I recently had (yet another) conversation where the question was asked “Why should I pay for training design? Surely that’s part of the trainers preparation?” I’ve had to point out that designing training is not the same as preparing training. By training design, I mean producing a course outline for approval, trainers’ guidelines, a detailed delegate booklet, slides, activity sheets, post-course activities, distance learning, evaluation, and so on. To take it even further, it means consciously and creatively thinking about the best methods to use to achieve your organisational objectives. So why SHOULD you invest in training design? Here are just a few reasons…
1. Encourages Ownership. As a client, you can contribute to the course content directly, integrating key policies, processes and standards where you feel it is appropriate and linking to other initiatives.
2. Confidence in Outcomes. You get to see in detail what will be covered in the programme before it is run, and have the opportunity to make changes.
3. Improves Commitment. Course outlines and sample materials can be circulated before it is run to gain buy-in from a higher authority, and get a ‘buzz’ going about it.
4. Value for Money. Many professional training designers will hand over all materials to you, and generally not retain copyright. This means you can use the materials over and over again.
5. Post-event Learning. Tangible materials that remain after the training event provide ‘added value’ for the learners to refer back to, and understand out of context of the course.
6. Meeting Objectives. It is easy to demonstrate exactly how the desired objectives will be met before the training takes place, providing you with reassurance that the training will meet your needs.
7. Innovation. Professional training designers are able to build in a range of activities to suit the needs of the learners or learning styles, whilst maintaining key messages. Approaches can include the highly innovative as well as traditional – or a mix of both.
8. Accelerating Learning. Taking the time to properly plan and design training ensures that accelerated learning principles can be followed, with all learning styles catered for, which in turn aids the transfer of learning.
9. Consistency. For programmes run over time or different locations, professionally designed materials ensure that the core messages stay the same. For roll-outs where a number of trainers are used, it ensures there is a consistency of message and approach.
10. Ease of Substitution. It is easier to find a substitute trainer because all of the materials are to hand, limiting disruption and maintaining your schedules and programmes. Preparation time for trainers is reduced.
11. Flexible Approach. Training designers are not limited to classroom training. They will consider ALL learning options, and be able to combine methods to provide a truly blended solution that meets your needs.
12. Aids Evaluation. With detailed training materials, it is easier to complete an objective evaluation of the programme as you know exactly what has been covered. Skilled training designers will build in measures throughout the programme and beyond that make evaluation at all 4 levels possible.
13. Raises the Image of Training. Quality materials imply a quality programme. Shoddy, poorly photocopied handouts in different fonts devalue the training and the organisation and present a barrier to learning.
14. Marketing Opportunities. Materials act as a silent marketer for your programmes long after the courses have ended.