In June 2020 the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) announced that their Foundation level courses within the Coffee Skills Program would be adapted to online training, giving students the opportunity to attend a course partly or fully online. Our own Head of Training Sara is a member of the SCA Creators' Group for the Barista Skills module, and has been working with the other members on redesigning the curriculum so it can be taught online, while maintaining a great learning experience for students.
The SCA has been clear from the start that they wished to keep the online courses interactive between the students and trainer, allowing for questions and discussions. This means that all of the online SCA courses contain mandatory activities that the students attend via live video sessions, setting them apart from many other training providers who offer static content only.
The newly developed courses also allow for course content to be made available for students to study at their own time. This is something we at Prufrock Training have been very excited about, and we have now created our own online training platform.
No Mandatory Equipment
You don't need your own equipment when working through the online SCA Barista Skills Foundation course, and the SCA has removed the Practical Exam from all of their Foundation courses. The Creators' Group decided early on to design this course to allow learners to complete it without home equipment.
There are several reasons for this, and the main one is that it can be difficult to practise manual skills in a live video class, especially if students are working on different equipment from each other. Anyone new to espresso making, attending an in-person Foundation course, would need to keep practising after the course as well, so learning online shouldn't be detrimental to the overall experience.
To make sure we are covering all of the necessary information and skills, the course contains mandatory, practical learning objectives. When the course is taught online, these activities are demonstrated by the trainer, under guidance from the students via live video. So even if the students are not working on an espresso machine, they should gain the knowledge necessary to be able to build on these skills in a further course, or by practising at home or at work.