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Contact Time Averages


Are there any statistics relating to contact time for trainers on an annual basis in a commercial organisation. If I take off 25 days annual holiday, 10 days public and 104 days for weekends that leaves 226 possible training days. Actual contact time is on average 160 days - about 70%, which I think is good. I have to present a case justifying these figures. Any ideas?
Mike Hardisty

5 Responses

  1. Training contact
    When you refer to contact time does this include both delivery and support to students? How many days are spent on developing materials in the figures? I ask as our tutors spend less on delivery/support as some days are ‘portfolioed’ into marking and a number of others into development of materials and self development.

    TBD Global Ltd
    [email protected]
    0870 241 3998

  2. Seems about right
    70 – 75% is about right for trainers – around 25% should be development time. If you’re doing your own administration your contact time might need to be slightly lower.

  3. Contact time will depend on circumstances
    The amount of contact time that is ‘right’ for trainers will depend on how the training function fits into the company. In providing training to outside customers the training team is normally expected to be a profit making function and to achieve this requires a contact time per trainer of at least 60%, not including development etc. This allows for constant development in line with changing projects to ensure the best service to customers. However if training is only provided internally it is quite possible that the actual course material etc does not change drastically very often and in this case I would expect a contact time approaching 80%. Unfortunately there is normally a dilemna between whether a training department should be providing a service or making a profit !

  4. Contact time
    I have done quite a few informal enquiries around this issue though no formal research.
    It seems there are some wide variations – ranging from about 35% up to 95% – though a clear majority fit in a 60-75% bandwidth.
    The big variables are:
    1. The extent that the content/design of the courses is stable – some courses need constant updating and that can lead to higher prep time and low contact time.
    2. The role of the trainer – if the role is exclusively delivery then high contact time is common. But with needs analysis, evaluation, design work, managing external provision, consultancy and engagement with strategic issues, the figure drops dramatically.
    3. The learning culture and the nature and profile of the training function – if you work in a ‘course factory’ with a large number of repeat running standard programmes, the contact time is high. If you provide high impact bespoke solutions to address specific business issues, it is usually the outputs rather than the inputs that get measured.
    Take your pick!

    Graham O’Connell

  5. About right but could be tight
    I reckon 70% is about right, but it could be tight. I’ve had to allow at least 1 day of preparation for 1 day of delivery for a new course, plus additional development time, so then you’re down to 50% or less. If it is a re-run of an existing programme you still may need up to half a day to prepare the materials for a 1 – 2 day course unless you have admin support. I think you need to put the admin involved in copying and collating materials into the equation as it can soon eat up your time – and you always need to adapt for your delegates.


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