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From Trainer to Business Partner


The roles of training professionals at the Tearfund charity have transformed from learning providers to consultants, delegates at the World of Learning conference heard.

In a presentation on developing an effective learning and development function, the charity's learning and development manager Nick Wright explained how his department has adopted a pro-active role to meeting the organisation's learning needs.

Trainers have become learning consultants, each assigned responsibility for one part of the organisation. The consultants have regular meetings with leaders of those departments, to talk about business and staff development needs.

"We moved from being a provider (of training) to being a business partner," Wright said. "In the past if people defined a need or problem, they would come to us to find a solution. Now we meet with each leader once every month or two to find out what's on the agenda and look at how we can work together."

He said that learning consultants had built stronger relationships with leaders within the business, which helped them anticipate future development needs.

Training within the Tearfund is now carried out by external trainers so that internal staff can maintain their consultative role.

Learning consultants are also encouraged to spend time on their own professional development so that they can stay on top of their field and provide better advice to people within the organisation. They also meet regularly to share this knowledge with the rest of the learning and development department.

Wright said that his department was carrying out an evaluation of the impact of this change using the Kirkpatrick model and collecting case studies and testimonials.


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