Posts Tagged: Training-A-Z

The A-Z of Training: V is for Validation

Posted by Adam Chester on 01/10/2014 at 09:38

According to the dictionary on my computer, the word validate has three distinct meanings:

Definition of validate
I think that the first two are the most relevant for training, although the third is relevant in a compliance training context.

Validity in two dimensions

In order to be considered valid, I think that training activities must be measured in two dimensions. The first dimension is that is meets a business objective, the second is that the training delivered enables the participants to develop skills which aid the business objective.

There is a subtle difference between each of these in that the first dimension validates the existence of the training, while the second validates the effectiveness of the training delivery.

The business case

Identify the business case is easy for compliance related training- no training, no work. Developing training to improve the performance of an organisation needs careful needs analysis, and a clearly identified goal. Budgeting is also an important consideration here.

Evaluating the learning

Evaluating learning can be done in many ways from happy sheets to return on investment. I find that Kirkpatrick's model can be a useful guide for measuring learning.


The validity of training is more than just meeting the learning objectives. In some organisations the L&D director takes responsibility for the business case while instructional designers evaluate their students' outcomes to improve their materials. In other organisations both of these activities are the remit of the training manager.

How do you validate training in your organisation?

The A-Z of Training: U is for Underdeveloped

Posted by Adam Chester on 25/09/2014 at 12:43

One of the biggest problems facing organisations today is developing their staff. This is a well-known issue to HR, Training, and Learning and Development managers, but making the organisation take notice can be tough.

The most common reason given for underdevelopment is cost, however I have found that it is more often the case that time is the limiting factor (see our article T is for Time). Where workforces have been pared back, it can be difficult to justify time for personal development where there are looming deadlines and a full week.

For the individual this leads to frustration, as their skills remain static, while they continue to perform the same role week after week. In fact lack of development opportunities is one of the key reasons that people leave positions- further increasing the load on the HR team.

A well thought out training needs analysis could help identify and prioritise areas for development. Tackling the highest priority items can lead to huge gains in performance and personal satisfaction.

The A-Z of Training: T is for Time To Learn

Posted by Adam Chester on 17/09/2014 at 12:00

How many of us make time to learn in our everyday lives? If training managers and L&D specialists don't make the time then how can we expect our learners to?

While we consider how to improve a learner's performance and help their development, the learner has a number of constraints on their time that may act as a barrier to learning. It seems that personal development is the easiest thing to slide down the priorities list which may mean that despite your best efforts it doesn't get completed.

Creating a culture dedicated to learning is I think the biggest challenge facing L&D managers today. While processes, tools and framework exist to help foster the correct atmosphere, sustaining a commitment to learning is a tough challenge.

A Challenge!

How much time do you think your manager would give you for learning and personal development each week? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? The best way to find out is to ask them. Go and ask your warehouse supervisors, clinic directors or team leaders how long they could spare team members for each week.

Obviously this doesn't have to mean the whole team being taken away all at once. You might ask for one or two people to come from each department. It could be an easily available online course that an individual takes during a lull in the week.

Bitesize Learning

The key thing is that your learning activities match the time available to your learners in your organisation. Having short courses or videos is a great way of increasing engagement.

Do we do any better?

A quick hands-in-the-air survey at this year's Learning Live made it clear that many learning and development professionals do not set aside time for their own development. Considering the wide range of demands on our time I don't think that this was unexpected.

Perhaps this is the case of the trainer's training always coming last?

The A-Z of Training: S is for Safety

Posted by Adam Chester on 03/09/2014 at 09:00

Health and safety is probably the number one reason for providing staff training. Delivering this type of training serves two purposes; firstly it protects your staff from harm and secondly it protects your organisation from litigation arising from accidents in the workplace.

Unfortunately despite delivering health and safety training sessions and regular refresher courses, many companies still find themselves falling foul of a lawsuit.

The primary reason for this is not ensuring that the training provided was understood sufficiently by the employee. In practical environments, one of the quickest ways to do this is an on-the-job observation where the employee is observed by the trainer and both sign to say that the trainee has demonstrated safe practices.

One of the other areas that companies leave themselves exposed to is inaccurate recording of training. Do you have a register for every session? What happens after everyone signs it? Where do you store it? Managing the evidence of training can be a full time job in some companies however it often seems to be neglected as a task that can be put off for another day.

Also don’t forget that any change in the working environment will require at least a refresher in those areas impacted by the changes. If you are replacing equipment for an identical model, training is not required but it is a good opportunity for everyone to complete a short refresher.

As a provider of a complete online training solution we make sure that we store records securely so that all of your training is recorded and easily to hand if an event occurs, helping you to demonstrate your commitment to health and safety.

The A-Z of Training: R is for Rejuvenation

Posted by Adam Chester on 27/08/2014 at 09:00

As many of us return to work rejuvenated after a relaxing summer break there is an opportunity to review our progress this year.

What changes did you plan to make at the start of the year? What were your goals for developing your organisation's training strategy?

Have you:

  • Implemented a mobile ready LMS?
  • Rolled out company wide personal development plans?
  • Created a library of short courses?
Whatever your goals you should now be able to see how much progress has been made.

To make the most of your appraisal, you need to be fair and honest. Give yourself credit for what has been achieved and look to improve or change areas that are now working as intended.

If you have achieved all of your goals, what are you planning on doing to surpass the original plan?