Two days ago some local instructors and I taugh a CPS update/refresher class for area technicians to earn CEUs (continuing education units) towards recertification.  With almost 40 technicians and 4 instructors, the classroom was at capacity.  The sheer size of the class was a bit cumbersome and our “using resources effectively” hands-on session took a long time because we had almost 20 teams.  Our little experiment didn’t exactly pan out the way we expected.  We had anticipated that teams with more resources would catch more mistakes and complete tasks more quickly than teams with little or no resources.  It didn’t quite work out that way.   

Without question, the teams that had nothing to work with but the seat itself caught very few of the problems – that was expected.  But we figured that teams with the instruction manuals and certainly those with the SBS summary sheets would have caught at least most of the errors.  We figured wrong. 

I can’t really say that I’m disappointed because every miss is a teachable moment but aye-yi-yi.  The “real world” is certainly very different from the online CPS community world.  Of course I knew that already but the contrast is still a little shocking at times.  Sometimes I wonder if my standards are too high but I don’t so.  I don’t expect technicians to know too many things right off the tops of their heads.  I do expect them to be thorough and use the resources that they have effectively regardless of whether they’re working on an exercise in a classroom or with a family in the field. 

On the flip side, the one CR that all 3 teams managed to make all necessary corrections properly was – the Radian.  Go figure.  LOL!  Of course, I wasn’t cruel enough to give any team working with that particular seat no resources.  Each Radian team had at least the instruction manual to work with.  But I was still impressed that all 3 teams managed so well with what was probably the most complex seat in the room.      

I was like a chicken with my head cut off most of the time so I didn’t get to take many pictures but at the end I snapped a quick shot of the preemie Huggable Images doll in the Combi Cocorro without the insert.  I never got the chance to buckle it (with or without the insert) but the doll’s shoulders were actually closer to the bottom slots without the insert.  That’s a moot point since the insert is mandatory for children under 15 lbs and I’m sure the harness wouldn’t have fit snugly but that was just an observation.  The other observation was that those ridiculous strap covers were bigger than the doll’s whole torso!  Note to Combi – here in the US we use a little thing called a chest clip.  And your strap covers on the Cocorro make proper usage of the chest clip downright impossible.  Try cutting off about 5″ and they’ll be just perfect.