This blog has been developed from an original 2017 CPD Standards Office article ‘7 Things a Training Provider Should Never Do’ – see https://www.cpdstandards.com/news/the-7-things-a-training-provider-should-never-do/. Over the past two years, this online piece has attracted a wealth of feedback, comments and suggestions, which have all been curated and developed to produce this updated article.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Training Providers is certainly a subject for debate, and we welcome your opinions, feedback (positive and negative) and any suggestions you have for our next version!
- Don’t Do Monday Mornings Or Fridays
According to our research, these are the least popular days for training. Make sure when you are scheduling course dates, you double check with the client which day/s are most convenient to the delegates working week.
- Get Qualified.
Being a trainer means you have a responsibility to engage adults with acquiring a new skill, knowledge set or behaviour. Adults have different learning styles that respond to different training methods of delivery. Do more than just check out your national training qualifications – apply, engage and pass them. The learning that you as a trainer gains from this learning / qualification process makes you a better trainer – improves your training content and ensures that you understand and apply the critical element of all training courses that get forgotten – assessment- Oh and a bit of fun too!
- Don’t Create A 5 Day Course
Delegates simply won’t put aside a full week to attend your training course. Their boss simply won’t allow it and if they are the boss, they won’t want to take a week out. Where possible, condense your 5 days content into 3 days.
- Don’t Pin Your Hopes On Public Courses
Public courses are dwindling in popularity on a range of subjects, as the training market has moved on to favour bepoke in-house training or online solutions. As a provider you need to be flexible in your modes of delivery, so don’t expect high class numbers on public courses – you won’t get the take up you are expecting!
- Don’t Use An Inferior Venue
If you are hosting a course off-site or a public course, make sure your venue is not second rate. Positive learning happens in professional environments and first impressions of the training room matter. Make sure delegates are in an airy, comfortable environment with easy access to facilities.
- Don’t Be Late
There is nothing more unprofessional or disrespectful than a trainer who is late setting up and who therefore isn’t ‘present’ to welcome the candidates as they arrive. It sets a negative tone for the day. If you are a trainer, make sure you set your alarm clock extra early on training days and leave plenty of time for disrupted travel.
- Don’t Have One Trainer Deliver Complex Subjects
If you have the option of having more than 1 trainer, this can work wonders for changing the dynamics of the room. If this is not an option, then use excerpts of video to break up potential monologues from the trainer.
- Don’t Make Assumptions About Delegates Attending
Do not assume all participants are fully aware why they are attending. Although, some may be keen to be there and have set personal objectives, others will have been sent by their managers and be reluctant participants. Invest time at the start finding out why people are there (be prepared for uncomfortable truths!) and encouragement involvement to get buy in. Where necessary, adjust the programme appropriately to meet objectives of those in the room and those not present who have a vested interest in the outcome.
- Don’t Provide Unhealthy Drinks And Food.
It is important to provide snacks, but make sure to include healthy options such as fruit – don’t let your delegates eat too many biscuits or they will have a sugar crash and concentration melt-down.
- Don’t Isolate Your Delegates
Introduce your delegates to each other, get them to network together and create ways they can carry on their conversations after your training. Share their contact details with each other – with their permission.
- Don’t Leave Them Sitting In Their Seats All Day
Plan activities that get them up and moving. Whether to join other participants in groups, take part in a game, or even to write something on a flip chart, movement is a great way to get enthusiasm and interest back.
- Don’t Set Overnight Assignments
Rather start the next day with a summary of the previous day. You avoid embarrassing those that didn’t have time or were not staying over, forgot or could not be bothered.
- Don’t Immortalise One Delegate
Constantly referencing one of your delegates because you happen to know they are good in an area is guaranteed to embarrass that person and alienate the rest of your audience.
- Don’t Try To Wing It
A training session is always much better when the trainer/facilitator is well prepared.
- Don’t Let Delegates Drift Off To Sleep After Lunch
The graveyard shift is the well known session after lunch where delegates are prone to losing concentration. During this time, be interactive with delegates, using activities, video and their experiences of the subject taught helps to make for a vibrant atmosphere. Making light of situations were possible without detracting from the seriousness of the topic.
- Don’t Stick To The Same Mode Of Delivery, Especially When In Lecture Model
Do mix up the agenda during a training day. Ideally the day should consist of four 90 minute sessions, although there can be flexibility the 90 minutes can be structured as follows:
20 to 30 minutes of theory or lecture
20 to 40 minutes of activity or exercise
20 to 30 minutes of feedback on the exercise
- Don’t Let The Delegates Sit In Silence
Using Sociometry can help build connection and safety when the course begins, and through the meeting time, as it gets people up and moving and helps them gain self-insight. Use some improv games for fun and movement
- Do Pause & Reflect
Provide time either at the end or at strategic points during the course to reflect. What are the key learning points for you so far? Who do you need to tell about this? What is your first action point and when will you do it? I have these on a flip chart and flick back to them just before breaks and at the end
- Don’t Let Materials Become Outdated
Make sure what you are teaching is up to date and relevant to today’s market. There are good and bad courses on the market, but nothing is worse than delegates walking out saying ‘what a waste of my time’ or ‘that could have been condensed down to half the time’.
- Don’t Be A Hairdryer And Hose Them With Information!
It is important to make sure that your training is applied knowledge, and not simply information. Otherwise you may as well send the delegates the Powerpoint slides and they would get just as much out of it! This is where the saying ‘training doesn’t work’ comes from. Yes to new ideas, latest thinking, case-studies and applied and tested knowledge! Information obtained by doing a Google search – no thanks!
- Don’t Overrun
With child care charges of up to £5 per minute for overtime, you’re not making friends by overrunning. Finish 10 minutes early and offer your delegates the chance to join you for an informal coffee or drink. Alternatively, ask for a deal – we will finish early in exchange for prompt returns from breaks.