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Training Dry Subjects


Afternoon All

I've recently been approached by our Customer Service Manager to deliver 2 sessions on Data protection to our Call Centre staff, one around the legal aspects and obligations, the other on how it affects them in practice.

We have already the material required for the legal aspect as this was created and approved recently by our data protection team, however I'm struggling with putting together an innovative session for covering the practical aspects of their role.

Luckily I've managed to collate about 10 sides of A4 with queries coming directly from the agents which is a great start however, I don't want the session to be nothing more than a glorified Q&A session.

Has anyone come across a similar situation and if so, what got you through?



7 Responses

  1. Dry?
    No subject on earth is “dry”
    Use story, consequence and case study to bring this to life.
    You can use avatars or real life characters to walk through some scenarios…think of it as an interactive documentary rather thsn a course and it will start to be more interesting to you as well as your delegates.

  2. Information commissioners office

    When I had to do this a few years ago, I found that the Information Commissioners Office had a free DVD for businesses about data protection.

    We asked people to view the DVD (with some pretty famous actors in it, if I remember correctly) and put together a series of questions to answer.  The answers to some questions were found in the DVD and a few others required review of the company's data protection policy.

    The intervention was really well received.

    I'm afraid I don't know if that information is still available from the ICO, but it might be worth a phone call.

    Good luck!

  3. Don’t give them content

    Steve's spot on; it's about giving them contextual activity, a safe place to practice and make mistakes.

    Send out information they can read beforehand – maybe a case study with no answer sheet they can bring to the session (a trailer in Steve's documentary analogy).

  4. Thanks Sophie,

    Thanks Sophie,

    Luckily the ICO still offers to send through publications, hand-outs and a DVD which all should contribute.

    I've managed to find a number of resources on the interwebs to help create some 'game show' style quizzes which should inject a bit of life into the subject matter. 
    The problem at hand is, the agents have DPA battered at them all day long, week in week out so the first mentioned of DPA refresher instantly turns them off.

    I'd like to be able to provide case studies as Andrew and Steve have suggested but that would be assuming that our Agents would read them (They wouldn't as the business won't allow them time to prepare for ANY training) unfortunately the situations the agents find themselves in is a constant stream of varied problems, related to the law, data protection and criminal matters which in itself is nigh on impossible to train due to the unpredictability of the questions raised by our customers.


    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions though, certainly helped out. 

  5. Attitude
    I think some time needs to be spent on the attitudes of these people before any face to face training takes place.
    I am guessing they would also appreciate being asked what the course content should be?

  6. You can have some case

    You can have some case studies from my own Data Protection courses.My e mail  is [email protected]

    Data Protection training can be seen as very "dry and dusty" but in fact it's not.Sometimes I will start a session by asking if anybody in the room has either had something disclosed OR knows of someone who has.You will be truly amazed/shocked at how widespread this is and your cohorts examples will be indicative of some of the top issues
    1.Letter going to wrong address
    2.Overhearing a receptionist in a surgery or other practice saying something about the person
    3. Over the counter, you(customer) are seeking personal information say about your account and the person serving you BELLOWS out the information
    4.No clean paper free desk at night – cleaners and contractors can have a good snoop
    5.Stuff dumped in bins

    And here's another exercise -take into the room a supply of that week's newspapers and ask people to find examples of these breaches.Almost every day there is a story.Ask the group to identify what could be done to deal with these breaches,preventing them in the future.

    Finally, the growth of social media,Facebook. I also have a free briefing on Price v Weatherspoons

    You will soon get a good session going !                                         

  7. Make it personal

    I did a short online self-study module on Data Protection and information security when out of the office in customer's premises. Wrote it as a 'day in the life' scenario, taking our hapless hero through the various encounters, activiite and comversatiosn in the day, so almost no informational pages in the whole piece – every page was a question with a setup situation and choices for the learner to make. All the 'dry' stuff was presented in the feedback – and as much as possible I tried to use 'how would you feel if…' responses so that learners could immediately understand why certain guidelines or rules are in place.

    I'd say that this sort of traing should always be done in this way – pull learners into a story, help them to see the real consequences of it going wrong (the company will face a huge fine is NOT a real consequence BTW!) and show that 99% of this compliance stuff is actually just common sense in a civilised world!

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