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Use ‘super-users’ to deliver IT training at your peril, says NCC


The National Computing Centre (NCC) has warned businesses that by asking 'super-users' to deliver IT training they are in danger of losing the very people that are helping to make the business a success.

In its latest Guidelines for IT Management, 'Developing End-user Skills', the National Computing Centre (NCC) says that users who have a particular expertise in computing or a particular package - 'superusers' - are being asked to deliver informal training sessions for other employees without the involvement of either HR or IT departments. The NCC says that not only does this mean that these people are likely to move on, taking their skills with them once they realise their value, it also means that the training process is not properly overseen and can lead to users being taught wrong ways of doing things, another potentially huge cost to the business.

NCC's director of operations David Masding said: "The growing demand for IT-literacy in the workforce is clear, but the responsibility for training end-users has never been more confused. NCC believes management must work with IT and human resource departments to plan the content of training courses, alongside staff development programmes aimed at enhancing the stock of corporate is vital training is built into these situations because the days of an expert from the IT department explaining the features of a software package to a couple of bored employees are a thing of the past."

The NCC has put together a nine-point plan to help organisations keep control of training:

1.Construct a skills inventory to identify gaps and weak points
2.Establish attainable training goals
3.Target training and recruitment to fill skill gaps and strengthen weaknesses
4.Identify most frequently used functions of software in training programme
5.Determine how critical these functions are to the organisation
6.Identify training suppliers according to accreditation, expertise and service
7.Draw up a service level agreement
8.Use standard definitions to test competence of employees
9.Establish a measure of benefits achieved after training


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