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What’s in It For Me? ITOL


In the third in our series of articles on training membership bodies, Dawn Smith puts the spotlight on the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL).

How much does it cost?
The individual subscription rate is £99.00 per annum

Organisation subscription rates (per annum):
1 to 3 people - £250 & VAT
3 to 6 people - £550 & VAT
6 to 10 people - £800 & VAT
10+ people - £1,200 & VAT

What do you get for your money?
Resources and information including the monthly “Training & Learning Magazine”; the peer-reviewed “British Journal of Occupational Learning” which carries in-depth practitioner articles, academic research, conference papers and case studies; access to a trainers resource library; and the “UK Glossary of Training Terms”, which is designed to allow the training community to communicate with each other without confusion or misunderstanding.

Networking opportunities including regional member groups in Scotland and London, and a North West England group soon to be launched; annual conventions held in Scotland and London; and a confidential online forum as well as an open forum on the website.

Members’ Exclusive Webspace, which includes book reviews, news of training tenders and contracts, an articles library, links and a jobs digest (as well as the confidential forum mentioned above).

Training courses and certification programme, with ITOL qualifications including: Foundation Certificate in Staff Development, Certificate in Training and Occupational Learning, Advanced Certificate in Training and Occupational Learning, Diploma in Training and Occupational Learning

Entry on the Trainers Database, which allows members to showcase their services to prospective clients.

Discounts on books from major publishers, and special prices for professional indemnity insurance.

ITOL was formed in July 2000 as a response to increasing demands for an organisation representative of the training profession. Early growth was moderate, as the people leading the organisation focused on establishing the ‘pillars’ of the new institute, says ITOL director Harry Bundred; but during the past two years the membership base has almost trebled, and increasing numbers of organisations are adopting ITOL’s qualifications for their training staff.

Why join? ITOL says:
The Institute of Training and Occupational Learning is the only Institute in the UK solely committed to occupational trainers and their needs. We are the UK's fastest growing network for trainers, and we aim to continue growing in terms of our membership, services, and influence. We have already been invited to sit at many of the important tables - contributing to Cabinet Office discussions, the Leitch report and ongoing discussions with Lifelong Learning, for example - and we are determined to be the voice of anyone involved in occupational learning.

Membership of ITOL, with the appropriate designatory letters after your name, is a demonstration to others of your professional status and will serve as an enduring mark of achievement and credibility.

ITOL members include training consultants, instructors, training managers, NVQ assessors, professors, lecturers, training directors and training designers, working in every sector of industry, commerce, government, not-for-profit organisations and the Armed Forces.

Pros and cons – a member says:
Ian Thomson, director of The Training Tree, has been an ITOL member for around five years and joined because of its specific focus on training. “I had been a member of the Institute of Training and Development, but when they joined with the CIPD that didn’t suit me because I’m a trainer, not a personnel person,” he explains. “I couldn’t be a full member of the CIPD because I’m not a generalist. Then I saw that ITOL was setting up - and I could be a full member.”

ITOL’s professional qualification is the biggest benefit, for Ian. “It’s important that I have been recognised as a training professional,” he says. “Of course I know the qualification is not as well recognised as it could be, but it’s moving in the right direction.”

Other member benefits that Ian rates highly include the events. “In the past year, I’ve been to all three conventions, and found them very useful networking opportunities,” he says. “The training magazine arrives monthly and keeps me up to date with training news.”

Ian believes the benefits of membership will increase as the Institute gets older. “There is a natural development that will happen as ITOL grows and the qualifications become better recognised,” he says. “It’s still early days for ITOL. It needs more resources and more members, but that’s just a function of time.”

TrainingZONE says:
Members tell us that the ITOL conventions have a good mix of speakers and are great for networking, and that the Institute as a whole has a good spirit about it, a consequence of being run by members for members. It doesn’t have the high profile and membership base of larger bodies, but it’s entirely training focused, which is a big plus.

Contact details:
49 Seymour Terrace
Liverpool L3 5PE
Tel: 0151 7078424

Related articles:
What’s in It For Me? The ASTD UK Network
What's in it For Me? The CIPD


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