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Pre Course Questions


Does anyone have a list of questions that a manager can use when performing pre and post course meetings with their staff.
Ideally the question are along the lines of, 'What are your expectations of this course?' and post course, ' What changes do you think you will be able to put into practice now you have attended this course'.
This relates more to PC system and application training rather than 'soft skills'

Thanks in advance

Darren Toms

7 Responses

  1. ????
    Dear Sir

    Surely, if a manager decides to send someone on a training course then s/he already knows what they expect the trainee to get out of the course? If not, why are they sending him/her on the course in the first place?

    If the manager is required to fill out an adequate training request form then they will, by definition, know what questions to ask, won’t they?

    Yours sincerely,

    Puzzled of Tunbridge Wells


  2. Paul
    Thanks for the response.
    I guess reading between the lines of my question, it is the adequate training request form questions that I am looking for.
    Hope this means you are no longer ‘puzzled’.

  3. pre and post course questions
    As said, the first pre-course questions I want to ask are, ‘why are you sending x on this course? what do you want them to gain?’ and crucially the post course questions are ‘have you learnt what we expected? and for the manager themself – ‘am I willing (and /or is the organisation willing or capable of doing so) – to let you implement what you’ve learnt?’
    So often the feedback is, ‘I really wanted to do this, but my manager/the organisation won’t let me!’ (before and after training!)

    Bridgette Browne

  4. But seriously …
    OK, I was being jokey – but with a serious intent. Namely, I don’t understand why you want the manager to be asking this kind of question.

    If the manager is planning to send someone on a course, it would seem reasonable to suppose that they, or the training/personnel department(s), or any combination thereof had first determined – by a TNA or whatever – that a particular person needed some specific training.

    If they haven’t done that, why are they sending the employee on a course, and how do they know which course to send him/her on?

    The wording of your question *seems* to indicate that the manager requires information from the employee. How come – unless the employee has initiated the training request?

    If someone other than the employee has initiated the training request they should be TELLING the potential trainee what the training is about and what results they expect – NOT asking.

  5. Pre course answers
    We see Darren’s questions relating to the employee experience and part of the ROI analysis. We do not believe they can be dealt with in a one size fits all list for the following reasons.

    Employees, we have found, are often the last to know as to how the business sees their training meeting a business goal. We are not alone on this!

    By measuring the employee’s knowledge post delivery we can isolate what works and what does not. Not organisationally biased questions but tailored for those individuals involved. We can also measure increased skills and knowledge by this.

    We use the original TNA ( which is designed to establish the amount of learning and the starting point) which shows the level of knowledge by questions in a number of areas. We then measure the areas trained for so for example, in law we look at say the elements of crime which are all completely unknown to the student prior to the session.

    By the end of the training they should be able to name, describe and apply those elements to a scenario. By giving the student an unseen task they can be tested or they can identify for themselves the areas they now ‘know’. By using this method most students gain confidence to do the next stage of learning.

    Student expectations are often voiced as we didn’t think it was so complex/easy, or we didn’t know it would be interesting or we liked the way we learnt through Z but not Y. We then collate organisationally and individually the data and prepare follow up activities to address the points raised.

    We use this method for all sorts of training across levels and as well as fedback we use it to design better products.

    Soft data on how did you like it is mingled in with quality, quantity and itemised data on knowledge gained.

    Telling your employees why they are going on training and telling them they have to attend often results in adverse behaviour during training. We have been in organisations where students have been so stressed as a result of this that start from a hostile position. (Read the column of stress for trainers on this forum to see how this feels at the front of the class)!

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  6. Questions or discussions
    I have to agree with Paul Why the questions?

    The point of a person going on a course is to increase their skill, whether this is as an update or something new for them to learn. The need for the course must have been identified by a TNA where at some time the employee must have been part of a discussion. Therefore the person attending the course must know why they are going, what they need to learn and for what purpose.

    Any person doing any training must be motivated in their own mind to want to attend the course and learn.

  7. Ambiguity
    It is interesting that Darren has raised this question because I realise that it seems ambiguous to some people but I have trained many people who did not why they had been sent to training.

    Sounds crazy, but it is true. Their managers did not bother to discuss any training applications and were not interested in what the delegate had learnt after the course.

    Most managers do not understand the value or process of training and need a format (of questions) to pre-empt training and evaluate the success of training. Darren sounds like he is just trying to assist his Managers in being better informed and ask the right questions.

    During training sessions, I always start with asking the delegates the reasons that they have attended training and what they want to get out of the sessions. These are typical of quite a few responses that I received:

    1. It is day away from the Office
    2. The boss heard that funding was being withdrawn from the Training unit and this might be the last time that I can get trained
    3. My boss said that I had to come
    4. I am retiring soon and I want to be able to use my computer and the Internet at home.
    5. My boss does not like me and I know that he wants me to get out of the office
    6. They are retrenching members of the team and want us to get more skills so that we can get another job
    7. Our training budget has to be used up before the end of the financial year
    8. I did not know he/she booked me on this course.
    9. I do not know
    10. I do not want to be here.

    I, too, used to think that delegates went to training because they had been assessed and needed ‘up skilling’, however some Managers do not understand the value of TNA etc.

    This highlights the need to promote the value of training sessions and meet with Managers to give them the skills to ask all of the appropriate questions.


    Here are a few questions to get you started. Hope that they help

    Pre-Course Questions

    Manager’s interest in the course

    How will productivity been improved?
    Why should the training budget be used for this course?
    Will this course meet the objectives of the company’s mission statement?
    How much work will the delegate miss? Can we arrange for someone to complete your work while you are on the course?

    Delegate’s interest in the course:

    How would these skills assist your career objectives?
    How will this course increase your confidence/self esteem?
    How will this course make you more efficient in your day-to-day tasks?
    What new skills or competencies will you learn?
    How will this assist you in learning our new system or new equipment?

    Post Course

    How much time will you need to practise these skills?
    Would you present your new skills to the team?
    Could we arrange a demonstration of your new skills for myself/the team?
    Would you recommend this course?
    Do you feel confident enough to assist other staff with the new skills learnt?

    Paul Winbanks


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