Spotlight on a Specialist - Nobby Clark

Published on

August 13 2019

Welcome to the fourth and final edition of spotlight on a specialist. Get an insight into Nobby Clark's experiences and see if being an Instructor is something you would consider.

What made you decide to consider a career as an Instructor? 

I became an instructor as a natural progression from groundsman to climber to foreman and contract manager. Training became part of everyday life, it made sense to formalise it.

What work experience had you had before you made your career change?

I don’t see this as a career change. I am instructing within my own vocational area. I was a Microbiologist and Geneticist, before I became an Arborist, but the two fields overlap, and I use my experience to inform my training.

What drives you towards a role that’s focused on improving skills in the sector? 

Watching my industry trading safety for profit, and an ever-increasing accident rate fuelled by poor wages and education.

Extremely poor standards of training, being peddled by training providers and colleges across the UK, who care little for the quality of what they produce to maximise profit. 

Seeing an industry and highly skilled professionals treated poorly and extremely undervalued by society. Seeing trees being harmed and killed by poor work practices, and watching urban environments being destroyed by ignorance.

What do you enjoy about working with Lantra? 

The quality of the training materials.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Watching individuals blossom. Providing support and knowledge to allow people to be the best they can be. Helping people achieve life- long career aims, or giving people a step up onto a career path that they didn’t even realise they would enjoy.

What advice would give to anyone wanting to work as an Instructor? 

Do not become an instructor because you are ‘getting old and tired and can’t do the job well enough anymore. The industry needs people who are at the top of their game and do the job very well to teach the next generation of leaders in Arb.

Don’t become an instructor because you think it is going to make you more important, or be well paid, or easy.

Work with other instructors in other fields, shadow them and learn different ways of getting concepts across to the wide diversity of students you will deal with. Learn what works and what doesn’t.

Showing someone how much better than them you are is pointless, showing them how good you are is something very different. Students need to be shown, but they do not appreciate boasting, big- heads or being shown up.
Lead by example, never ask a student to do something that you would not be happy to do yourself

Be ethical at all times. Be a beacon of best practice in everything you do. 

Be honest, and if someone is not ready for assessment or needs more training time, tell them. Never set anyone up to fail or accredit anyone who does not deserve it.

Keep yourself current, expand your knowledge and skills. Do not assume that just because you are an instructor that you know everything, or that you do not need to learn more.

Would you like to become an approved Instructor?