No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Ten questions for a training manager – Malcolm Porter, Thomson Directories


In a brand new feature, TrainingZONE asks training managers to describe their personal experiences of what the role of Training Manager or Training Officer involves. Below, Malcolm Porter of Thomson Directories gives his answers.

1. How did you come to work in training?

I have been working with my present company Thomson Directories for over 9 years, starting off in telesales > field sales > senior account manager > first line manager > senior line manager, an opportunity came up to head up our Training & Development Centre, I saw it as an opportunity to positively impact on the training delivered within the company and bring a real life approach to the department.

2. Describe your role.

I manage / lead 10 trainers, their roles revolve mainly around Management Training, Sales training, soft skills and IT skills. My role involves working with them on new material and helping with courses, and well as managing the department budget etc.

3. What activities do you spend most of your time on?

Spending time with the trainers around various issues, and researching new material.

4. Is training in your organisation mainly organised according to a strategic plan, or mainly arranged when a need has become evident?

A bit of both until recently it happened when the need became evident but more recently it has been organized around our department and corporate strategy.

5. Is any of your training accredited by external bodies?


6. Do you feel that training has a high enough profile in your organisation?

No we still fight an uphill battle at times as some people will feel it more beneficial to spend time doing their job rather than come on a course that will benefit them.

7. How do you demonstrate the value of your department to your organisation?

We ask for the standard happy sheets at end of each course, and occasionally will do some follow-up to see how the skills are being used in real life. With sales reps on, on the job training we can use revenue to demonstrate our value …… this is one of the key areas I am focusing on as we currently don’t do this very well.

8. What influences do you think have had the greatest impact on the training sector in recent years?

I.T. and Computer based learning, attitude and motivation.

9. Do you think that training professionals should have a greater say in planning national training policy?


10. How do you see your work changing or developing in the next few years?

Focusing around attitude and motivation across all levels and having a long term strategic view of training within thomsons for the future also as mentioned above implementing a more effective evaluation procedure.

If you would like to send in your answers to our questions, mail us and we'll send you more details.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!