Scott Hooper Interview

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What makes a good trainer? Well according to Scott Hooper, long time well control instructor at Harness Training, it’s the ability to communicate and  inspire people to want to learn. And this all comes down to relating to participants through a passion for what they are learning.

“One of the key pieces of feedback I get is how important my passion and motivation for well control is critical,” Scott said. “And they’re right, if I don’t have passion for my work, how can I expect my candidates to have any interest.”

So what makes Scott so relatable and how has this flowed into his work with participants of Harness well control training programs?

Trust in specialised trainers

When it comes to safety, it is essential to know that what you are learning is applicable in the field. Scott Hooper, like many of our trainers, has worked in his field for a long time. Beginning as a technical trainer, he worked in the oil and gas industry for five years before moving to Harness, where he has been a trainer for the last four years.

“I am fairly passionate about well control training and I enjoy the challenge. I came to Harness Training because they matched my extraordinary passion for training.”

As a Harness instructor, Scott has taught a huge number of people who came with a range of backgrounds, levels of experience and even different languages. One of the biggest challenges is distilling the knowledge needed to not only pass the course but know when to use it for people with different university backgrounds.

“I could have an industry certified rig worker and an university-educated senior engineer, so I have to be able to explain a concept equally to a person who does not understand mathematical equations while making it relatable to the engineer.”

Yet Scott is up for the challenge, and he has the experience to back up his actions.

“I have trained in several countries around the world. In some of these English was not even a second language, which meant I had to train through translators. However, I learnt that to overcome this I had to move away from relying on my language skills and instead focus on the concepts.”

Whether he is training Brunei participants using diagrams on a whiteboard or guiding Australians through one of Harness’ high-tech simulators, Scott knows what is needed.

Training is more than just passing a test

For many people, training is seen as a means to an end. However, Harness’ instructors know that it is the journey that counts, not just the certification you receive at the end.

“For me, it is all about the quality of training that the candidate receives, not just gaining a qualification but walking out of the door with knowledge.”

“There is a difference between trainer and a teacher. I know how to train, rather than simply delivering competencies.”

Scott believes that the difference stems from the ability to relate to participants. A good trainer inspires candidates to actively learn more, instead of just teaching them how to pass a test.

“And that’s my goal, not just tell people how to get the answer to an equation but also inspire them to want to get the answer to the equation.”

While learning the course contents is obviously important, knowing why they are being asked the question in they first place is equally important. Harness trainers believe that the quality of knowledge attained by participants is as valuable as the certificate they leave with.

“Purely having a ticket does not indicate that you have an understanding of well control.”

Concepts + application equals great teaching

Alongside the passion, expertise and industry knowledge that Scott brings to the jobs, he is supported by a set of high tech simulators. These allow participants to experience real-life conditions that drillers and other oil and gas professionals engage with everyday.

“Learning the theory of concepts is not enough, you have to apply and put those theories into practice. I found that once I train a person in the fundamental concepts, the simulation equipment drives home these concepts.”

The simulators are prime example of how Harness approaches training. Rather than just a means to an end in the effort to achieve an outcome, such as a result on a test, it is their in support of a participants learning.

“Harness’ simulation technology is fantastic, I have used different simulators all around the world and Harness have some of the best and most high end.”

While the simulators are a massive part of why Harness continues to produce such high completion and success rates for students, Scott points out that the simulators are only one part of the success story.

“But it is not just the simulators that differentiate how good a school is, it is what they do with it that counts. We use simulators to back up theoretical concepts, as opposed as a means to receive a school result.”

Some advice from the best

For all those looking to train with Harness, Scott has one main piece advice.

“The best advice I would give to someone coming through the door would be to be prepared to learn something from an angle or a different point of view. Often, you might understand a concept one way but it is always effective to look at it from multiple points of view.”

By coming with an open mind, participants can learn more about the concepts, theories and practical activities that are essential to working in well control. Scott believes that learning is experiential, not linear and by having an receptive mindset, a participant is much more open to finding new ways of achieving the same goal.

“The more ways you are willing to look at a problem, the easier the outcome and the solution will be.”

Harness Training’s specialist, knowledgeable and committed team of trainers offer participants access to some of the best learning opportunities available in the field of oil and gas. If you would like to work with Scott or one of our other passionate trainers, contact a representative today.