Our OGC training is significantly different from garment brand training used by retailers in a number of ways. It is:
a) Fundamental textile technologies
(which evolve relatively slowly unlike the annual micro marketed variants.
b) Moisture management from a perspective of capillary flow and beading.
c) The basic science of heat loss.
d) Human physiology and nutrition.
This knowledge focus as outlined builds a sound basis to teach the critically important skills of ‘reading the garment’ followed by ‘performance layering’ in the outdoors.
Sandy Allan’s quote, (IFMG Guide and Piolet d’Or awardee with the late Rick Allen) exemplifies the situation, “I realise I can no longer pick up a garment and know what it will do for me”. Our training puts back that understanding and enables leaders and instructors to be able to give their clients and trainees sound advice.
Our training is applicable across all brands and types of outdoor clothing and for both retail staff and outdoor leaders and instructors.
Courses for leaders and instructors will be conducted via and in collaboration with MTUK and MTA. The outdoor industry, which makes and sells the products, does not have any organisations representing individuals. So there are no professional qualifications or recognition processes directly applicable to outdoor products. Courses for retailers will be contracted via business owners, but with recognition for individuals. Courses will also be open to the public and a variety of outdoor-oriented sporting bodies.
Outdoor leaders/instructors are required to have knowledge of gear and garments but this currently can only be based on personal experiences because there is no training system they can tap into. When trained in our OGC system, instructors will be able to add value to their courses by eg doing a layering problem analysis.
The type of training brands give to retailers is not readily transferable to other brands of garments or products.
Brand sales techniques for selling into stores are often based on the customary techniques of talking about features and benefits of each product.
In store at the point of purchase decision, what is much more relevant is context.
This means that product performance does not emerge in isolation but often relates to:
1. What other layers and or products are being used.
2. For what activity.
To ascertain context requires good questioning techniques and the customer may not always be willing to discuss some of these aspects.
Chuck Kukla (REI, USA)
When I’m in the store I will often use other gear at hand to build context or as a means to elicit questions. Both of us, salesperson and customer, is then focused on the product at hand and not each other.)
Outdoor leaders/instructors however are in a much clearer position, already knowing some valuable contextual information with an expectation that the trainee freely shares more.
Mike Parsons recalls”, “As a former brand owner, (Karrimor and OMM) the training we are now putting in place here is the base level I would want for my in-house team from tech staff to sales and of course to be shared with retail customers and my advisory team of professional guides. Our training is designed to recognise individual course attendance and level reached, so the skills and competence moves with the trainee person which brand training usually does not.
What is missing today from the approximately $35 billion outdoor garment industry is a progressive training pathway for retail staff and outdoor mountain leaders and instructors.
This is what we will provide:
Our series of 9 workshops
How do we teach Keeping Dry and Staying Warm?
The Outdoor Garment Training Gap
Outdoor Disasters and what we can learn
How to contact us to sign up for a course