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Managing Your Own CPD


Experienced trainer Hugh Alford, of TACK International, gives his thoughts on ways trainers can manage their own professional development.

The key to success in training is self-discipline, understanding the philosophy and implementation of continuous professional development.

Trainers need to be aware of the latest practices and develop their own approaches to delivering training sessions if they are to keep their work lively and fresh.

Peer Review
To manage your own professional development, the first step should be feedback on sessions from a fellow trainer.

Invite a colleague to attend a session and provide a critique on it.

While no-one enjoys direct criticism, objective feedback is crucial if you are to get an outside eye.

It can also be beneficial for the person giving feedback too, as they may well pick up a few hints!

As part of our own practice, we regularly conduct audits on our trainers and associates using the PACE model, (Presentation and Content Evaluation).

Group Feedback
The next step is to allow delegates the chance to give written feedback and comment on a course's relevance to their current and future needs.

The old-fashioned way is to provide tick box forms to delegates, but this approach does not provide the best way to gain qualitative comments and feedback.

Holding group feedback and advisory sessions with delegates is a great way to develop any written feedback received and is an ideal way to keep material up-to-date.

To get a real sense of seeing yourself from the learners perspective try videoing yourself conducting a training session.

Not only is this a good way of watching your own work, you will be able to see how learners interact and how engaged they seem with the training.

Keep Up To Date
Another essential part of developing as a trainer is to understand the current practices in the training community.

Knowledge is power, so reading articles in the training press such as TrainingZone or business magazines and/or quality national newspapers is a good discipline to have.

This can be extended by reading, buying and building a collection of the latest business books to boost your knowledge and create your own personal library.

Some companies have 'Train the Trainer programmes', which serve as an ideal refresher course for our community of training professionals.

This will provide the chance to work with other trainers outside your own field of expertise and learn alternative ways to deliver training.

It can serve as an ideal way to ensure you are up-to-date on practices and can attribute ideas to other trainers and shows delegates that you 'practice what you preach'.

Get Qualified
As with many professions, seeking professional training qualifications such as an NVQ or an IPD qualification will show a commitment to your own learning.

I have attended an IPD course myself at Hammersmith and Fulham College which was a great personal experience and provided a good opportunity to mix with trainers and tutors to share thoughts and observations such as 'keeping a fresh approach'.

A course will mean the need to develop a new course, session, article or paper, research for which will help you find new material to support your learning.

Don't Hide Your Light…
Finally, try entering a National Training Award scheme or trade competition to help maintain creativity and get your motivational juices flowing.

It will ensure that you use the best practices when training and develop yourself in order to complete a successful entry to reflect your own innovative approach as a trainer.


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