As a first for the aquatics industry, STA’s swimming teaching, lifesaving, first aid and pool plant teaching manuals are now available in a dynamic new digital format.
In keeping with modern technological trends, STA has launched electronic versions of its training manuals this month, with the aim of offering an alternative way for customers and course organisers to engage with today’s young computer- and mobile-savvy candidates.
We speak to Brett Preston, Head of IT at STA to find out more about this exciting new digital development and the benefits of e-manuals.
What are e-manuals?
Brett Preston: They are simply a digital version of our existing hard-copy manuals, which you can download to your computer or mobile device.
For users who have Apple and Android devices, the users can add their e-manual to their Apple Book Store app for instance in order to access it quicker. These types of apps also allow the user to search for specific content and to add their own bookmarks/comments to the manual.
Are all STA Manuals available digitally?
BP: Most STA Training Manuals are now available in digital format, and others will follow shortly.
What about courses that contain a portfolio?
BP: Where portfolios are included for courses an electronic version is provided with the purchase and we’ve made fields within the portfolio editable for ease of use.
How do the prices compare against hard copy manuals?
BP: Very favourably, on average the costs are on-par with the savings that can be made when buying 21-40 hard copies in bulk. On smaller quantities, for example if you compare buying 5 hard copies to downloading 5 digital copies you can save nearly 50% on each copy.
Also, please note hard copy manuals have tiered pricing whereas e-manuals do not currently, but the prices reflect this. The prices also take into consideration that e-manuals include VAT.
Are there any purchasing restrictions, and how can they be distributed to candidates?
BP: E-manuals can be purchased from either the STA Swim-Shop at www.staswimshop.co.uk or the STA Store, which is available through STA Online.
Customers are permitted to only purchase one copy of each e-manual per qualification, whereas course organisers have the ability to bulk-purchase e-manuals in order to allocate them to their candidates for their courses registered through STA Online.
There is a specific area within STA Online, which holds the customers e-manuals and a facility for course organisers to allocate manuals to their students. Please note that course organisers can only use their bulk e-manuals to allocate to students registered on STA Online courses only.
E-manuals must be purchased directly from STA and not distributed by any other means other than using STA Online, or reproduced without prior arrangement with STA. Checking is in place to ensure all course candidates are provided with either a hard copy or electronic version of a course manual. Course organisers who are found to not be adhering to these rules will be investigated, which may lead to the removal of their status.
What about updates?
As new versions of manuals are released, course organisers who allocate e-manuals from their bulk stocks will automatically allocate the latest version.
If newer versions of manuals are released containing minor updates such as grammatical changes, we will automatically update users’ e-manuals free of charge automatically.
If newer versions of manuals are released and are a paid version, a note will appear on the users’ e-manual dashboard advising them there is a newer version available and an option to purchase the latest version.
Why has STA launched e-manuals?
E-manuals have been launched as an initial trial to test the market requirements and they are being offered as an alternative option to paper based manuals – they are not mandatory.
STA continues to lead the way with digital learning technologies and the launch of these e-manuals is another massive step forward. To find out more please contact STA.