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Congratulations, you passed

March 26, 2008

A successful assessment usually signals the end of the training for the student and the trainer. In some circumstances this may be a graduation on to the next stage of training or it may mark the beginning of a period of consolidation until later training becomes available. The key point is that it signals the end of the relationship that had formed between the trainer and the student.

This relationship shouldn’t be taken for granted and although the training may have finished, the student will still have much to learn. One of the reasons a student was assigned a trainer in the first place was to improve their learning rate and increase their learning opportunities. Why should this change now just because the student has met the ‘minimum standards’? This abandonment can cause problems in the time just after assessment as the student adjusts to their new role is the work environment. This is because;

  • Their position in the team has changed (now a peer and different reporting structure)
  • They are now fully responsible for their own actions and decisions
  • There is no shoulder to cry on or someone to vet their ideas for the best solution
  • They may be physically alone (no one to talk to)

The trainer should now be willing to accept a change in the relationship from trainer to mentor or coach because they can still play a very important part in the student’s ongoing development.

Back to the beginning

This stage is really just the start of another iteration of the student’s development cycle. Like the training cycle, some preparation and clear goals can assist the transit through this stage. There are three things the trainer should be discussing with the student to improve their rate of development;

  • A development plan
  • Ongoing actions
  • Self investment

A development plan identifies the former student’s objectives in the next three to twelve months and breaks these into smaller, more easily achieved goals. It is similar to the training plan used for their progress during training but is generally ‘more loose’ and combines their objectives with their supervisor’s goals.

Ongoing actions are steps that the former student can undertake to ensure that they avoid plateaus and continue making fine adjustments to their behaviours to improve performance.

Self investment is the extra study, practice or training that the former student can undertake. It is the extra-curricula activities or efforts that separate the drones from the experts.

I’ll cover each of these in more detail in the next few posts.

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