By Nick Terry and Ben Helt
Many of us, myself included, have been thinking about Coffee Technicians Guild education as being a "certification" program. A specific program where you jump through some hoops, check some boxes and write a check for a seal of approval as a coffee technician. That is not this program. But don’t panic, what is being created is more flexible, rigorous, and targeted at providing value for each member’s needs. Let me explain.
What we are creating is the Coffee Technician Skills Program, not a "certification" program. It is meant to provide valuable, rigorous training in topics that are relevant and applicable to those who support specialty coffee equipment. This means that while the program has a menu of 18 courses, you will not be taking all 18 modules to reach some sort of certification. Instead, each course will come with a certificate and there will be other points of recognition along the way.
The Coffee Technician Skills Program empowers you to customize a training plan that is right for you and/or your employees. If you are a small service shop and you hire a barista, you may not need to invest in Coffee Preparation or Coffee Machines. You may instead focus on a bundle of Hydraulics, Electrical & Electronics, and Cleaning & Preventive Maintenance. If you are a light manufacturer and hire an electrical engineer, you would not find the Electrical & Electronics courses valuable. Instead, you may want to invest in Coffee Machines, Hydraulics, and Coffee Preparation. If your service company hires a person that will take incoming calls, dispatch technicians and manage a part’s inventory, a bundle of Operations Management, Coffee Machines, and Cleaning & Preventative Maintenance may be a good fit. The program is being developed in a way to meet the needs of a wide variety of members around the globe.
It is also important to call out here that the Coffee Technician Skills Program discussed above is only one component of the content offerings that the CTG can generate. The workshops and panels at events like CTG Summit, Access: A Barista Guild Event, Gearhead Events, and the Specialty Coffee Expo are valuable and relevant to all skill levels and career positions. This means that we need to start using the term ‘education’ more broadly. It does not only encompass the Coffee Technician Skills Program, but all the other educational content generated by the CTG as well.
If you are interested in getting involved in creating the content for the Coffee Technician Skills Program, please click here. The more people who get involved the faster we can bring the content to the members!