Frequently Asked Questions
Training is important for several reasons. The typical ones are that:
(a) companies need to increase their performance and productivity
(b) raise the level of motivation and commitment of staff
(c) maintain competitiveness in the global market-place
In addition, research has shown us that individuals will have between 6 and 8 employers during their working life, changing jobs every 4 or 5 years – 2 to 3 years for younger workers. With these career changes, it is critical that individuals are appropriately equipped to work efficiently in the jobs that they hold.
Why is training necessary? For many of persons, academic courses is one pathway to achieving recognition for developing the skill to absorb knowledge and understanding of specialist areas, doing sufficiently well at writing and passing examinations. Many progress from Bachelor’s degree to Master’s degree through postgraduate training and sometimes on to a doctorate. That is fine providing they intend to work in academia, use their knowledge for research purposes or to work in a specialized area of industry or commerce.
On the other hand, people take training courses in order to improve their general knowledge and understanding of a particular work area relevant to the demands of the job or position they are filling and as a means of gaining recognition and possible advancement. So, training has a very personal meaning as well as meeting the demands of a company in terms of productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.
To ensure you choose the best organization to meet your training needs, consider the following: Subject Matter Expertise – What expertise does the company have in the process or areas in which you want to train? Do they have the requisite experience, skills, and knowledge in the industry?
While subject matter expertise is a factor, it is usually not the most critical one. This may not guarantee an effective training program. An experienced training specialist can work with the subject matter experts to develop good training documents that will provide learners with what they need to know in a manner that is clear and concise, providing just what is appropriate and required based
on the needs.
What is the average level of experience? Select training companies that are experienced and who use experienced and middle – upper level employees to develop and deliver training.
If in doubt, ask for references. If they are hesitant to provide references, look elsewhere.
Some companies have a fixed format that they attempt to sell to their clients in a “one size fits all” manner. The best training companies understand that each organization is unique and will offer a variety of formats and styles, working closely with the requesting company to determine what is the best fit for their organization.
When selecting a company to assist with your training needs, the number one question to be asked is “who will be in charge of the training project and who will be doing the work?” Ask for resumes if you are unsure. When contacting a company, speak with the actual people who will be conducting the training.
Cost is in most instances, a major factor. For smaller projects such as a single training class, many companies will provide a fixed-price quote. For larger projects, or those projects that are less well defined, most training companies will provide a quote on a time and materials basis. A proper time and materials quote should include the total estimated hours/cost and/or a cap on total costs.
When looking at the cost, it is necessary to consider the return on investment (ROI) of e-training. That is, what is the cost of an untrained or poorly trained employee to the organisation? What is the cost to the organization for each hour of production downtime, and start-up delays? A well-designed training program will pay off-set these costs and pay for itself many times over.
Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET) is a strategy which revolves around what is essential for all learners to “be able to do successfully at the end of their learning experiences.
- A focus on outcomes as observable competencies
- Greater workplace relevance
- Assessments as judgments of competence
- Improved skills recognition
- Improved articulation and credit transfer
The primary emphasis is on the specification and assessment of outcomes referred to as competencies. These outcomes are clearly identified and communicated as performance indicators and are used to establish qualification and certification frameworks and monitor progress towards the achievement of desired results.
Under this system, outcomes are expressed as explicit, observable workplace performance, so that the needs of employment can be clearly communicated. The goals of these training programmes are redefined and communicated with greater precision and judgments made about the extent to which any particular competency has been attained.
Greater Workplace Relevance
Under CBET, programmes are designed in an effort to make them more relevant to workplace requirements. This normally begins with an analysis and identification of workplace competencies, which are then organized into a set of ‘competency standards’ for an occupation. Standards are firmly based on the needs of the job and not on assumptions. Competency-based educational reforms look to industry to take the lead in developing appropriate standards and to involve persons in the workplace as widely as possible in determining and endorsing competency standards.
Under CBET, programs are designed in an effort to make them more relevant to workplace requirements. This normally begins with an analysis and identification of workplace competencies, which are then organized into a set of ‘competency standards’ for an occupation. Standards are firmly based on the needs of the job and not on assumptions. Competency-based educational reforms look to industry to take the lead in developing appropriate standards and to involve persons in the workplace as widely as possible in determining and endorsing competency standards.
The performance criteria and the conditions under which achievement will be assessed are explicitly stated and made public in advance. Assessment of competency takes the learner’s knowledge and attitudes into account but requires actual performance of the competency as the primary source of evidence. The “acid test” is a process of collecting evidence and making judgement on whether competence has been achieved.
Learners are provided with a record of the competencies already achieved and those still to be achieved.
The knowledge and skills of learners are assessed as they enter a program. Credits are applied for competencies already attained. Prior learning is recognized as contributing towards a competency. Mutual recognition of competencies across occupations is facilitated and transferable across programs and institutions.