicians from New Hampshire, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Alabama, Minnesota, Iowa and California are signed up for the June clinic, and Botts is confident that they will all return to their jobs with valuable new skills and insights.
"I see a phenomenal difference in the guys after they come back," he says. "It does so much for them. It gives them the feeling, and rightly so, that you value them as a technician and that you want to improve them. It makes them much more productive, and gives them a better feeling of self-worth.
"I think that's the biggest key," he concludes. "They listen to guys who are in management saying, 'Well, I'm going to be gone for a week because I have to go for training,' and they say, 'What about me?' Well, this takes care of the 'What about me?' It makes them realize that, yes, there is new stuff out there, yes, they need to be up on it, and yes, I think you're competent enough to take this training course."
For more information on the ACOFAS June training clinic, go to www.fleetmag.com/online/calendar/