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The post-training review

March 30, 2009

The post-training review (PTR) is a meeting with the student to discuss their progress since they completed their training. Although the formal part of their development is over, the learning is far from complete. The overall purpose is to ensure that the student continues developing at an acceptable rate and avoids stagnating or regressing when left without a dedicated mentor. Although already judged competent, we still need to ensure that they are progressing towards expertise.

When?

The PTR is delivered six times, at various stages after training to target their changing perspective on their role, their capability and their confidence. Initially the learning curve is steep as they encounter new challenges, but over time the student becomes familiar with most situations and can focus on honing existing skills into precision. Supervision, motivation and support needed will also change throughout this developmental process.

The first PTR is delivered immediately after the final assessment, but before commencing solo and can be part of the debrief. We then use a growing time frame between each of the following sessions to target the specific needs of the student at that particular time. The next session is after one week, then one month, then three months, six months and finally, twelve months. That’s not to say that we cannot do these more often and if the former student benefits from additional assistance, why not provide it?

How?

Once again we us a structured approach to delivering the meeting with the student. This post is just an introduction to the concept, so I’ll publish this information a little later. The key to success is looking at the student’s current needs and tailoring your service to meet them.

Zero day: Offer Support

  • let them know you are still there for advice and support
  • Explain what other sources of assistance are available; e.g. other resources, mentors, guidance, dispute resolution etc.
  • Don’t worry about assessing training at this stage, the Hot Wash is coming up shortly
  • Don’t worry about goal setting beyond basic skills

One week: Evaluate Training

  • Ask them what didn’t they know and what they had to relearn to do differently?
  • Find out what helped them to prepare most, what didn’t they need and what would have helped more?
  • Find out what was inaccurate, misleading or misunderstood during training?
  • Start to set some goals for their one month review –  Focus on performance and experience targets
  • Advise them that you are still there for support
  • Reiterate available assistance

One Month: Expand their knowledge

  • Still a good opportunity to discuss training, bearing in mind that it is slowly becoming a distant memory.
  • Assess performance goals from week one to establish expertise in basic skills
  • Use student curiosity to expand on understanding e.g. why this way and why not this other way.
  • Create a development plan, with three month, six month and twelve month goals.
  • Expand student horizons by implementing on-going actions.

Three months: Invest in themselves

  • Review three month goals from development plan
  • Re-assess the student (to establish growth and target areas for improvement)
  • Implement a self-investment strategy (this is the usual consolidation period for most new roles; what training is next?)
  • Review development plan – adjust goals for three months, six months and twelve months.

Six months: Introduce new challenges

  • Re-assess the student, but also have them assess themselves
  • Review three month goals and initial six month goals – this will help the their own planning process
  • Increase their responsibilities
  • Review development plan
  • Reiterate available assistance

Twelve months: Transfer their skills

  • Reassess the student, but also have them assess themselves
  • Assess them delivering training in the role
  • Review goals
  • Increase their responsibilities more
  • Review development plan
  • Reiterate available assistance

Conclusion

The post-training review is your opportunity to meet with the student at scheduled intervals to assess their development since training. The time-frames aren’t set in stone and will depend on the type of training conducted and the length of the training period. The actions that you take are also only guidelines because these will vary with student experience, confidence and ability.

What is important is that you don’t neglect that fact that training is only a single step in their learning journey. Don’t underestimate the value of the assistance that you can provide afterward. Not only that, there is a whole range of benefits that arise just from your interest in their progress. Your actions can improve their rate of growth which adds to the effectiveness of your overall training program, for minimal cost and enhances their entire training experience.

Great results and a favourable review, what more can you ask for?


Download my free e-book THE WORKPLACE TRAINERS TOOL KIT Eight models for effective on the job training.

New e-book coming soon: “IMPROVE YOUR TRAINING FROM WITHIN”Using the ‘hot wash’ to refine your training program.

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