All organisations should have effective training processes and assessments in place, but a lot of businesses don't do it very well. Whether this is down to language barriers, lack of assessments or lack of resources - it doesn't seem to get prioritized.
Laurie has spent many years as a principle consultant/trainer and knows a thing or two about effective training in the workplace.
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Do Organisations Do Training Properly?
Many workplaces just do it because they know they have to - they will spend money, report things in a spreadsheet, and then save that spreadsheet and never look at it. Is anyone getting value from this process?
"I think you hit the nail on the head with the fact that it's put onto the spreadsheet. It's just a matter of ticking boxes without evaluating the quality of training. We're seeing that more when we do audits. Workers don't have the skills or the knowledge, yet they still have a certificate".
What Steps Are Involved In Training?
It's effective to look at training as a process that's actually adding value. In order to achieve this, you need to firstly ask if the training is needed and then follow through the steps.
"You need to look at why you're providing the training, and who the training provider is, and what their qualifications are. We've had situations where we trained somebody in work health and safety for the CERT4, and we found out a week later, they're delivering that course. They had absolutely no experience in health and safety out in the workplace - they were delivering it purely from the fact that they'd attended a course. That is not quality training".
What Is The Auditors Experience With Training?
When Craig was out auditing, there would be times where he would come up to the competency and training section of the standard. What was your experience with this?
"As an auditor, you'd get thrown a skills matrix which the company would say is their training. That was it. The overriding opinion was that the skills matrix was all they needed. Like Laurie said, it was a tick-the-box activity".
"But when you dug deeper, and asked them what training these people need, they actually hadn't gone through a process around what's needed for that particular role. What skills and competencies are needed? Who will be the assessor on those? Instead of figuring this out, they just filled out the spreadsheet or matrix. People need to get out of this rut and try and work out, how do we actually get some value from our training?"
How Often Should You Assess Your Training?
What would be the best way to review training? 3 months down the track, 1 week down the track? How would you recommend the assessment occurs?
"You could do task observations. Make sure that what the person would have or should have learnt, understands what they're doing. This can be done through watching and questioning.
But it should probably also be part of a formal-process one week afterwards or one month afterwards - checking to make sure that that knowledge has been retained, and they're actually achieving what you want out of the training they've been provided with".
Examples of Really Good Training
Have you seen any examples where companies are doing training really well? What does that look like? Is it putting this stuff into different languages? Is it done by video?
"Yes, we've seen some good examples. If you take the fruit-picking areas and fruit areas where they've put together videos that actually show it and provide the information in different languages, and then they actually do the assessment in that person's language".
"For our training at Mango, we've created a whole lot of videos which mean we can provide more information in less time. After a period of time, we come back and do an assessment based on what was described in the video. We’re finding really good traction with video".
- Acknowledge that there may be some room for improvement in training
- Define what your process is based on the desired outcome
- Be aware of what your assessors are doing
- Review and audit the trainers
Want more of an insight into compliance in the workplace? Check out our other episodes here.