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Standards-based Training and Development, Mike Tilling and Paul Nash

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Standards-based Training and Development: Self-assessment, organization and trainer development strategies and tools.
Authors: Mike Tilling and Paul Nash
Publisher: Gower
Year: 2000
ISBN: 0 566 08273 X
Price: £250
Format: A4 ringbinder, 379 pages

This very substantial volume is based on the standards and guidelines set out in Raising the Standards (Training Standards Council, 1998) and sets out to provide training departments in every type of organization with all the tools they need to carry out a rigorous programme of self-assessment. I did not find it an easy manual to use, not because of any weakness of the material, but because of the size of the mass of information, guidance, advice, things to do, etc. Although it is based on the Training Standards Council standards and guidelines (the TSC is responsible advising, guiding, overseeing and inspecting organizations involved in government-funded work-based training through TECs, FE Colleges, the New Deal Initiative and the ESF), the standards are an excellent base for any training department to use and from which to assess its operational effectiveness. The range of assessment areas is very substantial as indicated by the content coverage and it would be difficult to imagine major areas that might have been omitted. I would imagine that the first purchasers will be those organizations (between 1400 and 1700) who are overseen by the TSC, but these should be closely followed by any organization that wants to look closely at its training practices and ensure that the best practices are being followed.

The resource is formatted in four parts. Part 1 suggests a framework for conducting an organizational self-assessment based on a yearly cycle of activities and describes a nine phase approach: evaluation, collation of observations about strengths and weaknesses; linking to the standards; reporting; setting priorities; action planning; development; surveying the results; and reviewing and redirecting. Three handouts on which comments or observations can be made, support the Part – assessing ourselves; team leader’s summary; and management team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Part 2 contains 11 development units designed to meet the needs that a training organization might uncover following a self-assessment. These 11 units contain descriptions, schedules; and a set of activities in each one for needs ranging from internal and external communication; through induction and team development; to Job search and progression, and meetings and consultations.

Part 3 contains trainer development strategies and contains six development units for individual trainers for self-assessment. As in Part 2, the units contain descriptions, schedules and activities, and cover what trainees and employers expect from a training programme; training methods; learning design; motivation; evaluating training and independent learning.

Part 4 contains nine case studies each one illustrating how the training provider has responded to the challenge of the standards.

This is a masterly work that contains a wealth of material for training self-assessment, so much so that even after working through it several times I kept on encountering something I had not met before. Expensive, but well worth it.

Leslie Rae
September 2000

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