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My training career – Iain Barry Reynolds


As part of our feature on trainer development, we asked TrainingZONE members to tell us a bit about how they came to be involved in the training profession, and offer some thoughts on what it means to be a trainer today. We received a fantastic selection of responses, which will be published throughout the month. Here, Iain Barry Reynolds gives his response.

  1. What's your current job role?

    Management & Personal Development Training Manager for Capita Insurance Services.

  2. What did you do before this job?

    Prior to this I was a regional training and development manager for the crown prosecution service.

  3. Describe your route into training

    Like many others, training just sort of happened. I was a team manager in the cps and was asked to deliver some basic technical training, I got the bug and went on a train the trainer course. I was gradually asked to do more and more delivery and finished up covering for the Area Training Officer while she was on maternity leave. In the meantime I'd started a part time degree in business studies and during the course enjoyed the assessed presentation so much that I decided I'd like to get into training on a more permanent basis.

    At the end of my degree I was asked if I would like to do some part-time lecturing for the University, which I did and really enjoyed. Round about the same time, I signed up for delivering a national training programme within CPS which involved training lawyers to explain decisions to victims of crime. This was a very demanding and enlightening project which involved a high degree of culture change through face to face training. At the end of this project I found myself back at Regional training level covering maternity leave, due to a slightly uncertain future and the desire to break out into the private sector I began searching for training jobs outside the civil service and finished up in the job I currently do.

  4. Did you always want to work in training and development?

    No, I'd never even considered it until I was asked to do some delivery, and just got hooked.

  5. What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?

    Running an external event for the CPS jointly with other justice agencies in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence enquiry. We used open space technology to get veiws and ideas from 700 members of the public who attended which formed the basis of a joint policy on driving forward change in equality and diversity in the service the agencies provided. The speed and scale of the project was vast.

  6. How do you think the role of the trainer has changed since you began your training career?

    It's a bit contradictory to say this, on the one hand there is a far greater commitment from organisations to ensure staff receive training, particularly through things like IiP, however the training is much more focused on business outcomes and timimg is much tighter. I used to have a whole five days to deliver train the trainer for occassional trainers, recently I had to do this in two. I am also a bit of a technophobe when it comes to PowerPoint, I find alot of material relies far too much on this medium and people have lost sight of the purpose of visual aids, it's become the training equivalent of autocue, however, delegates don't feel they've had a quality course unless there has been some kind of slide show (perhaps a cultural thing to do with my current organisation?).

  7. What single thing would improve your working life?

    I'm probably quite fortunate at present, I can't think of anything, but then I moved from the CPS to get away from alot of things I didn't like.

  8. What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site?

    Any Answers, without a doubt, the friendly, helpful and supportive input from other trainers makes it feel like a real community. Even reading the questions others have posted is reassuring to know that you're not the only one struggling to put together a piece of work on a particular topic, I don't have any specific ideas as to how, but it would be good if this aspect could be built on in someway.

  9. Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in training?

    Stay grounded and if things go wrong always check your approach first, but also believing you can do it is 90% of the battle.

  10. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today?

    The desire to condense material. Some behavioural training just simply cannot be reduced to a half hour session, without losing time for people toi reflect and practice the skills.


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