Have you ever wondered what an In Professional Development Associate trainer does prior to every scheduled training event?
First the call or email is received to check availability, and this starts a process to ensure the right trainer arrives and delivers the right workshop on the right day at the right time and in the right place, to work with the correct group of delegates.
The preparations go wide and deep and take several weeks to complete to ensure consistency and quality of training provision.
Every INPD trainer has a long experience in their specialist field, not only as a trainer/facilitator but also as an operational practitioner at senior level in a wide range of organisations, industries and professions. We have each held positions as Executive Coaches, Senior Consultants and Accredited Higher Education Trainers.
Having said all this however, we take nothing for granted. In many respects we are all as good as our last workshop delivery. We need to remain sharp and focused.
Each trainer is highly qualified and practised reflective practitioners with personal development plans and practice supervisors.
Each one of us has a commitment to attend regular professional training and development ourselves. Some of us are involved in contemporary research and others active thought leaders in our own right.
Back to the process of preparation then, the trainer should always confirm the identity of the commissioning person and clarify if there are any special or specific requirements or requests from delegates attending the programme. INPD trainers take pride in ensuring every delegate is treated as an individual and we make sure, well in advance, that group and individuals plans are in place where these are required.
The date, time, place and timetable of delivery is confirmed to ensure there are no calendar conflicts and a check is made to ensure all pre course work/activity, slide decks or other materials are up to date and available for early distribution.
We check resource requirements and in liaison with the INPD Operations Team, we prepare delegate packs which are quality checked before dispatch and sent early to our delegates with joining instructions and location maps where these may be required.
There is always someone on hand for delegates to ensure any queries can be answered prior to their workshop event and this is when the check list comes out for the trainer to ensure:
- Location and accessibility of the venue
- Access time to set up
- Transport to venue for self
- Co-facilitators, speakers? Is everyone aligned?
- Accommodation for self
- Classroom provision; flip charts, projector, screen, equipment, pens etc
- Room layout
- Dynamic risk assessments and any management controls that may be required
- Programme title, content, learning materials and resources that may be required
- Delegate list (this is researched wherever possible as this may highlight people with particular skills or interests which could enhance the learning experience for the wider group)
- Any special needs or requirements for delegates
- Previously delivered? Check personal reflective notes and feedback review
- Slide deck up to date?
The next most important thing to do is a check to ensure that the learning materials are up to date with any new research or case studies that may have been published. This is where the INPD experience excels, every INPD workshop is made of fresh and contemporary content.
At this stage there is nothing left to do other than get excited about the workshop and look forward to the experience, have an early night the night before and get to the venue early doors and set up ready to personally welcome each delegate as they arrive, register and settle in.
Once the training has been delivered, seeking feedback is the essential next step with a view to updating our reflective training journals and where necessary our personal development plans (CPD).
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What needs to change next time?
We make decisions and keep records about the next workshop. What to stop doing next time, what to start doing next time and of course what we should continue doing in future workshops because it all worked out so well.
All INPD trainers get together regularly to compare professional notes and constructively challenge each other in terms of a peer based supervisory process of learning, development and change.
Probably the unique thing about INPD is the fact that our trainers keep in touch with delegates after the workshop (using WhatsApp groups, social media and webinars etc) to ensure they are fully supported in making any personal or organisational changes back in the work-place (or indeed at home!) and to ensure delegates on CMI accredited programmes remain motivated and well positioned to complete and submit their assignments in good time.
Good preparation + safe and stimulating learning environments + reflective practice = sustainable learning, development and change.
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Associate tutor of In Professional Development