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Ten questions for a training manager – Simon Evans, Portman Building Society


In a new feature, TrainingZONE asks training managers to describe their personal experiences of what the role of Training Manager or Training Officer involves. Below, Simon Evans of the Portman Building Society gives his answers.

1. How did you come to work in training?

I was always interested in helping others and, whilst I was a Branch Manager for the Portman, an opportunity to move into training came up and I grabbed it and never looked back.

2. Describe your role. What activities use most of your time?

Designing, delivering and evaluating training events. Training ranges from Security to all aspects of sales training, telesales etc.

3. Do you evaluate training?

Yes, we evaluate the course by end of course returns, then evaluate individual increase in performance over 1 and 3 months post-event.

4. Do you feel that training has a high enough profile in your organisation, and what would improve it?

It is getting better all the time, new management developer roles have recently been created, and the recent IIP award this will only further develop this role.

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

A meeting with each Region's Regional Manager is arranged to discuss requirements from which I write a training plan to deliver the business objectives, this is reviewed at bi-monthly meetings.

6. What has been the greatest influence for change in the training sector in recent years?

In our arena, the movement to include e-learning within the organisation, which I am very much involved in.

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


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

Yes - we are currently running PC skills training and using CLAIT as a medium for this, which is accredited by OCR.

9. Whose guidance do you rely on when purchasing training or e-learning products?

A business case will be passed to higher level management for approval.

10. What proportion of training is done in-house, and what using external providers?

90% in house and I would say 10% by using external providers.

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