Posted on Jul. 27, 2021 by Christopher Dorch

Choosing a training simulator is no small task. This training technology can be expensive and there are dozens of simulation companies, so finding the best option for your department quickly becomes a complicated project.

To make searching easier, VirTra designed a simple checklist of common simulation company pitfalls for departments to utilize. The more you research, the more you will discover that companies use certain keywords, but lack information on that topic. Here is how to find these holes and ensure the simulation company you choose is actually well-rounded.

Curriculum—Certified by Whom?

It is becoming increasingly more common for simulation companies to offer certified curriculum. Sure, it’s a popular buzzword and even more important training tool. But how much does each company actually disclose about the certification process?

When shopping for a training company that offers certified curriculum, specifically ask about the certification process. Oftentimes, curriculum is ‘certified’ by the company itself or a close business partner instead of an independent third-party.

Proper training is critical, and therefore, training curriculum must be certified by a credible third-party. No instructor wants their officers training with semi-reliable resources. To the point of credibility, companies should be open and honest about their certification process. If certification information is difficult to find or the company is hesitant to disclose their certification process, this is a major red flag.

A proper example of certification is VirTra’s V-VICTA™ training curricula, each of which is certified through IADLEST’s National Certification Program, which sets the POST training standards for 36+ states. VirTra is proud to have our curriculum undergo this rigorous independent review process and we often discuss it on our website, social media, brochures and other materials.

All in all, when you find curriculum that isn’t certified by a credible third party, you need to ask why.

All About the Experts

When building curriculum, it is popular for simulation companies to collaborate with industry experts. However, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that these experts work with multiple simulation companies. What you need to find out is which simulation company the experts prioritize, or use for their research. If an expert uses a different training simulator company than the one you are looking at, you need to ask why.

Asking this question can help you figure out what the expert sees that others don’t. By taking the time to figure out why experts chose that simulator specifically may uncover that the chosen company is more realistic, responsive, science-based, stress-inducing, etc.

Where’s the Research?

Similar to their ‘certified curriculum,’ companies may boast research-based programs or scenarios. While seemingly helpful on the surface, it is worth asking for the specific research articles and reports. Thanks to the internet, ‘research’ is available on any subject and less reliable research can support virtually any standpoint, but good, credible and independent research is harder to find and less implemented than other sources.

For the most visibility, VirTra proudly showcases all utilized research, complete with the sources and additional supportive information. VirTra wants our customers to have the best training and to understand exactly how VirTra maximizes training time, skill-building and realism. In this manner, ‘research’ is not just a buzzword, it’s how we build our business.

To take a short survey to determine the best simulator for your department, try out our Simulator Configurator. For more information, or to request documents on specific research topics, contact a VirTra specialist!

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