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The Student Training Agreement (STAg)

February 23, 2009

One of the key components of any training is collaboration. To be successful, the student needs to participate in the activities prescribed by the trainer and if they can do this with a degree of willingness, the results will be better and quicker to achieve. The student may even be motivated enough to practice or learn away from the training environment and in their own time. This collaboration is easier to achieve if the student is aware of what training activities are occurring, what is expected from them and how it will benefit them in the future.

Drawing up an agreement between the student and the organisation is a written commitment to ensuring that the student is given sufficient opportunity to learn the skills required and that they will use this opportunities to make the most of the effort being expended.

Agreement content

The content must be relevant information that describes the conditions of the training and the expectations of the student and training. It explains what is to occur, how it will take place, what is available and what standards must be met. As a minimum, it should contain the following information:

  • The participants: Outline everyone directly involved in the training; the student, trainer(s) (including stand-in trainers) and the assessor(s).
  • The training details: This is when the training will start, when it is scheduled to finish, what phases are involved (e.g. theory, practical, simulation, orientation visits etc) and assessments (progressive and final).
  • Resources: What is available (equipment, facilities, additional material) and where will the training will take place? Are their alternative or contingency training options?
  • Restrictions: Include known holidays or absences, any short term delays, operational priorities, staff shortages or equipment issues.
  • Goals: Outline the student’s medium and long term objectives as well as planned further training or employment.
  • Conditions: What are the conditional aspects of the training. Must the student maintain currency in operational elements (i.e. make sure that skill doesn’t degrade in current competencies), what are the graduation standards or progression requirements or are their a limited number of training hours available (per day, per week or in total).
  • Expectations: How often are the student and trainer expected to pre-brief and debrief? How are disputes to be handled, who mediates, who approves special considerations (personal leave etc.)? Are there any code of conduct guidelines, special safety considerations, dress or grooming requirements? 
  • Non-performance: What happens if progress isn’t evident, is there a maximum number of attempts, are their additional training opportunities and what is the failure management procedure?
  • Administration: When is the reporting due (weekly, fortnightly, twice weekly etc)? Can ad-hoc adjustments be made to the training (10% rule)? Will there be a Hot wash / feed back opportunity for the training? What is the chain of command ( who do you answer to during training – the supervisor or the trainer etc.)?
  • Signatures: This is a learning agreement, get the student to concur with the objectives and commit to the plan – in writing.

Although I use the word ‘contract’, it could be argued that the student has little say in the process. This is essentially true and as the arbiters of the organisation’s decisions in this matter, training management has the right to make adjustments that favour the organisation over the student.

This tool does keep the student informed of what is expected from them and gives the opportunity to voice any of their concerns. It is still an agreement and if the conditions are unacceptable to the student, they can refuse  to undertake the training (better to find out now). Likewise, if you treat it similarly and make the best effort possible to stick to it, it demonstrates your commitment to the student and their undertakings.

Download my free e-book NOW YOU TELL ME The seven things that I wish I’d known before I started training on the job.

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