TRAINING FOR TRAINING MANAGERS
INTRODUCTION The role of a Training Manager can vary considerably from one organisation to the next. Some may be very experienced trainers in their own right. Others may have more limited experience of delivering training. The assumption made throughout this course though is that all the participants will have continuing experience of devising, planning and organising the delivery of training within a voluntary organisation on a regular basis. This may be in either a paid or un-paid capacity. The course material attempts to reflect the fact that, particularly in the Voluntary Sector, individuals involved in training and training management may have widely varying social, cultural and educational backgrounds. TRAINING MANAGEMENT
The training manager’s role can be broken down broadly into a number of different areas:
• • • • •
Assessing the training needs of groups or individuals Designing programmes of training and assessment to meet the needs of groups or individuals Planning and coordinating the resources necessary to deliver training Evaluating the quality of training programmes Administration and record keeping
In the chapters that follow, each of these areas will be dealt with in detail and will be interpreted as they relate to small-scale voluntary groups.
Chapter 1 Assessing Training Needs
INTRODUCTION Something that is often missing from programmes of training is an accurate assessment of the real needs of the individual or group seeking training. Training for its own sake is of very little value. It is important that both the trainees and the trainers are clear about the purpose of the training and that training provides progression for the trainee. In other words, the training opens up new opportunities in terms of employment, access to higher-level training or education or it produces some social benefit either to the individual or the community in general. Assessing needs can be a tricky business. Obviously the trainee will have some idea about their own needs, but they may not be sufficiently well informed to make sound judgements. They may have either an overly low or high opinion of their own abilities. They almost certainly will not have an extensive knowledge of the labour market or education system. The process of assessing training needs requires an understanding of all the various factors, social, cultural, economic which can enhance or restrict the access to or benefit from training. It is a process of negotiation between the training manager and their ‘client’ at the end of which all parties should be agreed about the scope, purpose and expected outcome of the training. In the context of Community Radio the training needs may appear to be defined by the requirement of the organisation to have a ready supply of people with broadcasting and production skills. However, this rather narrow focus overlooks the full range of skills that may be required in running even a temporary radio station on a Restricted Service License. Finance, administration, marketing, advertising and many other skills may be required within the group and increasingly individuals need to be multiskilled. Community Radio groups also should not overlook their role as trainers for the wider industry. Sources of funding for training will usually require that organisations address their training to the wider employment market. The purpose of the following section is to introduce the participants to the issues, which need to be considered when assessing training, needs.
By the end of this section the participants should: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Be able to clearly identify who needs training How many? How old? Male? Female? Income and lifestyle? Ethnic and cultural background? Be able to clearly identify why training is needed Obtain the trainee or client’s own views Make their own assessment of needs Assess existing skills and skill level Identify training required to achieve required goal Negotiate agreement of training needs Be able to identify obstacles to successful training Social and Cultural Political Financial Organizational Personal
1.1 WHO NEEDS TRAINING? Notes to the trainer: The purpose of this section is to encourage the participants to look at the composition of a group of trainees in terms of numbers, age, gender, social, ethnic and cultural factors, and to consider how all these factors relate to the design and delivery of training. For instance, a wide age range within a group may create problems in technological subject areas where younger members of a group may feel more at home and wish to progress at a faster rate than the older members. Again, particularly with things like studio training there is a strong argument that women tend to be marginalized and perform better in single sex groups. Women - particularly single mothers - may have childcare concerns, which need to be planned for. People who are working will have different needs to those who are unemployed. In the context of this course, participants will predominantly be working with trainees from established ethnic minority communities or groups of
migrants or refugees they may or may not be sensitive to cultural issues such as mixed sex-teaching groups. If training is to be effective, all these factors must be taken into account in the design and implementation. Much of this may seem obvious - tell that to the person who organnised recruitment interviews for a group of Orthodox Jews late on a Friday afternoon! The exercise, which follows this section, is designed to help the participants focus on the issues raised. As with all the exercises in this pack, it is included for guidance only. Feel free to use your own ideas and substitute as you see fit. Before you can begin to plan a training programme you will need to answer this question. Although it may be possible to make certain assumptions about who your trainees will be, you should still think it through to make sure you haven’t overlooked some small but vital detail. Ask some very basic questions like:
How many people need training and what sort of group size is appropriate? Is there a maximum number you can deal with because of equipment and resources?
How old are they?
Are the trainees all roughly the same age? If not, what is the age range? How might the age of the participants influence the training?
Are the trainees male or female?
Are you dealing with mixed gender groups? Is this desirable? What effect might this have on the training? Are there any factors in the training programme, which will unduly favor or disadvantage one sex?
What is the employment status of the trainees?
Are the trainee’s unemployed, working or a mixture of both? Will the timing or structure of the course adversely affect employed or unemployed people? Does the timetable accommodate shift workers or low paid workers who cannot take leave?
What is the ethnic or cultural make-up of the trainees?
Are there any special issues raised by the ethnic origin or cultural background of the trainees? Have you taken these into account? Will some people require additional English teaching or language support? Does the timetable allow for religious observance? You may not always need to sit down and work through these questions in a formal way but they should always be running through your mind during the planning stage of any programme of training. You cannot always produce perfection but you should be able to show that you have considered all the issues and be prepared to justify your decisions.
1.2. WHY IS TRAINING NEEDED? Notes to the trainer: The purpose of this section is to introduce the participants to the process of assessing and negotiating what training is needed and why. Sometimes training is offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Either the potential trainee can see the benefits of the training on offer, or they can’t. This may be an inevitable by-product of the way the training is structured or funded - it is not always possible to customize a programme to suit the individual needs of every trainee. Colleges and institutions would fall into this category. In other situations - and this may often be the case in C.R. organisations training will be designed and customized for a particular group of people who share common needs. Group sizes are likely to be smaller and much more attention can be given to individual needs. In either case, thought and attention needs to be given to reaching a clear assessment of why training is needed. Why training is needed leads directly to what training is needed. Clients or individual trainees will have ideas of their own about what training they need and why. Their analysis may or may not be correct. As training managers, the participants may also have their own favored cureall solutions, which do not take account of the trainee or client’s views, or needs. To arrive at a satisfactory conclusion about why training is required the effective training manager needs to discuss the existing skills and skill levels and the desired goal of the trainees. This must be matched against external criteria i.e. the realistic possibility of reaching the accepted skill level prevailing in the outside world.
Through this section, participants should be introduced to the processes of discussion, assessment and negotiation required to carry out this function. Before you can plan what training needs to be provided you will need to have a clear understanding of why training is required. An individual or group may require training because advances in technology are making their existing skills redundant, or they may lack the necessary basic skills to take advantage of local employment opportunities in a particular industry. They may be seeking social improvements for their community but needs skills training to achieve their goal. In order to understand why training is needed you will need to know: What is the goal...?
The Trainee or client’s view What is the eventual goal they wish to achieve? Does this seem realistic? Can you negotiate a more realistic approach? Are they being unduly pessimistic? Could they aim higher? Can you suggest alternative means of achieving the same or similar goal by a different method? An individual trainee or client organisation will have its own view of why they need training and what training they need. They are not necessarily right. Listen very carefully to what they say but keep an open mind. Use your own judgement and your knowledge and experience. Make suggestions and offer advice - but, ultimately, they are the customer and they are free to make their own choices (and mistakes).
Existing skills and skill levels What skills does the individual or group already posses? Are they relevant to the overall goal? Do they have transferable skills on which to build? At what level are the existing skills? Would it be helpful if they could be improved? Do they have qualifications or evidence of their skills, which might be used as credit towards a qualification?
What skills are required? What is the skills gap which prevents the goal being achieved? Can this gap realistically be bridged?
Negotiate Can you negotiate agreement of the goal and the training needs?
1.3 OBSTACLES TO SUCCESSFUL TRAINING Notes to the trainer: The purpose of this section is to encourage the participants to look at the many factors, social, political, financial, organizational and personal, which influence whether training is successful. Some factors may prevent access to training in the first place, some may prevent effective learning and others may undermine the overall effectiveness of the training. Some factors may be outside the direct control of either the trainee or the training manager - being matters of national policy or social attitude. Others certainly are controllable and, by considering them as part of a needs assessment, they can be planned for and their effects minimized. By the end of this section the participants should be aware of how many complex factors may interact to undermine the effectiveness of training. They should be able to use this awareness, as part of training needs assessment in order to pan courses of training, which minimize their effects. Many factors can prevent access to training, prevent people from learning effectively or undermine the effectiveness of training: Social and cultural factors • Lack of basic education • Poverty and deprivation • Traditional exclusion of certain groups - e.g. Women in some cultures
• Racism • Lack of aspiration - no role models Political factors • Lack of provision • Lack of funding • Institutional racism Financial factors • • • • High fees Unavailability of grants or subsidy (also political) Timing conflicts with work or childcare (also organizational) Loss of benefits
Organizational factors • • • • • • • Students’ aptitude for training not assessed Inflexible approach to course plan Aims and objectives not clear Poor teaching environment Inappropriate length or time of day Inappropriate choice of learning methods Lack of resources
Personal factors • • • • • • Teaching style does not suit learning style Insufficient prior knowledge Unfamiliarity with particular cultural references Lack of aptitude or unreasonable aspirations Lack of confidence Distracting personal problems - i.e. poor mental or physical health
Chapter 2 Designing Training and Assessment
INTRODUCTION At least some of the participants on this course will have experience, perhaps considerable experience, of delivering training. They may also have ‘designed’ courses, in that they have thought about and planned the content of their training and produced a coherent plan for delivering it. This may not have taken the form of a formal, written down course plan; it may have been some notes or just mental notes. It is equally likely that some participants will not have this experience. This section attempts to build on and formalize their existing knowledge and to introduce them to some important concepts in training design. Very few participants, if any, are likely to be familiar with methods of assessment and most are unlikely to be familiar with the esoteric language used for describing them. It is important that throughout this section the participants are allowed to take a common-sense approach to the subject and that the terminology and technique is gradually introduced. It is all too easy for even a very experienced trainer to begin to doubt what they think they already know and for their confidence to be badly shaken. The lingua franca of training and assessment is as impenetrable to an outsider as any other. It is equally true that in this field, as much as any other, professionals use and misuse the jargon with impunity. It is more important, therefore, that the participants have a secure grasp on the concepts and techniques and can use them with confidence, and less important that they always use the correct terminology. By the end of this section the participants should:
Be able to describe the various ways in which people can learn and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each. Be able suggest one or a combination of learning methods which might be appropriate to suit the needs of a particular group of trainees. Demonstrate and awareness of the relative effectiveness of certain learning methods for certain skills. Be able to analyse familiar occupations in terms of the necessary competencies and their associated core skills, supporting skills and knowledge. Demonstrate an understanding of graded and competence based assessment methods by applying them to a training situation. Be able to design a course structure, which effectively addresses the learning requirements of the trainees, the
most effective options for meeting the learning requirements and an assessment framework, which evaluates the students progress and achievement and the effectiveness of the training.
2.1 WAYS OF LEARNING Notes to the trainer: The purpose of this section is to introduce the participants to the various ways and situations in which learning can occur. The participants will probably be familiar with most of the learning methods - although they may have never put a technical name to them before. The key points to get across are that: Every learning method has advantages and disadvantages and not all learning methods will be equally effective for every member of a group, no matter how similar the needs of the individuals may seem. Combinations of learning methods are often more effective than a singular approach. Preferred methods of learning may have resource implications that cannot be met.
We can acquire knowledge and skill in many different ways such as: Formal teaching and training courses Highly structured. One or more tutors with expertise in the subject and experience in teaching. May involve both theory and practical sessions. Advantages: Complex subjects can be explained more easily and continuous tutor support can deal quickly with misunderstandings. Very good for complex theoretical subjects. Allow students to concentrate on the subject for the period of the course. Disadvantages: Difficult to deal with groups of students with different levels of knowledge and speeds of learning. A fixed length course can be difficult to fit into the needs of everyday life.
Resource Based Learning On or more specialist tutors are available for students to consult. Students have access to a variety of material but they are free to choose their own speed and way of working. Advantages: Students are free to learn at their own pace and to spend more time on the areas they find most difficult. Good where the training needs of a group of students is quite diverse. Disadvantages: Lacks structure and direction. Requires more motivation from the student. Students may not correctly identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Open and Flexible Learning Students have access to information, learning materials and, where appropriate, facilities for practical work. They are free to set their own speed and way of working but do not necessarily has tutor support. Advantages: Very good for more advanced students who are well motivated and can set themselves clear goals and are capable of solving problems on their own. Disadvantages: May be of very little use to students who may not understand the subject well enough to make use of the resources. May undermine the confidence of the less advanced students. Distance Learning Students are provided with learning materials and resources and are given a highly structured plan of study to follow. Work usually takes place in the Student’s own home. The student is free to arrange when they study although a minimum amount of time will be needed to complete the structured course work. Some tutor support may be available by telephone or occasional meeting. Advantages: Fits very well with the needs of working people. Gives some of the advantages of open learning with the structure of a more formal approach. Disadvantages: Requires self-discipline. Can be hard to find the study time needed. Not suited to very practical subjects. Lack of contact with a tutor may leave some students with problems they cannot solve themselves.
Mentoring A relationship with a respected individual, usually an expert practitioner in the subject being studied, who will give advice and support rather than formal teaching. Advantages: Mentors can provide positive role models which some students may require to give them confidence. Mentors can pass on valuable personal experience as well as practical knowledge related to the subject or skill. Disadvantages: Mentors cannot be expected to provide training, only to support it. The benefit to the student of mentoring will depend on how well the personal relationship works. Coaching Intense one-to-one teaching designed produce a rapid or dramatic improvement in skill or performance. Advantages: The student has the undivided attention of the tutor who can respond immediately to their learning needs. The student is given confidence because of the amount and quality of time that is going into their training. Disadvantages: Personality conflicts may develop in such a high-pressure situation. Some students may feel over pressurised. Very costly. Job Shadowing Learning by watching someone else do a job. Advantages: Puts the subject of skill into its practical context. The student has the advantage of being able to ask questions of someone who has developed their own working practices and applied theoretical concepts in the real world. Disadvantages: The student may not have enough knowledge of the subject to understand what they are seeing or to ask appropriate questions. Experts are often very bad teachers and cannot find simplified ways to discuss their subject. Work Experience Learning by doing the job yourself under the careful supervision of a more experienced person.
Advantages: Learning by doing can be the best way to acquire practical skills. Being in a working environment helps to put the skills and knowledge into context. Work experience can offer a greater range of opportunities to repeat tasks, which may be complex or difficult to grasp. Disadvantages: The students must already posses a degree of skill so that they are of use to the work experience provider. The work experience provider may not be willing to give the student complex or challenging tasks. The standard of supervision and support may be inadequate.
2.2 COMPETENCIES, SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE Notes to the trainer: The purpose of this section is to introduce the participants to the concept of competence. The purpose of skills training is to get trainees to a level where they can perform a desired function competently. It is important that the participants have clear understanding of this. Unless they have undergone a period of training themselves, participants are most likely to be familiar with the school examination system. Examinations do not assess competence because they only measure performance on one special occasion - i.e. the exam. Competence is about repeatability over time. The participants will need to acquire an understanding of the three key elements that create competence; core skills, supporting skills and knowledge. Breaking up an area of competence into these elements can be quite difficult and confusing at first. It is often more helpful to use a simple everyday example (competence in tea making!) rather than something more complex from their own field of expertise. Competencies Define the elements of the job which, after training, a trainee must be capable of carrying out correctly on a routine basis with minimal or no supervision. In order to be competent in performing an element of a job a person will need to acquire core skills, supporting skills and knowledge. For example, in order to be competent at radio interviewing a trainee will require the core skills of handling a portable tape recorder and a microphone, they will require supporting inter-personal skills for dealing with interviewees and they will need the knowledge to ask intelligent and carefully structured questions. Core Skills
Define the core skills required i.e. those skills that are essential to carrying out the tasks required. These may be both practical and intellectual skills.
Supporting skills Define the other skills which, whilst not immediately required to perform a task, may be necessary in the overall context of this occupation e.g. it is not necessary to understand French to be able to skilfully edit audio tape with a razor blade. However, it would be almost impossible to work for a French radio service without a good grasp of the language. Knowledge Define the knowledge required to make intelligent use of the skills and competences. The amount and breadth of knowledge required will depend on the level and complexity of the skill area. People who are training for managerial or supervisory roles, or for occupations where they will be required to perform complex tasks with little supervision, will require a greater breadth and range of knowledge than those who will be carrying out simple tasks under close supervision. 2.3 METHODS OF ASSESSMENT Notes to the trainer: This section introduces participants to two key methods of assessment graded assessment and competence based assessment. It is important that participants complete the preceding section before starting this part of the course otherwise they will not fully understand the discussion of competence based assessment. Most programmes of practical skills training use competence based assessment. However, when participants are designing programmes of training for themselves, it may be appropriate for them to use both methods depending on the situation. It is important that, despite its prevalence, participants realise that competence based assessment does have some disadvantages. By the end of this section participants should be able to: • Analyse and criticize a scheme of assessment. • Suggest an appropriate method of assessment for a scheme of learning.
Graded assessment Graded assessment is based on a scheme of marking which allows the assessor to make a judgment from the evidence which has been provided about how well the student has performed on one or more occasion. A certain number of marks may be given for each element of skills or knowledge being assessed. Marks for all the elements are totalled. Below a certain total the candidate will be considered to have "failed". Above the minimum pass mark degrees of ability will be indicated by a higher total. Sometimes marks may be banded into descriptions such as fail, pass, merit, distinction. Advantages This method of assessment can work quite well when assessing knowledge. It allows for a clear distinction in performance between adequate and inadequate whilst also providing a means of indicating above average or superior performance. Disadvantages Relies on a subjective interpretation of the assessment criteria. Two assessors may give different marks for the same piece of work. External moderation may be required to ensure that marking is fair and consistent. Not a very good method for assessing skills where repeatability over time is more important than exceptional performance on one or few occasions. Competence based assessment Competence is the ability to carry out a task correctly and consistently without the need for supervision or correction. Competence based assessment relies on the assessor either directly observing or seeing evidence of the candidate carrying out tasks or applying knowledge on a number of occasions. Evidence requirements are clearly set out. The candidate is assessed against performance criteria. These are a series of clear statements, which specify the required level of performance e.g.: When observed on three separate occasions the candidate: • Can correctly connect the microphone to the tape recorder • Can correctly lace the tape • Can correctly set the recording level to obtain a good recording
• Checks level meter periodically to confirm correct reading In order for the candidate to succeed, it must be possible to answer yes to all the performance criteria when they are observed on more that one occasion. Advantages Competence based assessment is most useful in the work place or in a training environment where it is possible to repeat tasks on a regular basis. It gives a clear indication whether the candidate is able to carry out the task at the required level. Disadvantages Competence may not be achieved immediately candidates may feel they have "failed". In situations where there may not be adequate opportunities for the candidate to repeat the task there is considerable pressure on the assessor to "pass" candidates who may not be fully competent. 2.4 COURSE DESIGN Notes to the trainer: In this last section of chapter 2 the participants bring together the knowledge they have acquired in the preceding sections. The purpose of this section is to guide the participants through the basic steps of course design. Work on this section should be linked to an exercise in real course design either set by you or suggested by the participant. Many, if not all, the participants will be trainers and it is quite easy for them to get bogged down in details of course content - this is the area in which they will feel most at ease - instead of designing the framework which supports it. Content matters - of course - but in the context of this section they must be encouraged to look at all the issues of learning requirements, learning methods, assessment and resources. Steps to course Design 1. Identify and address the learning requirements • Where are we starting from and where do we want to get to?
• What does the student or group of students think their learning needs are? • Can you confirm their present skill level or relevant experience by questioning or testing? • Why are they seeking training and are their aspirations realistic? • What level of training or experience is required by the external labor market? Can they reach this level? • Can you agree the learning requirements? • Which of the learning requirements can be dealt with by this course of training and which will require separate courses or programmes of training? 2. Consider the range of options for meeting the learning requirements. • Identify the appropriate mix of learning methods • Which methods of learning will best suit these students? Can you establish this by questioning or testing. • Is the preferred learning method appropriate? • What are the resource implications of choosing these learning methods? • Do you have the resources? • Can you agree the learning methods? • Do the chosen learning methods allow the student to achieve their objectives? • Can the various learning methods be successfully integrated? • What other factors might affect the success of this scheme? What particular obstacles does this student (or group of students) face? How can these be dealt with? • How will you be sure that everyone will have equal access to this programme of training and will obtain equal benefit from it? 3. Design the programme • • • • • • How will each of the learning requirements will be met? What opportunities will the student have for achieving the objectives? How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the training? How will you assess the students progress and achievement? What additional support and guidance will be available to students? Who will be involved in the training? What are their roles and responsibilities? • What resources are required to deliver the programme? Have you got them? Can you get them?
• Has the learning programme been discussed and understood by all the appropriate people?
Chapter 3 Planning and Coordinating Resources
Types of resources The effective delivery of training will require resources. These can broadly be broken down into three categories: Financial resources The most fundamental of the three. Money may be required to purchase the capital resources - equipment etc. - needed to deliver the training and to pay the revenue costs of staff, renting buildings etc. Physical resources Physical resources are the tangible items necessary for effective delivery of the training. Physical resources could be a training room or studio, the equipment in it and special training equipment like a flip chart or overhead projector. Some of these resources may already exist or be available at no cost or they may have to be purchased, rented or borrowed. Human resources The people necessary to provide, administer and manage the training effectively. These may be people from within the organisation or specialists brought in from outside.
By the end of this section the participants should be able to:
• • • • • •
Identify the financial, physical and human resources required to carry out effective training Produce a simple budget and cash flow forecast Identify appropriate sources of funding for training Explain the terms job description and person specification Describe one possible method for selection and recruitment of staff Demonstrate an understanding the factors that affect fair recruitment
3.1 Planning and Coordinating Resources 3.1a BUDGETING AND CASHFLOW Notes to the trainer: The following section is very, very basic to anyone with experience of accounting. However, just the very mention of accounts can be enough to have half the participants asleep and most of the rest in shock. It is vital that they see the point of this - and the point is, no accounts, no funding! The section is built around a fairly simple example of a small organisation. To make the basic principles clear, much complicating detail has been left out. If someone with accounting experience teaches this section it is important that professional pride doesn’t lead to complication being added back in. The aim of this section is that the participants should acquire enough confidence to be able to prepare budgets and simple cashflow forecasts - not that they should become accountants. The participants should, after completing this section, know what they can do for themselves and when they should seek professional advice. 1. Budgeting Producing a financial budget for a programme of training may be very straight forward or it may be very complex. It will depend on the circumstances of the organisation and the way the training is being financed. It would not be practical - or even useful - to go into huge detail on methods of budgeting and systems of financial control. However, it is essential that you grasp some basic principles and - most important - know when to seek the specialist help of an accountant or bookkeeper. Always remember that the purpose of a budget is to make sure that you have recognized and taken into account every cost associated with the training. This is not necessarily the same information you will pass on to the client or customer in the form of a quotation. Where you are providing training on a strictly commercial basis, you are not under any obligation to disclose your costs. But the customer has the right to accept or reject your price and you would be well advised to do some research into what your competitors charge. Local Authorities, the European Commission and most other public funders will require you to disclose your costs in considerable detail and you should take advice on producing budgets for these bodies
Costs of Sales I have used the expression sales to cover any situation where you are providing a service and somebody is paying for it. This may be the trainee or it may be a funder. In preparing a budget you must take into account all the costs associated with the training you are planning - i.e. the service you are selling. They could be items such as: Tutor fees Equipment hire Purchase of materials Travel costs And many others. Overhead costs If your organisations rents offices or studios employs staff, insures buildings, people and equipment etc., a proportion of all these overheads should be charged to everything you do. Overheads are fixed costs. They remain virtually the same no matter how much or how little work you do. Costs of Sales will vary in direct proportion to the amount of sales you get. If you get no sales, you have no costs! Break-even Point Whatever you decide to charge for the training you are going to provide, it must at least cover both the overheads and the costs of sales. This is break-even point. If you charge more you are in profit, charge less and you make a loss. Forecasting Overheads tend to be long-term commitments. You will probably have to agree to lease a building over one or more years so you will have to pay rent on it all that time. Insurance premiums have to be paid for a whole year and it may not be practical to employ staff for less that a year. Here are some typical but by no means comprehensive annual overhead costs for a small organisation:
Project manager 18,000 Admin (part time) 6,000 Insurance 1,000 Telephone 1,200 Rent and Rates 4,000 TOTAL 32,000 At the start of the year you will need to make a forecast (educated guess) about how much work you will do that year - the volume of sales. Say, for example, you decide that your working year is 50 weeks long (taking off Christmas and New Year) and that, on average, you will get three days work per week. That gives you a total of 150 days in the year from which to recover your overhead costs (see below) 50 weeks X 3 days per week = 150 days per year Total overheads for year = £32,000 Overhead cost per day = £32,000 / 150 = £213 per day
This means that if your forecast is accurate and you really do get three days work per week you will break even if you charge £213 pounds per day plus the costs of sales. This is just one rather crude way of arriving at a figure - there are many others. Break-even profit margin It may seem a strange thing to say but, even if your organisation is non profit -making, it still needs to make a profit. The difference between what it costs you to provide your service and what you charge the customer is your gross profit. The gross profit must at least cover the overheads or you will make a loss. Net profit, the stuff that businesses make, is any money that is still left over after you have recovered the overheads. The gross profit margin is expressed as a percentage. If you buy something for £10 and sell it for £20 (you wish!) you have made a gross profit of £10. The gross profit margin is the profit divided by the selling price multiplied by 100 (to turn it into a percentage). i.e.:
10/20 = 0.5 0.5 X 100 = 50% gross profit margin In the example above, we crudely calculated the amount we needed to make each day in order to cover the overheads of the organisation (£213). If we add this to some real costs of sales for a days training we can have a first stab at producing the total cost per day we need to charge the customer. Typical training costs for one day: Tutor 6 hours @ £20 per hour 120.00 Hire of teaching room and vis. aids 50.00 Travel and expenses 10.00 Total 180.00 If we add this to our £213 overheads we get a daily rate of £393. Let’s round this off to a comfortable £400 per day. Four hundred pounds per day is what we need to charge to both cover the cost of providing the training and our overheads. Let’s look at this the other way round for a moment. Out of £400 pounds for a day’s training, £180 is the cost of providing it. So £220 is our gross profit. If £220 out of every £400 is profit then our gross profit margin is: 220 / 400 = 0.55 (multiply by 100 to turn it into a percentage) = 55% A gross profit margin of 55% will, on our forecast, just allow us to cover the overheads. Turnover Turnover is the total value of sales. In the example above, if we sell 150 days training at £400 per day we will turn over £60,000 in the year. Turnover is not the same as profit. Of this £60,000 - based on our estimates - only 55% or £33,000 is gross profit. But what if we get it wrong? A forecast is an educated guess. It is very unlikely that things will turn out exactly as you predict. Overhead costs may rise unexpectedly or you may get less work.
To continue with our example, if instead of averaging three days work each week we only get two and a half. The gross profit on this would be: 2.5 days X £220 gross profit per day X 50 weeks = £27,500 But our overheads for the year remain at £32,000. This would mean a loss of £4,500. There are a number of solutions to this problem. Increase Turnover You can try to get more work (increase the volume of sales) and so increase your turnover. Increase the gross profit margin by: Cutting costs - reduce your overheads by cutting staff levels or finding other savings. Increasing your price - charge more per day for your service It is very important that you keep a constant check on how close you are keeping to your budget all through the year. 2. Cashflow Even if your sales forecasts turn out to be perfectly accurate, disaster could still lurk around the corner. Looking at your budget simply in profit and loss terms can be very misleading because what it does not show is when money has to be paid out and when money will be received. Cashflow is the name given to the flow of money into and out of your organisation. A cashflow forecast is a way of predicting the flow of cash and a useful tool in spotting cashflow problems. Now look at the full cashflow forecasts on the next pages. The two charts show the predicted cashflow for the first two years of a small organisation. The figures are based on the examples we used earlier. Look at year one. Income The top, income, section of the forecast shows the predicted income each month for each source. The figures are based on our earlier sales forecast but you can see immediately that the total sales for the year come to
£51,120 not £60,000 as budgeted and there are no sales shown for January or February. Assume we start our organisation in January. It will be a short month because of the New Year holiday so we are only likely to get three weeks work out of the month. Customers will not expect to be invoiced until work is completed so we are unlikely to be able to raise invoices until the end of the month. Customers will also expect credit of at least 28 days which means that work invoiced at the end of January will probably not be paid for until March. There will always be a delay between doing the work and getting paid. I have added in some small amounts of other income which might be donations or other small sales. Expenditure The expenditure section shows all the expected outgoings and when they will be paid. Wages have to be paid every month. Insurance premiums are usually paid in one amount. Telephone bills are paid every quarter, as is the rent. You will notice that there are no tutor fees for January. This assumes that tutors invoice at the end of each month and will get paid at the start of the next. So January tutor fees are paid in February. The bottom line.. Now look at the bottom section of the chart. The opening balance is the amount you have in the bank at the start of the month. So in January we start with nothing! The closing balance is the amount we should have in the bank at the end of the month. The closing balance is worked out by taking away the total expenditure from the total income and adding it to the opening balance. And this is where the trouble starts. Numbers in brackets are minus amounts. So, at the end of January we are overdrawn at the bank by £4,400. And it gets worse. Every month until May we are spending more than we are receiving in income. The overdraft goes on getting bigger. Now look along the closing balance line right through year one and year two. It’s not until September of year two that we come out of overdraft. Working Capital So where did we go wrong? Well, we didn’t. Just because the cashflow forecast shows an overdraft it doesn’t mean we are making a loss. What is missing is working capital. Working capital is an amount of money that is held in reserve to finance cashflow. A profit-making business would
probably borrow this from a bank or from a private investor. A non profitmaking organisation is more likely to look for this in the form of a grant. Look at the next two charts. The figures are exactly the same except that in January of year one we receive a start-up grant of £10,000. Now the cashflow works correctly and we stay out of trouble with the bank. Over trading As well as doing cashflow forecasts at the start of the year you should also keep a check on actual cashflow and compare it with your forecasts. If it turns out that you are getting more work than you anticipated this is fine up to a point. It is possible though, to get too much work. As we saw previously if you don’t have working capital you can end up in serious trouble with the bank. The same applies if you start to get significantly more work than you planned for. More work means more income - eventually. But you will also have higher costs and you will incur the cost before you enjoy the income. This situation is called over trading trading beyond the level your working capital can support. It is one of the easiest and most dangerous traps to fall into. Points to remember about budgets and cashflow
• • • • • • • •
Think carefully about all your costs. Have you accounted for everything? Have you thought about all your overheads? Are your sales forecasts realistic. It is better to under rather than over estimate. Is your price reasonable. What about the competition? Are you relying on favours and special deals which you won’t be able to sustain in the long term? Have you considered when you will get paid and when you will have to pay your bills? How much working capital do you need? Does this allow for possible increases in business? Do your plans allow for the unexpected?
3.1b SOURCES OF FUNDING Notes to the trainer: The aim of the following section is to introduce the participants to the main sources of funding which are currently available for training. The access that individuals or organisations may have to these sources will obviously vary. The mains point to communicate are that funders or financiers of training have their own needs and their own agendas. Successful funding bids rely on accurately matching the funders criteria to the needs of the project. Participants should be made aware that funding can seriously damage your project by forcing compromise and change in order to meet the funding criteria. 1. Private sources Banks. Banks lend money to businesses small and large in a number of ways. The two most common are: Loans - a fixed amount of money borrowed usually over a fixed amount of time. Repayment amounts are known in advance and are predictable. Not very flexible if it turns out you don’t need all the money or you don’t need it for so long. If the amount of the loan is large or the bank thinks you are a risky proposition they will ask for security i.e. the deeds to your house, so that if you don’t pay up they get to sell your home! Overdraft - an agreed overdraft limit means that the bank will allow you to overdraw your account up to the agreed amount. Interest is charged on the overdrawn balance at the end of each day so the amount of interest you pay varies directly with your daily borrowing needs. Overdraft arrangements usually have to be reviewed each year and an arrangement fee is charged for renewing it. Banks prefer loans to overdrafts - well they would wouldn’t they. All bank finance requires you to pay interest which may go up or down as interest rates vary. The bank will need convincing that your organisation is a good risk and that you have a sound
business plan. If you are non-profit making they may be very reluctant to lend. The bank - however nice they may seem - is in it for the money. When things don’t work out don’t expect them to be sympathetic to your organisation’s aims. Private investors. Private investors are individuals or companies who invest in businesses in order to make money. They will expect a return on their investment in the form of a share of your profits. If you are non-profit making they are unlikely to be interested 2. Charitable Trusts There are many thousands of charitable trusts both in the U.K. and abroad which make donations to charitable organisations who do work they wish to support. Individual trusts may give donations ranging from a few hundred to many hundreds of thousands of pounds in a year. Trusts usually give clear guidelines on the types of activity they will support and the size of grants they will make. A Directory of Grant Making Trusts is published regularly and is available from reference libraries. It gives brief details of each trust usually with an address and contact name. Many trusts will only give to registered charities. If your organisation is not a registered charity or cannot be registered you may not be eligible for grants. If you want to apply to a trust: Check that the activity of your organisation meets the aims of the trust. Some trusts will only give for capital items like equipment or buildings. Others will only fund running costs. Make sure you are asking the right trust for the right thing. Many trusts only receive applications at certain time of the year. Time your application to meet their deadline. Be specific about what you want the money for and how this is meets the aims of the trust. Make it interesting and exciting (but don’t go over the top).If the trust provides guidelines on how to apply, use them. Don’t send mountains of information if all they want is a single sheet of A4.Trusts will usually want to see accounts for the previous year
or a business plan if you are just starting up. They will also want a copy of your constitution or memorandum and articles of association. Make sure you have these available. Provide a contact name, address and daytime phone number and make sure the person on the end of the phone is qualified to talk for your organisation. 3. Sponsorship and Corporate Donations Some companies, mostly the large ones, support charities and non profitmaking organisations either through sponsorship or direct donation. Sponsorship When a company sponsors an activity it usually does so because it derives an indirect commercial benefit from the sponsorship. Large company sponsorship of football or other sporting or arts events offers at least two benefits to the sponsoring company. Firstly the company name is associated with a popular and high-profile event. This means that a large number of people will become very familiar with the company name - building brand awareness. Large television audiences make this even more attractive. And, it is assumed that people will feel positively about the company because of their support for their favourite activity. Secondly, the sponsor will have access to the event itself which means that important clients can be entertained at major sporting and cultural events. A very high proportion of audiences at the Royal Opera House and at Wimbledon are being entertained by a sponsor. Although not all sponsorship has to be on this scale, if you are looking for sponsorship you will need to carefully consider what you have to offer the sponsor in return. Large companies have someone responsible for sponsorship. Ring up and get their name. Then write to them clearly setting out what you want and what they will get. Corporate donations Companies also give to charities or charitable organisations. Some do this in quite an ad hoc way. Others, notably the large food retailers like Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury have an organised approach to charitable giving on both a national and local level. Some publish guidelines for applicants and give
details of the type of activities they will support. Some supermarket chains like their staff to become actively involved in the community and favour applications which allow for this. Again, call first to get the name of the right person. The write, stating clearly what you want the money for. Company donations to charity are tax deductible. 4. Public Sources Public sources include local and central government and, increasingly, European Community sources.
Local authority grants Local authorities have some money which they give to local organisations in the form of grants. Financial pressure on local government means that the amounts available are now somewhat restricted and local authorities will have their own clear priorities for funding. In urban areas vocational training schemes which tackle long term unemployment are likely to find favour. Local authorities will usually want to have their money matched by other funders. In other words they will contribute in direct proportion to what other money you raise. They will often judge organisations by their ability to find match funding. Some authorities have economic development departments which have responsibility for training and enterprise schemes. City Challenge Companies City Challenge funds come from central government. Local authorities in inner city areas were encouraged to compete with each other for the money. The successful few have set up City Challenge Companies which administer funds with the general aim of regenerating the inner city area in which they are based. Different companies have different approaches but most are interested in funding vocational training schemes. City Challenge funding is about to end and most City Challenge Companies will be winding up in the next few years.
Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) SRB has replaced all other central government funds for urban regeneration. Local authorities and other regeneration agencies can bid for SRB funding. Proposals for SRB funding must be very well researched and supported by labor market information. The emphasis is on encouraging new employers into areas in need of regeneration and on packages of training advice and business support.
Central Government The Home Office and Department of Environment administer funds and can make direct grants to organisations for particular schemes, which meet their criteria. Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) Training and Enterprise Councils are agencies, which work closely with central government, although they are supposed to be independent of it, which administer various governmentfunded initiatives. TECs contract with local training providers in a variety of ways including Training for Work. Training for Work contracts require that the training provider runs training, gives help with job search and advice. Payment on TFW contracts is heavily reliant on ‘Employment Outcomes’. In plain English, if your trainee doesn’t get a job you won’t get much money. TECs can also be a source of European money. 5. National Lottery Applications for money from the National Lottery are handled by different agencies depending under which category you are applying. The two most likely to apply to the field of Community Radio or training in general are the Arts Board (although there have been historic difficulties in getting arts funders to recognise radio) and the Charities Board. Until recently there
has been a heavy emphasis on capital funding but now both capital and revenue grants are possible. Each of the Lottery Boards sets priorities for each round of applications and you will need to match your application to those priorities. If you wish to apply for a large amount of money you can actually get funding for an initial consultancy stage which will allow you to do research and to put together the bid. Lottery money requires match funding. The percentage you will have to find from other sources varies from nothing to about 50%. The precise amount seems to depend on the project and the particular board you apply to. There is an increasing recognition that large amounts of match funding just can’t be found and large quantities of allocated lottery money remains unspent because organisations can’t find match funding. The Lottery Boards provide information and guidance for applicants and local authorities and organisations like NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) run workshops on applying for Lottery funds. Follow the guidelines and seek professional advice.
3.2 PLANNING PHYSICAL RESOURCES Notes to the trainer: The aim of this section is to help the participants focus on the physical resource implications of a scheme of training. Physical resource requirements break down into three areas; environment (where the training takes place), equipment and materials. Any or all of these may either be permanently available or they may have to be bought, rented leased etc. The voluntary sector is used to begging and borrowing to get by but this is not a very practical approach if training is to be sustained in the long term. Participants should be encouraged to look at their resource requirements and to devise a solution which produces the best possible result for the trainees at the lowest possible cost whilst being sustainable over time. Neat trick!
Physical Resources Physical resources are all the things - buildings, equipment, materials etc. that you will need to successfully deliver training. Physical resources need to be matched to:
o o o
The size of the group The type of training The level of the training
Physical resources have a direct relationship with the quality and outcome of the training. You should consider:
Environment A poor training environment will result in poor training. The training venue should be comfortable and pleasant, with as few distractions as possible. Rooms that are too small, too large, too hot or cold or too noisy are obviously poor environments for training.
Access to equipment If the training requires equipment, there should be sufficient that each trainee has adequate access. Equipment should be in good working order and safe to use.
Sufficient materials There should be a sufficient supply of materials for each trainee.
Physical resources can be acquired in a number of ways, purchased, rented, leased or loaned. Each has advantages and disadvantages: Purchased items are always available to you but you must pay for them in advance and whether you use them or not. Rented items are paid for only when they are needed but they may not always be available at short notice or when you need them. Leasing is a bit like long term rental. The item is available all the time but you have to keep paying for it whether you use it or not.
Loaned items cost you nothing but may not always be available 3.3 Planning Human Resources Notes to trainer Human Resources The people who provide and organise training have a profound effect on it. Often a good trainer can make up for other shortcomings but the people who manage and administer the training are of equal importance. In all organisations, and particularly small ones, it is very important that every person clearly understands the aims and objectives, what their own role is and how this fits into the whole. They must posses the necessary skills to carry out their role. Planning Staffing Levels Before you can begin to recruit staff you will need to consider how you will break down the various tasks into job roles. This will involve thinking about not just the delivery of the training but things like: Who will organise publicity? Who will recruit the trainees? Who will deal with telephone enquiries and letters? Who will deal with money and finance? Who will oversee the delivery of the training? Who will be responsible for the quality of the training? Who will deal with complaints? Who will deliver the training? This process is sometimes called job analysis and the purpose of doing it is to produce job descriptions for the posts you will need to fill. If you have past experience of the type of job and the type of organisation for which you are recruiting, you may be able to produce a job description with comparatively little effort. However, you might wish to ask other, similar organisations about their staff structure or observe for yourself whether they work or not.
Job Descriptions Once you have a clear idea about how many people you need to employ and what you need then to do, you can write this down in the form of job descriptions. A job description should clearly set out the purpose of the job and give a list of all the things the person holding this job will be required to do and the level of skill required. The list may be either of specific tasks which the person must carry out, or of responsibilities. Person Specification The job description defines the job with its tasks and responsibilities. A person specification is a collection of attributes that a person will need to possess (or not possess) in order to carry out the job. This can be much harder to define. A person specification cannot be as precise as a job description. For any job there will be a range of people who will do it equally well even though they may be quite different individuals. So, when drawing up a person specification it is important not to try to define your requirements too closely. A useful approach can be to write down lists of things which are essential, things which are desirable, things which are undesirable and things which disqualify. Essential The attributes that the person must possess. E.g. a teacher of French must be able to speak fluent French, a brain surgeon or airline pilot must be qualified! The list of essentials may not be very long. Desirable This could be a certain amount of experience of doing a similar job or a qualification at a certain level or anything else which might be useful but not essential. The list of desirables may be longer. Undesirable
These may be personal attributes such as smoking or other antisocial habits but you may not regard as undesirable factors such as gender or race. It is at present legal to take age into account. Disqualify Attributes, which would immediately disqualify the person because they would not be able to successfully, carry out the job. E.g. A person with a serious heart condition could not be employed to do strenuous physical work.
Recruitment and Selection Recruitment and selection are the parts of the process of employing people where things are most likely to go wrong. Often this is because all the effort that went into preparing the job description and person specification is wasted because neither is used as part of the selection process. Recruitment Recruitment is the process of getting suitable people to apply for your job. In a large organisation some candidates may be internal i.e. people already working for the organisation in another capacity. You may chose to advertise externally in newspapers and magazines likely to be read by the sort of people you wish to attract. Or you may chose to use an agency such as the Job Centre or private employment agency. Schools, colleges and universities can also be sources of applicants. You should consider whether your choice for publicising the job vacancy will produce enough suitable applicants - or perhaps too many. Does your choice advantage or disadvantage certain groups of people? Advertising in the national press, as well as being expensive, may produce hundreds or even thousands of applicants. Can you handle this volume? Screening If the recruitment has been successful you will probably have applications from many more people than you could possibly interview. Some process of selection must therefore be used before you get to the interview stage. An application form or C.V. from each applicant is a vital first source of information. It is quite likely that many of the people who have applied are not suitable at all. By comparing information from the application form with
the person specification we can immediately eliminate all those people who do not possess the essential attributes or who do possess one of the disqualifying attributes. This first selection is likely to rule out a very large number of applicants. Shortlisting The application form or C.V. can now be used for a second stage of selection by comparing each applicant with the list of desirable and undesirable attributes from the person specification. The people who best fit the specification can be invited for interview. Interviewing Interviewing is often used as the final method of selection for job candidates. The interview has two important benefits. Firstly it is an opportunity to check the factual information in the application form or C.V., and secondly it allows the interviewer to more broadly question the candidate and make judgements about their answers and they way in which they interact with other people. An interview should not be seen as an opportunity to subject the candidate to stress - unless their ability to withstand stress is of overriding importance to the job. An interview which is relaxed and friendly is more likely to obtain valuable information - both positive and negative - than one which is hostile. The interview must be fair for all candidates. Interviewers are human and therefore subject to personal preferences and prejudices. It is quite likely that an interviewer will have a picture in their mind of the ideal candidate probably someone just like them. In order to ensure fairness a certain amount of procedure has to be included in the interview process. Interview panels The candidate is interviewed by a group of between two and ideally no more than four people. The panel should be made up of as diverse a range of people as is practical so that no one person’s prejudices can prevail. Questioning All candidates should be asked roughly the same questions and given the same opportunity to answer. Candidates should not
be asked personal questions which have no bearing on the job. E.g. only women are asked if they are married. Answer Scoring Sometimes a method of scoring is used for the candidates answer to certain set questions. The scores are added up for each candidate and the outcome decided on the highest score. Listening is an important part of interviewing. Listen to what the candidate says and ask relevant follow-up questions. Open questions like "what do you think about...?" Encourage detailed answers. And don’t forget. The candidate is also judging you. Fairness Any method of recruitment or selection should operate fairly for all people. This is not only true on a moral basis but, in some circumstances, a matter of law. British Law makes it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of race or sex except under certain very clearly defined circumstances. The recruitment policies of your organisation should specifically take account of your legal and moral obligation to fair selection. Any person has the right to know the reason for not being selected and, if they suspect that you have acted unfairly on the grounds of race or sex, you may be open to challenge in court and, if found guilty, subject to a fine. It is therefore important that both your policies and procedures are clear and open. Your selection procedures may not set out to be unfair or discriminatory but they may still be so by accident. For instance, if you do not openly advertise a job but rely on word-of-mouth from your existing employees you may inadvertently be discriminating against certain groups of applicants simply because the information doesn’t get passed on to them. Employers can sometimes create artificial barriers which prevent certain people from being selected. Often this is in the form of requiring more qualifications or experience than are actually needed to perform the job. Many employers still insist on a university degree even when recruiting for comparatively junior and undemanding jobs or are inflexible about taking account of experience instead of qualifications. Organisations which receive public funding either from local or central government will normally be required to have a written equal opportunity policy which includes procedures for fair selection.
3.4 Coordinating the Training 1. Who does the training? Delivering training may require you to co-ordinate the efforts of several contributors of different types. Types of contributor
An Internal Trainer
You or another member of your own organisation
An External Trainer
A freelance trainer or someone supplied by another organisation
Someone who has broad experience of working in the skill area being taught but who may not have experience as a trainer.
A Topic Expert
Someone with expert knowledge in one area of the subject. They may or may not have experience as a trainer 2. Agreeing the role of the Contributor Everyone involved in the training should have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities. i.e. The Trainees, the trainers, work experience providers and the training manager. Before training starts you must agree:
What each contributor will cover and how the contributions relate to each other. The competence of each contributor to make their contribution. by interviewing them by assessing their past experience (from C.V) by seeking the opinion of previous clients
What the reasonable outcome of the training should be and how the effectiveness of the training is to be evaluated. What evidence you will require to assess the effectiveness of the training. The fee to be paid
It would be wise to draw up a contract which specifies all the above. i.e.: • • • • • • Role Input Training method Outcome Evaluation Fee
Chapter 4 Evaluating the Quality of Training
INTRODUCTION If a training organisation is to be effective in the long term it must develop methods of checking the quality of the training it carries out. Methods of assessing the learning of the trainees are discussed in chapter two. In this chapter we are not only concerned with the relative success or failure of the trainees - although this is an important indicator of the success of the training - but also to look at how effective the training has been for all the participants. To judge the overall quality and effectiveness of the training we need to take account of the views of the trainees, the trainers and the client (if this is distinct form the trainee). Quality assessment must be built into the training from the outset and the ways in which the success or failure of the programme will be judged must be clear to all concerned. The purpose of the following section is to introduce participants to the key factors in assessing effectiveness. By the end of this section the participants should:
• • • • • •
Be able to distinguish between objective and subjective evaluation and explain the value of each Use performance indicators and evaluation criteria as a methods of assessment Be aware of the various external standards such as NVQ which may be used for evaluation Begin to develop internal organisational standards for evaluation Be able to explain the contribution which trainees, trainers and clients may each make to the evaluation process Have a clear understanding of the scope of evaluation
Notes to the trainer: The participants may have widely differing experience of training and training management. It is quite likely that most will in fact have instinctively carried out some form of assessment of training they have run or managed even though this will not have been formalised into a recognised procedure. Subjective criteria are quite easy to grasp and will probably be quite familiar to participants. However, objective methods of evaluation such as
performance indicators can be problematic and may require additional time and attention. It is vital that the participants grasp two key concepts. Firstly that the scope of evaluation should take in all the organisational and resources aspects of the training and not just the content, and secondly that evaluation is part of the design stage of a training programme, not something which is grafted on afterwards. Why Evaluate? Evaluating of a training programme should discover its strengths and weaknesses. The results of the evaluation are used to inform future training, building on what works and eliminating what doesn’t. It is important therefore that evaluation can take place it an atmosphere in which all the people contributing can do so without embarrassment or fear of recrimination. Evaluation which only highlights the positive and ignores the negative is of no use in developing quality over time. Everyone involved in a training programme should contribute to the evaluation of it i.e.:
• • • •
The The The The
Trainees Trainers Training Manager Client (if applicable)
Each group or individual can contribute to the evaluation process in the most appropriate way. Sometimes this will be quite formal - in the form of a report - or it may be informal - an open discussion. The method and scope of the evaluations must be decided before training begins. After all, it would hardly be fair if two teams played a game which they thought was football only to be told afterwards that the referee thought it was hockey and actually they were playing cricket anyway! The rules must be clear to everyone from the start. Looking at a number of key factors can assess the success of a training programme: Objective
Performance indicators are objective measures of success of the programme i.e: how many trainees actually achieved a qualification against how many were expected to.
Mutually agreed criteria for success i.e.: number of people trained, numbers entering further education, improvement in performance of the people trained.
Comparison with National Standards
The performance of this programme as measured against the statistics nationally for similar programmes.
Comparison with Internal Standards
The performance of this programme as measured against the standards of your own organisation developed through past experience. Subjective
Trainees’ reaction to the training
How do the trainees feel about the training? What do they think they learned or achieved and how does this compare with their expectations? This information may be gathered verbally or by means of a formal feedback questionnaire.
Trainers’ view of the training
Trainers should be encouraged to be self-critical. Again, information might be gathered informally by talking to the trainer or by asking them to write a report or fill in a questionnaire.
The Client’s view
Where training is being carried out for a client. their view is important too. The scope of the evaluation Evaluation should cover:
• • • •
Methods of delivering the training The system for delivering the training Assessment procedures The use of resources
• • •
Aims Objectives Outcomes
Administration & Record Keeping
Notes to the trainer: Second only to finance, administration and record keeping is the area where most small organisations fall down. Some sympathy is due to them since many funding sources bring with them a massive weight of bureaucratic paperwork. However, boring and seemingly pointless as the paperwork may be, it is an essential part of efficient training management and this must be stressed. Sad though it may seem, many funders are more impressed with neat and up-to-date records than they are with a successful project (or am I just very cynical?). Types of record
Contains basic information about each trainee such as name, address, telephone number. Funders may also want to know about employment status (some funding is for unemployed people only), period of unemployment, National Insurance number (so that funders can check employment status). Much of this information can be obtained by requiring each trainee to fill in an application form. Where funding requires the trainees to meet certain criteria the form may also contain a declaration requiring each applicant to sign, confirming that they are eligible.
Attendance records show which students attended when and for how long. This may be in the form of a simple attendance record or register which has a space to tick for each student and each day they attended. Increasingly funders require more detail than this and an accurate record of the hours of attendance of each trainee is required. One form of keeping this type of record is a time sheet. Each trainee has a weekly time sheet on which is recorded the days and times they attended. Each week the sheet is signed both by the trainee and the trainer to agree the number of hours. Over the weeks the totals from the time sheets can be added up to give the total hours of attendance for each trainee.
Trainees may be paid allowances for travel or food whilst training. Many funders will not reimburse these allowances unless details of the actual expense are kept. In general you should not pay out flat rate allowances
but require trainees to produce tickets or receipts for the actual expense they have incurred. An accurate record of all payments should be kept. A weekly expense form for each trainee is a useful way of doing this. The trainee should sign each week to acknowledge receipt of the cash.
The progress and assessment of each trainee should be recorded. Sometimes this may be in the form of a marking sheet, which shows their performance in a particular task, or it may be a more detailed record of observation. Where training is carried out towards an existing qualification, the accrediting body will have its own requirements for recording achievement and their standard form should be used.