When developing a training program, you should begin by understanding its intended purpose, and this will have formed part of your discussion with the various stakeholders. There are many reasons why a program may be necessary. For example:
- ■ To refresh or update current skills to ensure that existing staff continue to work to the desired standards. This may be a simple matter of highlighting information or reminding participants of policies, procedures, or product and service facts.
- ■ To develop a new skill or procedure, so as to improve employability skills or to enable staff to meet the required work standards. This may involve providing in-depth or complex information.
- ■ For professional development training as part of the organisation’s ongoing staff development and/or to comply with government legislation dealing with staff competency standards.
- ■ To develop vocational competency for people who wish to pursue a nationally recognised qualification in a trade or profession.
- ■ To develop foundation skills, such as LLN skills, to assist staff who may have difficulties for a variety of reasons.
- ■ To meet legislation, licensing or registration requirements, such as WHS requirements or any legal obligations expected of job roles in various industries.
- ■ To take corrective action where staff aren’t performing to the required standards and additional training is necessary.
The purpose of a program may substantially influence the delivery and assessment methods to be used. For example, it may determine:
■ what topics need to be included to achieve the expected outcome and, depending on participant experience levels, the range and depth of knowledge to be imparted
- ■ the best method of delivering the training according to the participant’s skills, venue, timeframes, and so on
- ■ what assessment methods will be used (unless the training is based on purely internal organisational procedures, rather than nationally recognised training)
- ■ what resources will be needed to deliver the program.
What is the intended outcome of the program?
Not all training programs will be the same in terms of expected outcome. As you have seen, people take part in training programs for a variety of reasons. When you are developing a program, it must therefore be very clear from the start what its intended outcome will be, as well as how that outcome might be measured. You will need to ask questions such as:
- ■ What must participants be able to do, as a minimum, as a result of the training?
- ■ How will participants be assessed as to whether they can now perform the new task/s to the required standards?