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Introducing the training cycle

February 1, 2008

Training is a cyclic process of preparation, application and evaluation. A.K.A. the training cycle.

The cycle is layered and there are usually three tiers to the structure, although more or less are possible. Each layer roughly equates to different responsibilities of units within the organisation. For example the trainer is primarily concerned with the lowest level, training management with the middle level and the highest level is commensurate with senior management or the organisational goals.

This is only a rough guideline for comparing the purpose of the layers and there is an enormous amount of overlap between them. Actually this overlap is essential and organisations without any will find that the objectives of each group will misalign with the others. Not only is that inefficient, it is ineffective.

The strategic level. The highest level is also known as the organisational level and refers to the process of managing succession. It is definitely ‘big picture’ and any planning is usually just blocking out periods of down time for training purposes. The focus here is on longer term goals and the time frames range from weeks to months.

The operational level. At this level, training management will turn organisational directives into training objectives. Planning involves developing daily and weekly objectives and outlining what resources are necessary to achieve them. The time frame is days to weeks and we are generally looking at medium term goals.

The tactical level. At the grass roots, the trainer focuses on individual competencies or short term goals. This is the actual training sessions and the time frames usually range from hours to days.

Where this fits in

Most trainers are chosen for two reasons; their subject matter expertise and their demeanour. They are appropriately skilled and seem like the right type of person to be helping another improve their overall performance.

Most trainers slip into the tactical level very easily. This is what they did themselves before they became trainers and it is also where the have a little experience, albeit just the one time, as a student under the same circumstances.

However, where they fit in with the other tiers is where the challenges will arise.

More to follow….


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