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Vox Pop: Training Trends


Sarah Fletcher asked TrainingZONE members what they are focussing on this year and why. What would you spend your training budget on if it knew no bounds? Let us know by adding a comment below.

Cultural Diversity
"Currently my main focus is delivering cultural diversity, clinical supervision, record keeping, report writing and retirement preparation workshops for NHS staff. The NHS provides much training in-house, but where it lacks capacity or expertise then external providers are used. Having worked in the NHS for 30 years I appreciate the challenges faced by trainees and their managers. I am keen to liaise with managers in health and social care to develop training and development opportunities that will support staff in meeting the challenges they face in service delivery."
Eddie Newall

Quality, Learning Design and Investment Appraisal
"Of the many trends impacting on us at the moment I would pick out three: Quality, Learning Design and Investment Appraisal. Quality is about the total quality of the learning experience and, when sourcing externally, the quality of the provider. In an increasingly competitive market the distinguishing features that count are the quality of the content and the quality of the delivery. For some people this will mean accredited programmes – more people are seeking qualifications as well as getting trained. For others it will be about working to a robust QA process to ensure excellence at every stage. For training functions working on a shoe-string there is the temptation to go for cheap, poor quality approaches. The trend here is to think creatively about maintaining standards but on a budget.

"The trend in learning design is for diverse methods blended into a well-crafted package that supports learning at every stage. Bite-size learning has on occasion been sound-bite training, but that is changing. Small chunks of elearning, coaching, short courses and projects can deliver excellent results if they are designed holistically with learning, motivation and application in mind.

"Evaluation remains a hot topic with Return on Investment (RoI) being on a continuous rolling boil. But I think the emphasis is shifting. More and more people are concerned about making careful decisions at the outset – basically making Investment Appraisal decisions – and then focussing on making sure that the investment of time, money and effort is brought to fruition. Making post-rational decisions on whether a programme was or was not cost effective – in other words doing RoI - is all too often too late, too hard or too backward looking.

"If I had a boundless budget? I would probably do just the same - spending more isn't always better. Time is as precious as money these days, so if I could buy more time for learning, that would be worth doing. I wouldn't waste my money on flashy things; I would still want to do my investment appraisal."
Graham O'Connell

Manager Development"I would want to focus on manager development. So many organisations could be happier and more effective places with better prepared management. We often read on the training and HR forums about poor people management resulting in difficulties for HR and training teams - it's time to stop the remedial work and time to get proactive."
Mike Morrison, Consultant

Management Development and Presentation"This year, I am focusing on writing and continuing to package my materials in to the ready to deliver format so they can reach more people, I'll be concentrating on management development this year. Training budget? I don't actually have one! But if I did, I would spend it on behavioural and psychological training."
Rich Lucas

"We will be focusing on everything across the board, as a start up organisation with an (almost) unlimited training budget for 2,000 staff. We will be looking at programs of organisational development, managerial development, product and system knowledge and more! We are in a very priviledged position to be able to do so - but hopefully it will result in one of the most succesful customer focused organisations in the Middle East."
Nik Kellingley, Training Consultant


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