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My training career – Matthew de Lange


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, Matthew de Lange, an independent learning consultant gives his response.

  1. What's your current job role?

    Independent learning consultant.

  2. What did you do before this job?

    Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers and founder and
    leader of the PwC learning consultancy business.
    Previously head of Training and Development for Price Waterhouse Europe.

  3. Describe your route into training

    Invited to do an 18 month secondment from line work
    into internal training department.

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


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

    The decision to accept that secondment opportunity.

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

    Relatively little since I started in training in
    1978. Much more opportunity to use technology in
    learning but few trainers grasp the opportunity. More
    emphasis on formal coaching and more supported
    work-place interventions.

  7. What single thing would improve your working life?
    Eliminate SPAM!

  8. What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site?
    Too early to say.

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

    (a) steep yourselves deeply in learning and performance technology
    (b) focus on achieved performance change not on training inputs
    (c) network yourselves widely and be open to others' experience and
    (d) be a businessperson first and a trainer second.

  10. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today?
  11. (a)Almost complete misunderstanding of the best use of technology in improving performance
    (b) too much amateurism (like the teaching profession - poor
    standards of some lowers the external perception of
    all) and
    (c) the growth of procurement-driven appointment of training providers is encouraging fewer training providers with a wider range of mediocre training consultants.


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