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performance appraisal for Training Designers


I have recently taken over mgmt of a large virtual team of mgmt training designers. I need to establish an effective and efficient process for managing their performance against the professional/technical aspect of their role (we already have comptencies in place generically)
I'm looking at :
-results (use of objectives/outcomes) - application of learning theories and modern methods, material quality (layout) and logisitcs (audience/delivery focused) as a balanced approach, but need to better define these areas and combine with a quantitative check measure. Any ideas/best practice please?
nicola dawson

5 Responses

  1. Performance Appraisal for Training Designers
    Dear Nicola

    The process of setting up effective performance monitoring and appraisal for Training Designers usually demands a degree of initial design process re-engineering and standardisation to reflect current best practice. After all, the training design processes currently adopted by many organisations were never themselves designed – they simply evolved over time.

    It is obviously very important that all your designers fully understand the new standard process and implement the best practice that you then want them to embrace. This normally involves around five days of training.

    The TAP approach to Training Design and Development recommended by The Training Foundation is based upon completion of electronic templates at every stage of the process.

    The templates start from the scoping stage to ensure that the training is designed to suit the needs of the target group as well as the business and run through to the calculation of return on investment.

    Consideration is given to the course objectives and each session objective is derived from it. Adult learning preferences are also treated as key when designing the learning solution.

    This approach makes the process of performance monitoring and review relatively easy for you to manage. It also ensures consistency because:

    – templates can be shared across the organisation

    – each stage has a sign off step.

    If you want to find out more then please feel free to get in touch.

    Yours sincerely

  2. First the first
    As you probably know first you have to define the meaning of “Performance Appraisal”. Is it trying to: (1) Measure results from the business process those persons work for? (2) Measure, assess competencies, that is behaviors?.
    If (1) then review with them the attributes of each relevant process: ratio outputs delivered/resources used, internal customer satisfaction, time cycle (may be defining different types of “urgency”), ratio outputs/inputs (how many requests vs how many responses).
    If (2) then it is a matter of 360, or less, degrees evaluation: peers, boss, clients, etc
    As you can see I am just suggesting a general approach but for sure it works as an starting point.

  3. reinventing the wheel
    A couple of questions come to mind:

    1 – why can’t this group of people use the same performance framework as everybody else – granted they will have different objectives, but surely the process can be the same?

    2 – and if they can use the same process as everybody else, would they want to – i.e. is the current process up to the mark? If not, where is it not up to the mark, and why?

    Just in passing, why not take a leaf out of the Kirkpatrick model and define some objectives around

    1 – the reacion of participants
    2 – the learning they achieve on and after the course (based on percentages and/or pass rates of tests)
    3 – changes in behaviours – tricky this one, needs a good definition from the ‘customer’ of each training to see what the new behaviours need to be, can then do a simple ‘what percentage achieved new behaviours’ calculation/
    4 – impact to the organisation – be it bottom line or any other key performance indicator – this one is easy – just take a look at Kearns’ articles on this here on trainingzone or visit my articles at

    Best wishes

    Martin Schmalenbach
    Potential Energy Ltd

  4. Why not ask the Training designers how they think their performa
    If you set a measure for someone else then you will run two risks.
    The first is that the measure you select will most likely be wrong and therefore not represent what is actually important about the designers output.
    The second is not so much a
    risk as a racing certainty.
    By setting someone else a measure you will almost certainly rob them of the ability to take pride in their work.

    If however you allow them to set their own measure of performance it will not only be the right measure, they will also be able to take pride in the figures they produce because they will own the measure.
    The consequence is that not only will your figures be an accurate measure of performance you will also have had a positive impact on their performance by giving them an opportunity to take ownership of their performance.

  5. Suggested Performance Criteria
    Dear Nicola

    Whilst it is important that performance measures for Training Designers do not conflict with those of other personnel a generic approach will only take you so far. For a specialist role like this you also need specific minimum technical performance criteria that apply directly to the role and integrate with a job description.

    By using the approach suggested in my previous posting your should find it very simple to review design templates and other documentation. For example, this will allow you to assess the extent to which any individual has completed the following over a set project or period:

    Perform project analysis
    1 Fully identified and agreed sponsor’s requirements and overall goal?
    2 Submitted findings and recommendation(s) to sponsor?
    3 Expanded the approved recommendation(s) into a viable training solution?
    4 Reached agreement between the sponsor and the developer on the objectives
    and deliverables of the programme?

    Analyse training needs
    1 Selected and implemented appropriate data-gathering techniques to verify
    individual learner needs?
    2 Determined the tasks, sub-tasks and elements to be undertaken by each user?
    3 Selected appropriate instructional strategies for each element of the training
    solution and individual learners?
    4 Verified that the learning environment meets the needs of the selected instructional
    strategies and individual learners?
    5 Ensured resources selected take advantage of emerging technologies?

    Develop and adapt course material
    1 Reviewed availability and suitability of existing materials?
    2 Employed best-practice course design principles in the design and development
    of course material(s)?
    3 Structured content and material(s) effectively making appropriate use of
    emerging technologies?
    4 Verified the training material(s) meet the needs of the individual learners?
    5 Developed appropriate trainer material(s)?

    Design assessment and monitoring mechanisms
    1 Designed appropriate course and work-place assessment mechanisms?
    2 Piloted the training solution and modified according to feedback recommendations?
    3 Designed and analysed post-course feedback?

    Measure the effectiveness of training
    1 Identified how business benefits will be measured?
    2 Calculated the return on investment of the training solution?
    3 Analysed work-place assessment results?

    I trust this helps.

    Best wishes


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