Fluid Power Journal

Hybrid Learning

By Donna Pollander, ACA, CEO, International Fluid Power Society.

The IFPS has recently unveiled an innovative hybrid training initiative, and I’d like to share both its success and program specifics. This training is designed to equip professionals with the knowledge and skills required to obtain an IFPS certification. We’ve re-engineered traditional technical training by incorporating a blended learning approach, combining 42 hours of online instructor-led sessions with hands-on labs facilitated by instructors. The labs utilize a specially designed custom training kit to enhance the learning experience.

The pilot program was launched through a collaborative effort with three fluid power distributors in Ohio: S.G. Morris Co., a subsidiary of Applied Industrial Technologies, Kraft Fluid Systems, and The Paquin Company. In a collective effort, they put all competition aside and joined forces to equip and empower 11 candidates with the essential tools to obtain the Connector and Conductor Certification. IFPS facilitated weekly online training sessions and collaborated with designated personnel onsite to facilitate practical laboratory sessions within their respective companies. 

IFPS now independently delivers this training to individuals and companies aiming to offer their employees a thorough review of the essential knowledge and skills needed to pass a designated certification exam.

One of the key benefits of the new program is its flexibility. Companies can offer both the online and in-person training at a time of day that is convenient to them and either appoint specific individuals within their company who have the best experience to provide in-person labs/training sessions or opt to have Accredited Instructor supported, virtual hands-on labs, allowing participants to reinforce what they’ve learned in a practical scenario. Other highlights include:

  • Comprehensive 42-Hour Training: The program offers an in-depth curriculum that covers essential aspects of fluid power mechanics, ensuring a strong foundation of skills and understanding.
  • Tailored Training Kit: IFPS has meticulously developed a specialized training kit tailored exclusively for this program. The kit will be shipped to you and includes state-of-the-art tools and equipment carefully selected to facilitate hands-on learning and practical skill mastery.
  • Virtual Instructor-Led Sessions: Participants will engage in 12 virtual sessions, each spanning 3.5 hours, conducted twice weekly. These interactive online sessions will be led by an IFPS Accredited Instructor who will provide guidance, address questions, and offer valuable insights to enhance the learning experience.
  • Hands-On Learning Labs: Part of the virtual sessions include Accredited Instructor supported hands-on labs, allowing participants to reinforce what they’ve learned in a practical scenario. These labs enable hydraulic mechanics to refine their skills, build confidence, and develop proficiency.
  • Session Recordings: All sessions are recorded for convenient review and reinforcement for the duration of the program and two weeks beyond.

Participants have praised the program for its comprehensive content, flexible delivery, and the high level of support provided by the IFPS. In fact, the pilot program was so successful the same group of 11 candidates is currently engaged in a follow-up program, working towards obtaining their Hydraulic Mechanic Certification.

The IFPS’s new hybrid certification review training program is an excellent option for individuals and companies looking to improve their employee’s knowledge and skills, increase safety, enhance productivity, improve work quality, provide a competitive advantage, and potentially reduce costs. The program provides a flexible and convenient way to learn while still providing the practical, hands-on training essential for success in this field. For more information on the program visit https://www.ifps.org/news.

With this program’s success and other training programs in the works, the IFPS continues to demonstrate its commitment to advancing the fluid power industry and the professionals who work in it!

If you are interested in providing this or any type of fluid power training for you or your employees, you may contact me at dpollander@ifps.org.

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