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Selection criteria for training places


I am working as consultant for HMP and part of the work is to recruit participants to a training course. Currently designing application criteria and would appreciate ideas/questions to include. Anyone accepted will need the support of their managers and shoudl show they will make a commitment to spread the approaches back in the workplace. Managers will also need to 'prove' they will give high level of commitment too. Have many ideas from other sectors but would appreciate any input from colleagues out there - why reinvent the wheel?
K. Jane Smith

2 Responses

  1. Contracting
    Hi Jane

    Two thoughts.

    1. I agree with what you say about managers, “spreading the word” and commitment.

    I wonder if it would be possible to introduce a three way contract that must be signed by both the trainee and their manager (and yourself, of course), endorsing these behaviours, as a prerequisite to getting on the course.

    It might make them think about what they’re taking on – and would be useful for you if there were any disputes later on.

    2. I would also want to be clear that trainees have the confidence to act as pathfinders and secondary trainers (in fact I’d personally want to build in a brief “train the trainer” course to ensure that people had the basic skills and knew how to use them appropriately).

    So the least I’d want is to know what previous relevant experience, if any, each would-be trainee had in this respect.

    I’m not suggesting that people should be excluded if they don’t have prior experience, but again it might get the potential delegates to think about what they are signing up for – and would give you some idea of what your starting point should be.

    Hope this is of use

    Be well

  2. Management Support Evaluation Questionnaire and Matrix
    Hi Jane,

    I agree that the commitment and buy-in of the manager is one of the keys to the success of the training actually being applied back in the office.

    A while back we tried to come up with some ideas and approaches on how to improve this, which was often just hit and miss in terms of the real long-term success of the training and how lucky the participant was in having a progressive manager or not.

    As there are essentially 2 extremes to selection of course participants – self-selection by the team member with various qualifiers and approvals, and top-down selection by managers – we wanted to make sure the first wasn’t stymied by lack of managerial support.

    We started up an internal project that resulted in a Management Support Evaluation Questionnaire and Matrix. Of the 2 ways that it can be used – either pro-actively to identify and ‘enlighten’ the less-than-committed line managers or as a filter to exclude those participants whose managers would dent the impact of training – I would recommend the first approach.

    If you think it would be useful you can download it from

    I hope it helps,


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