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Handing over training

April 7, 2008

Although this is technically the same scenario as the previous post, the role of the outgoing trainer is a little different. The reason behind the change of trainers really has no affect on your actions and will only change the actual content of your hand-over information.

It is easy to quickly wash your hands of the process and leave it all up to the oncoming trainer. Its their problem now, isn’t it? Technically yes, but that doesn’t mean that your responsibility ends with the decision to change trainers. Anything that you can do to help the ongoing trainer deal with the student’s transition will assist the training and the organisation. Even if the parting wasn’t a friendly one, you will still have valuable information that can save the new trainer discovering it the hard way.

Your actions

Take an active role in the hand-over by preparing one. The purpose of this exercise is to assist the student (not to save face or degrade the student’s efforts) and you can do this by following these steps:

  • Gather all of your evidence: Collate all of your training documentation including scribble notes, any assignments handed in, pre-brief notes, debrief notes, training reports and all of the training plans (current and revised). Give these to the oncoming trainer with sufficient time for them to review before the hand over meeting. Don’t offer any additional information at this stage, let them draw it all from the documentation.
  • Prepare the hand over: The oncoming trainer will want to formulate their own plans and strategies to implement. Why? Because they are better at being themselves than they are at being someone else – don’t take it personally (a change may in fact be warranted). They will want two things from you; first, how to minimise the disturbance to the student and second, insight into effective / ineffective training strategies. This step has two sub parts
    • Part A – Complete the SCORE card: This template captures the relevant training information that will allow the oncoming trainer to continue on where you left off.
    • Part B – Prepare your answers: The oncoming trainer is going to have some questions for you and if you can prepare for these now, you will be able to give more meaningful answers. Expect things like “What was the most effective training technique?”. The least? Their biggest strength? Your greatest challenge? How does the student respond to feed back? How was their participation in pre-briefs and debriefs? Overall demeanour? Ability to cope with pressure? Failure? Success (I had a student once that was easily overwhelmed by their own success and became very embarrassed)?
  • Conduct the handover: This is formal and will be documented – so expect to hand in your preparation notes. The oncoming trainer will wish to discuss the training in a professional manner. This is not judgement on you (your actions maybe) so the more honest and open you are, the more the oncoming trainer will learn and the better it will be for the student.
  • Withhold future comment: The best role you can play at this moment is ‘supporting actor’. Feel free to offer advice to the new trainer but only do this in private and share this with absolutely nobody else. Regardless of the circumstances, your public criticisms will only cause harm to the training, your credibility and the organisation.


Once again, you may find their are additional ways that you can assist the oncoming trainer and their new challenge. If you can do so but not at the expense of the relationship between them and their new student. These are the minimum actions you can take and if it benefits the training, it is worth the effort.

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