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What do training qualifications really signify?


When an applicant says "Institute of Training and Development qualified trainer" what does that signify?

What have they been trained to do? would it cover psychological processes? eg dealing with negative transference?

AND do CIPD courses cover psychological process?

I dont want to make assumptions about trainers' knowledge and abilities to manage training and deal with own and participants' pscyhological 'baggage'. (We deal with mental health and psychological issues).

How are trainees assessed? and to what level?
Val Hughes

4 Responses

  1. What do training qualifications really signify?
    ‘When an applicant says “Institute of Training and Development qualified trainer” what does that signify?’


    As it says here…

    ‘There is a bewildering variety of Training and Development qualifications available in the UK.’


    At face value, your applicant may have completed a capability-level train-the-trainer course accredited by ITD. Or they may have been accredited to deliver ITD programmes. Lacking the context of the candidate’s career history or the job specification, it’s hard to say what this means.

    If I were recruiting trainers, and specified a ‘recognised training qualification’ or similar within the selection criteria, I’d expect to see something a bit more specific. But I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand, either.

    As I recall, ITD merged with the IPD (as it was known then) several years ago. At the time, ITD members were offered ‘grandfather’ opportunities to affiliate with the IPD at roughly equivalent grades of membership. So, if the ITD course is the chief training qualification claimed, I’d want to know what they’ve done since then; e.g.,

    *Can the candidate demonstrate a record of sustained, relevant work experience?

    *Can the candidate demonstrate a record of continuing professional development in the field since qualifying?

    If so, your job requirements will dictate the relative merits of credentials v. experience. Do your risk management or professional indemnity policies require credentials? Is it more or less important that the trainer be able to handle the challenges you’ve described?

    ‘AND do CIPD courses cover psychological process?’

    Google reveals…

    To me, the bottom line is something like I heard during my own education in this field: qualifications are a licence to learn.

    Has your candidate learned to handle the challenges you’ve described?


    Scott G. Welch

  2. Training Qualifications
    I suspect from the scant details offered that the person did indeed qualify for a Certificate in T&D offered by the the Institute of Training & Development before it merged with IPD. I would have thought that was easy to check.
    This is a legitimate and valid qualification. Unsurprisingly it qualifies them to be a trainer not a psychologist. The old Cert in T&D did have a small component on psychology but only the psychology of learning. The same applies to the current CIPD Certificate.
    As to dealing with people in the mental health field this is a far more specialised field and I think it unreasonable to expect this to be covered in a mainstream training qualification. If you really need someone who can distinguish between negative transference and counter transference then you need to check what other training or qualifications they have.
    However, you seem to be refering to the types of problems most trainers face from time to time (eg participants’ ‘baggage) – this is usually addressed in trainer training via models and practical tips rather than true psychological theory. You don’t need to be a trained psychologist to deal with groups (though sometimes you do feel like you need your head examining!).
    In the latter days of the Cert in T&D assessment was based more on a written project. Assessment of traner’s skills is increasingly rigourous but is never a guarantee that they can deal with all situations. It is more akin to passing the driving test. It confirms that you have the basics but whether you become a truely skilled driver/trainer depends on how well you continue learning from experience, and your CPD.

  3. Psychology? (rapidly uses fingers to make sign of the cross!)

    The basic answer is that trainers who haven’t either taken a degree/diploma in psychology or gone on specialist training courses won’t have much knowledge of psychology, and what they do know will usually be myths, legends and old wives tales like the “open and closed questions” concept discussed a week or two ago.

    The simple truth is that not enough trainers have enough up-to-date/accurate information about psychology to know how it could help them – and that includes the people designing/delivering the train-the-trainer training, as evidenced by the comment in the previous response about the “unreasonableness” of expecting trainers to learn about psychology.

    [This is, as you may have gathered, a subject very dear to my heart
    ūüėČ ]

    Best wishes

    Andy Bradbury, B.A. (Soc. Psych.)

  4. ITD
    As I understand it the ITD was replaced by the CIPD sometime during the mid 1990’s- although not sure of the date. There were varying levels of training qualifications from Certificate to Diploma. I’m only familiar with the Certificate programme ( I did one) and the syllabus I followed didn’t include psych. processes in any great depth – evaluation of training and therefore negative transference were recognised as significant processes, but I wouldn’t have felt qualified to deal with it in any great depth on the basis of my academic study. The assessment consisted of 4 work based assignments + an assessed micro teaching session. Current CIPD quals are much more comprehensive, but you would need to see the syllabus in order to be able to assess the content, and I would strongly advise that you build an activity / case study into any recruitment process, particularly in view of your client group.


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