It's About Time to Review Your Training Courses and Materials

Posted by Peter Rogers

Once again, during this unprecedented time of lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing, it's time for Compliance Professionals to look at those jobs that you almost never get around to.

This time, you need to review your training courses and materials.

This idea comes from an ongoing series of blogs that originated from "26 Ideas for Working from Home for Compliance Professionals".

The Problem

During our business-as-usual busy lives (pre-COVID-19) of being either a Safety Manager, Quality Manager, Environmental Manager, Food Safety Manager or Information Security Manager, we just didn't have time to review whether our training is effective or not.  We certainly didn't time to check that the course material was up-to-date and understood. 

If your training material and content is old and out of date, all you are doing is “training by contamination” and you just get poor outcomes.

An example here is your induction training courses and materials. The ones that I have seen out auditing in a few businesses were usually out-of-date and pretty lacklustre.

These old courses and materials could be putting your business at risk with information that has been superceded many years before.

Conduct the Review

If you conduct these reviews now, when these lockdowns and quarantines are lifted you will be able to hit the ground running with newly refreshed information and improved training methods.   

First let's look at two simple criteria when reviewing your training courses and material:

  1. Effectiveness
    1. Is the course effective in presenting information?
    2. Do the employees understand what was presented?
    3. What could be improved?
  2. Outcomes
    1. Did the training meet the company's intended outcomes?
    2. Does it meet our objectives?
    3. Did we meet the employee's expectations?
    4. Has it protected the employees? 
    5. Has it protected the company?
    6. Was it customer focussed?
    7. Are we delivering a better product or service?
    8. Have we protected the public so the product is safe for consumption?
    9. Were our resources maintained and in good working order?
    10. Have we protected the environment?
    11. Did we make compliance more complex?

Secondly, the review should include other factors. These include:

  • Changes to legal requirements.
  • Changes to the organisation's practices.
  • Does the material align with the management system or does it create conflict.
  • The media that they are delivered in.
  • The languages and cultures of the workforce.
  • The length of the training.
  • The style of the delivery.
  • How old is the current training.
  • The trainer's qualifications and experience.
  • Should the training be internally or externally delivered.
  • Should the training be it be formal or a "buddy" type system.
  • How do your know it was effective?

There are some simple ways to determine if the content is good, bad, engaging or understood.

  1. Ask employees who have gone through it the following:
    1. Was it engaging?
    2. Was the content easily understood?
    3. Could the content be delivered another way?
  2. Assess how much was remembered.
  3. Ask them was it relevant and current

The Outcome

Finally, combine these answers with the effectiveness and the outcomes, and you will quickly know what to do with your training courses and materials.

If it needs to be updated or changed, seek approval from Management during the in the training plans and budgeting review process.

If it's working well then just leave it as it is.

There you have it.

Get going on this important improvement task and make a real difference to your organisation.

Tags: Compliance, Training, Integrated QHSE, 26 Ideas for Working from Home