Process

Good administration is essential for effective training.

Access

  • Training venues should be fully accessible, for example accessible toilets, induction loops
  • Ensure that people can fully participate in training, for example you may need to provide handouts in larger print, sign language interpreters, presentations on audio tape, space for prayer, special diets
  • Make trainers aware of access and equality standards and tell them about any local issues or arrangements
  • You may need to provide childcare for any training aimed at volunteers and members of the community
  • Check that your event does not clash with any major religious festivals  
  • Include a section on your registration form for applicants to tell you about their requirements

Advance publicity

Ensure that advance publicity includes clear information on:

  • Training topic
  • Level, for example basic, advanced, specialised
  • Target audience
  • Expected benefits of attending (learning outcomes)
  • Links to organisational knowledge and skills framework or similar
  • Date, time and venue
  • Registration instructions.  Allow a minimum of four to six weeks for multi agency events. Remember to ask for email details if you plan to do further administration by email

Confirmation

Provide written confirmation of places, rather than leaving applicants to assume that they will have a place if they applied within the deadline.  This helps to avoid confusion and improves attendance, particularly where there is no charge being made for the training.  It is also an opportunity to give any instructions for cancellation and any cancellation fees.  Free of charge training often has a high drop out rate.  You may be able to reduce this by making a charge for non-attendance without advance notice

Provide participants in advance with a programme, details of the trainer/s and recommended pre-reading

Monitoring

Think in advance about which aspects of the training you want to monitor.  It is much harder, or even impossible, to collect some of the information retrospectively!  You may want to monitor:

  • Where publicity was sent
  • How many people applied and from which agency
  • Job title of participants
  • Dropout rate – how many participants failed to attend, and from which agency?

The above information is of particular use when coordinating multi-agency training since it allows you to report on how partner agencies have engaged with training.

Monitoring attendance is also vital if you aim to offer basic and advanced training since it provides a record of who has completed stage one and is therefore eligible to apply for the advanced training.

Venue

It is well worth visiting venues, especially to check on access.  If you are using an outside trainer be sure to consult with them as to their needs.

  • Is the room big enough to be comfortable?
  • If you are providing lunch this should be in a separate room if possible
  • Do you need space for small group work?
  • Is it likely to be noisy, for example is the room next to a café? 
  • Avoid rooms divided by partitions – you might have a keep fit class next door!
  • Does it have adequate heating and ventilation? 
  • Is the heating system quiet enough?
  • Are there facilities for powerpoint, DVDs, internet access and so on?  Is there someone on hand if they don`t work?
  • Do you need an extension cable or adaptor?

Evaluation

Pre-course

Consider asking participants to complete pre-training questionnaires to self assess in terms of knowledge and confidence in relation to the training topic.  This information can then be followed up with a post-training questionnaire, to help you to gauge effectiveness of the training.  If you plan to do this, you will need some system to ensure that you can match the before and after responses.  One simple way of doing so is to issue both forms stapled together and to ask participants to complete at the start and end of the day and then return both forms to you, still attached together.

On the day

Participants may not spend much time filling in the evaluation form – and especially if the day is running late. It is helpful to give them the form in the morning so that they can complete throughout the day.

Read your evaluation questions carefully – are they asking what you want to know?  Remember that a day may be useful without being enjoyable, and vice versa! 

Post-course

It is good to conduct a follow up evaluation, for example, after six months, to help gauge any lasting impact of the training.  If you plan to do so tell participants at the end of the training.  Some organisations have carried out follow up surveys with managers to try to capture lasting impact.  Using survey monkey or similar is an easy way of collecting and collating evaluation comments, but beware of survey overload.  Keep your survey short and focused. 

Data collection

If your training is about changes in practice, such as introducing routine enquiry, then you should ensure that necessary steps have been taken for data collection, and training should include appropriate information on recording.  

More on evaluation.

 

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