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Benefits training evaluation surveys deliver

Benefits training evaluation surveys deliver

1) Increase your employees’ ability to retain more knowledge:

If there are training courses that you frequently send new company employees on, you’ll want them and your business to gain as much value as possible. Creating a quiz is a great way to test employees on what they learnt, they’ll also be more likely to revisit their course materials if you run regular quizzes which in turn helps them to retain more knowledge. This also helps encourage employees to think about how they can apply their new found knowledge to their job.

2) Improve how this knowledge is applied and shared across your business:

You can also use quizzes to evaluate how well employees have been able to apply their newly found knowledge in their everyday roles and if they’ve been able to pass this onto other colleagues in the business. Publishing quiz scores and offering prizes for the highest, can help encourage greater employee participation and a healthy competition among staff which can help boost productivity within your business.

3) Enhance the quality of any training you provide:

Improve the quality of your course trainers, teaching methods and any materials you use, through evaluation surveys that allow you to test the effectiveness of a training course and enable participants to anonymously offer their feedback.

4) Increase the satisfaction and number of your course attendees:

By regularly and consistently evaluating your course attendees and acting on the feedback they provide, not only will this help to increase their satisfaction with the training you provide, it will help you to improve the quality of your course and attract more attendees going forward.

5) Identify opportunities to introduce new courses:

By allowing you to see areas where participants may be struggling, or reveal patterns in your feedback, where attendees may be asking for more information in the same areas, it can enable you to identify areas where follow up training is required. It can also highlight where there is demand for you to potentially develop new courses.

6) Improve career development for employees:

Training evaluation surveys can also be useful in helping you to develop employees, by improving your understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Not only can it help you to keep track of their progress in their roles, it can also reveal whether they can still grow in their current jobs or whether they may be more successful in another position.

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Things to keep in mind when choosing a training provider

Things to keep in mind when choosing a training provider

1. Find a reputable partner
When you’re evaluating training providers, take the time to investigate their reputation in the market. Ask each provider you are considering for some reference sites, and be sure to contact them to find out about their experiences. This will take five minutes of your time, but may save you thousands in training costs.

 

2. Choose a specialist
Find out which trainers will be responsible for delivering the training on the courses you are considering, and evaluate their expertise and qualifications in the subject matter. Someone with a strong, proven theoretical grounding is good; a trainer with practical experience in the field is even better because he or she will be able to talk about real-life situations.

3. Fulfil specific training needs
Training is expensive, so be sure you know what outcome you expect from your investment in a course or workshop for an employee. Look closely at the course overview and determine beforehand if it will fulfil your need.

If you are choosing training on behalf of your employee, discuss the expected outcome with him or her. Ask the provider for a detailed course outline and discuss how each topic on the list will cover the employee’s training need with him or her before the course commences.

4. Look at the take home value
It’s not enough for the training course to deliver practical skills and knowledge that the employee can apply as soon as he or she returns to the office – it must also offer value in the materials the employee gets to take away from the sessions.

Researchers reckon that you remember less than 20% of what you learn during a training intervention. For that reason, a course’s value is vastly increased when the employee leaves with reference manuals, online support, and other such tools and materials.

5. Assessing the learner
The topic of assessments can be controversial. Some people believe they unsettle the learner, while others believe that they’re essential to the learning process. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, choose a provider that aligns with your needs.

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External training providers and courses

External training providers and courses

If your staff need formal training (e.g. for work that requires a licence or certificate), but you don’t have the time or resources to offer the training yourself, you may consider using an external training provider.

External training should be run through a registered training organisation. Training is typically at the organisation’s premises in a classroom setting. You can also hire external training providers to conduct in-house training at your business, or offer your staff online training through an external organisation.

External training includes:

  • ‘open’ programs, where one or more of your staff attend training that has been advertised
  • ‘closed’ programs, where you commission training to be delivered specifically for your staff.

‘Closed’ programs can be customised to your specific needs and workflow, but usually require a minimum number of participants.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

RPL is a way to recognise staff skills and knowledge, regardless of whether they were attained through formal or on-the-job training. RPL can be used to achieve official qualifications. It benefits staff by improving their qualifications and boosting morale. It can also benefit your business by helping to keep good staff and improving your reputation by having a more qualified workforce.

Find out more about how recognition of prior learning may benefit you and your staff.

Staff development

External training offers opportunities for staff development. By developing your staff you can promote internally, which can also help you avoid a potentially expensive recruitment process.

Performance reviews provide an ideal opportunity to talk to your staff to find out what kind of training they are interested in or need to develop their career. They may be interested in developing skills in a new area, which can benefit your business by broadening your skills base. If you have staff who are ready to take on more responsibility, you may consider enrolling them in a leadership course.

You may also consider offering training and staff development through university degree programs. While this can be expensive, it can be an investment in good staff members who might otherwise look for a new job.

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CHOOSING AN EXTERNAL TRAINING PROVIDER

The benefits of external training providers are numerous, they handle the certification of their trainers, they organise the course materials and they liaise with participants throughout the process. But how do you know that you’ve chosen a good provider?
We’ve put together our top 5 tips below to help you pick a good external training provider for your organisation.

1. Check their track record
An external training provider’s track record is a good indicator of their compatibility with your business. Have they worked with an organisation like yours in the past? Contact that company and find out how the training went. You should also consider checking the credentials of their trainers; look for relevant experience and customer references. Any provider worth your time will understand why this information is important and will happily share it.

2. Check if they offer customised or off the shelf training
Off the shelf training has a bad reputation but if you need it to meet mandatory legal obligations then it makes sense that the training would not need to be customised. However, a provider that only offers off the shelf training packages might not be the best fit for your organisation. The best providers understand the need to offer both and are willing to customise training based on your requirements.

3. Check their financial history
This can be a sensitive issue but it is important to protect your company. By checking the financial history of an external training provider, you can ensure they won’t take your money and disappear. Before paying any money to a provider, you should ask about their financial situation and what will happen if their company is unable to provide the training.

4. Ask about support
Most training courses don’t end as soon as the instructor stops talking. You want there to be a period following the training where your staff receive regular support to ensure they have truly achieved the learning objectives. A good external training provider will have clearly defined support terms and offer add-on packages to ensure that your staff are comfortable after the training.

5. Check their training methods
People tend to learn very differently and a good external training provider will know and accommodate this. Ask a potential provider what their training methods are and see if they are using methods that are innovative and based on sound research. A good provider will be able to clearly explain their training methods and how they help achieve the desired learning objectives.

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CHOOSING AN EXTERNAL TRAINING PROVIDER

CHOOSING AN EXTERNAL TRAINING PROVIDER

1. Check their track record
An external training provider’s track record is a good indicator of their compatibility with your business. Have they worked with an organisation like yours in the past? Contact that company and find out how the training went. You should also consider checking the credentials of their trainers; look for relevant experience and customer references. Any provider worth your time will understand why this information is important and will happily share it.

2. Check if they offer customised or off the shelf training
Off the shelf training has a bad reputation but if you need it to meet mandatory legal obligations then it makes sense that the training would not need to be customised. However, a provider that only offers off the shelf training packages might not be the best fit for your organisation. The best providers understand the need to offer both and are willing to customise training based on your requirements.

3. Check their financial history
This can be a sensitive issue but it is important to protect your company. By checking the financial history of an external training provider, you can ensure they won’t take your money and disappear. Before paying any money to a provider, you should ask about their financial situation and what will happen if their company is unable to provide the training.

4. Ask about support
Most training courses don’t end as soon as the instructor stops talking. You want there to be a period following the training where your staff receive regular support to ensure they have truly achieved the learning objectives. A good external training provider will have clearly defined support terms and offer add-on packages to ensure that your staff are comfortable after the training.

5. Check their training methods
People tend to learn very differently and a good external training provider will know and accommodate this. Ask a potential provider what their training methods are and see if they are using methods that are innovative and based on sound research. A good provider will be able to clearly explain their training methods and how they help achieve the desired learning objectives.

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How can you evaluate external training providers?

How can you evaluate external training providers?

It’s reckoned that over 25% of the external training that companies provide for their staff fall far short of meeting their needs. So how can directors ensure it will work effectively and that it’s money well spent?

Not a cheap option

In a recent survey by Knowledgepool, more than 25% of employees questioned felt that the external training courses they had attended via work had little or no relevance to their job role. Many claimed to be none the wiser after sitting through them, meaning that the company’s cash was well and truly wasted.

Before you pay?

Many training courses aren’t cheap, and so you won’t want one of your employees to be amongst this worrying statistic. But you’ve a one in four chance that they will be. So is there any way to evaluate the effectiveness of a training provider both before and after you book places on one of their courses?

Ask your own staff

It sounds obvious, but don’t just send a member of staff on a course (unless you have to for, e.g., manual handling). Before you do, ask them about what they feel they need and show them any you have selected. If they feel the course is pitched too high, or low, for their level, request more detailed course content from the provider.

Tip 1. Following most training courses, attendees are invited to fill in feedback, or evaluation forms. There’s no reason why you can’t ask the provider to see a range of these comments – good and bad.

Tip 2. If they’re reluctant to release any (they can easily block out the names, address etc. to protect confidentiality) or provide you with a sample of recent reviews, there’s a reason for it and it’s unlikely to be a good one.

Business is booming

Following training, you should be able to measure its success using tangible indicators. For example, if the training was for Customer Service, you should be able to see for yourself how an employee is now interacting with customers. If it was on technical skills, e.g. IT, ask them to demonstrate something new that they learned about on their course.

Questioning your staff

Although your staff will probably give feedback to a course provider, it’s a good idea to have your own evaluation forms too. We’ve produced an example evaluation template that you can use as a basis for this exercise (see The next step).

What can you ask? You could ask staff questions such as: “How relevant was the training to your job role?”“What were the most and least useful parts of the training?” and “Will you be able to utilise your new skills?”

Tip 1. Ask for feedback promptly. The longer you leave it, the less reliable the results will be.

Tip 2. If you get negative feedback, query it with the provider. Don’t assume your employee approached the course with enthusiasm!

And finally. The Business Link website includes detailed information on how to evaluate training and has a free guide that you can download.

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Accreditation as a provider of education and training

Accreditation as a provider of education and training

About ETQA accreditation as a provider of education and training

Providers of education and training must apply for accreditation with an Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body under the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)(link is external). All providers of education and training offering full qualifications must be registered with the Department of Education.

The education and

has to offer unit standards and/or qualifications that fall within the primary focus area of the ETQA body of the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA)(link is external) or professional body.

Requirements for accreditation:

  • The programmes (and/or assessments) offered by the education and
  •  must culminate in unit standards and/or qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • The curriculum (design, content and learning materials) is aligned to the unit standards and/or qualifications.
  • There are suitably qualified staff (facilitators and registered assessors).
  • The learners have access to adequate learning support services.
  • The assessment methods and tools used to measure the requirements for the unit standard and/or qualification are fair, valid and reliable, and are used to enhance learning.

What you should do

  1. Send a letter of your intention to be accredited as a provider of education and
  2.  to the relevant ETQA.
  3. Submit a self-evaluation and application form to ETQA.
  4. If you are not granted accreditation and you feel the process was unfair, you have a right to appeal.
  5. A list of ETQAs and contact details(link is external) is available on the Saqa website.
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How to Make an Evaluation Plan

How to Make an Evaluation Plan

1. Determine the evaluation purpose.

An evaluation purpose explains why you are conducting an evaluation. To help shape your evaluation purpose, consider who will use the findings, how they will use them, and what they need to know.

You might use training evaluation findings to:

  • Develop a new training
  • Improve an existing training
  • Provide instructor feedback
  • Determine if your training met the desired outcomes
  • Make decisions about resource allocation
2. Develop the evaluation questions.

Create evaluation questions that match your purpose. Evaluation questions are broad, overarching questions that support your evaluation purpose—they are not specific test or survey questions for learners to answer.
Evaluation questions are often focused in one of two categories: process or outcome.

Process evaluation questions focus on the training itself—things like the content, format, and delivery of the training.

3. Choose the data collection methods.

Choose data collection methods that will help you answer your evaluation questions. Common methods include tests or quizzes, surveys or questionnaires, observation, expert or peer review, and interviews and focus groups. Identify how long it will take to access this data and how often you will collect it. Develop a timeline for when to collect, analyze, and interpret data so that you will have the information ready when you need it.

Keep feasibility in mind when you select data collection methods. The resources, time and effort required in your evaluation plan should match the scope of the training, and should fit within your available resources.

How to Make an Evaluation Plan

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Assess Corporate Training Solutions Providers

Assess Corporate Training Solutions Providers

1. Industry Recognition

Almost every sector has its own internal awards these days. It’s a way of ‘game recognizing game’ and it raises overall industry standards. Some of these accolades are commercial, e.g. best-selling LMS or widest global reach. Some are more personal, such as best customer service or fasted implementation process. It could even be a metric such as the highest number of successful compliance candidates. Look through award listings and explore the LMS mentioned. There might be hundreds of these trophies, so you could zone into the aspect that is key for you. Do you value mobile access over sales volumes? Or attrition over franchising? Pick your priorities after which you can make your selection.

2. Online Reviews And Ratings

Ratings and reviews give you a general overview of what the vendor can provide and how they’ve lived up to expectations. Or where they’re lacking. As such, you can use these online recommendations, or warnings, to determine which corporate training solutions provider is a good fit for your organization. For example, you might think twice about a vendor with a low customer satisfaction score. Especially if you value CX and prioritize vendor support.

3. Language Access

I’ve already mentioned franchises but there are lots of other instances where language can be a barrier. You could be a global organization with lots of international branches. Maybe you’re launching a new market where the primary language isn’t English. This automatically excludes any corporate LMS that doesn’t have multiple language options. Again, the lingual format could be a factor. Do you want automated Google Translate type features? Or do you want LMS that has every section transliterated, including voice clips and audio by different voice-over artists? And are you willing to pay premium prices for the latter? That could dictate your choice of corporate training solutions providers.

4. Take Α Τest Drive Or Demo

One of the best ways to quickly vet the corporate LMS is to give it a test drive. Many offer free trials or demos that allow you to try out the tool before making your decision. Make a list of key features and criteria so that you know what to look for. Then invite your team to use the platform to develop a test project. This gives you a clear idea of whether the platform aligns with their skills and experience. If you have any questions at the end, set up a meeting with the vendor to discuss the issues and relieve any possible anxieties.

5. Assess Τheir Αssessment Οptions

For the most part, online training is an individual activity. Employees receive their training materials, then go through the course on their own. They dictate their personal pace and effort. However, when you’re training via a corporate LMS, there’s a little more oversight. The content expert may be in-house, so they can be approached with comprehension challenges. Or maybe the training is blended, now that you’re all in one physical space. Based on that, what methods are used to assess knowledge transfer? Do you want an LMS that has options for essay questions, or customized tests? Would you rather examine trainees in person, or via webcam? Whichever evaluation style you prefer, check your LMS has the tools to enable it so that you can monitor performance. That’s the only way you’ll be able to estimate if your online training program, and your corporate training solutions provider, is a success.

6. Scalability Οptions

Some LMS vendors who provide their services on the Cloud allow you ‘Up to 20 users at $$$.’ So, what happens when, over time, you accumulate 120 users? Can you get a discount if your employees are fewer than 10? If, at a later point, you require some functionality added or removed, how much more would it cost? Is it easier to just buy new LMS altogether? A well-run organization has a five-year or even ten-year perspective. Thus, if you plan to have a new outlet every year, look past LMS that have tightly managed user bases. It may be affordable now but will be a cash drain over time.

There are decisions you can mull over, like picking the right college. Then there are others that can be made more easily such as your lunch order. Of course, these quick-draw decisions can cost millions too so you need the right criteria. And the smart thing is to use them to narrow down your options, rather than applying them to your final decision. In terms of LMS, use factors like industrial awards and foreign language tools to trim your shopping list. You should also find out about scalability, and how knowledge is tested. With these four fields, you can narrow down your prospects. Then get even more specific as you trim it down to one.

Assess Corporate Training Solutions Providers

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Things to Consider When Selecting A Training Provider

Things to Consider When Selecting A Training Provider

In particular, there are five key questions I recommend anyone selecting a training provider must answer, before deciding who to work with.

1. Do they understand our industry and “day-to-day reality?”

Many training providers are experts in a particular area and/or industry. The best ones know to stay within that industry. Unfortunately, many don’t, meaning they are perfectly happy to work with an automotive manufacturer today, and a telecommunications firm tomorrow. Same material, concepts and stories – only the people in the room are different.

One of participant’s major gripes about training is that “the trainer doesn’t know anything about our industry,” causing them to disengage from the content, and discredit the trainer and their expertise altogether.

2. Do they customize their content?

Unfortunately, I still see training that isn’t customized. Generic, one-size-fits-all case studies, or role plays from an entirely different industry are still common practices in classrooms across the globe.

Customization is key to effective learning unless participants have the ability to connect the learning to their day-to-day, and practice in a safe environment before going out into the real world. How can we expect them to perform any better after training has taken place?

When selecting, insist that any training provider you select customizes core elements of their training program like case studies, role plays, examples and terminology.

3. Do they provide a learning journey?

Learning is not an event. Most of what participants learn in a classroom is forgotten with days, if not weeks.

4. Do they offer multi-channel, hybrid learning options?

Learning doesn’t happen in the classroom alone. Virtually everyone prefers different modes of learning. Effective learning needs to take a multi-channel, multi-modal approach.

Classroom sessions, “live” webinars, post-training reinforcement coaching, online learning modules, Q&A sessions, podcasts/audio and e-mail reinforcement need to be combined into a powerful learning journey.

5. Do they measure progress?

What’s the point of training if not to get better? Would a professional athlete or musician even dream of embarking on a training program without putting in place some kind of measurement process?

Top-ranked training providers don’t simply suggest you measure progress over time, they insist on it. They understand that the true value they deliver isn’t in how great their training is, it’s in how great the results are.

Next time you’re selecting a training provider, feel free to use this short list as a checklist. After all, it took me twenty years to build it, might as well take advantage of it.