Training

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  • #21560
    mcloriet
    Participant

    Hi

    My background is in benefits however I am now a Revenues and Benefits Training Officer.

    I am trying to put together a training plan and would be grateful for any advice in the following areas:

    1. New starters – are induction courses provided internally or is training provided elsewhere. If provided internally what time limits are set?
    2. New starters – are staff solely trained by you or are the allocated a ‘buddy’ to shadow?
    3. TNA – how are the training needs of experience staff monitored?
    4. Training programme’s – to what extent are online training programmes used e.g. Euclidian
    5. Grade progression – do staff progress based on their ability, if so how is this monitored?
    6. Refreshers – are the usual refreshers planned in advance on a regular basis e.g. students, self-employed etc
    7. Staff pledges – do staff commit to a set number of training sessions per year or are training sessions mandatory?
    8. Small changes throughout the year – how are staff educated e.g. bulletins, formal training sessions, weekly meetings, training emails explaining the change etc
    9. System training – are you responsible for system training and if so do you hold a test database
    10. Revenues & Benefits – if training in both areas how do you allocate your resources e.g. as and when needed, on a monthly rota to each section etc

    I am also an NVQ assessor for Benefits.

    Any help, no matter how small would be welcomed to find out how you juggle your limited time training staff.

    Thanks in advance.
    Tracy

    😆

    #5506
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Tracy,

    I’ve been in the training game a little while now and this is what I’ve gleaned.

    1&2. We’ve just completed a large recruitment and training programme that has gone very well. We had an outside training body come in and train three waves of new benefit officers, about 20 or so, from the ground up. The outside training was brought in as the job was too large and too long for us as a training team to handle in addition to everything else we do; refresher courses, policy advice, LHA, ESA and so on. Not that we couldn’t have done it, just that we couldn’t have done it and everything else on our plate.

    Before starting, the training company met with us, agreed timetables, arranged performance monitoring and were briefed on the authority’s procedures and policies. The new starters had an organised training programme of 13 weeks; all of that time was spent with their trainer. In this period each module of classroom training was followed by a period of consolidation, firstly by working on the test system and then by doing real casework on the live system. During the consolidation the trainer was assisted by an experienced and trusted benefit officer and the trainees were subject to a 100% check by our quality team.

    We, as the in-house training team, worked very closely with the external trainers, supporting them in their time with us. The trainers in turn gave the trainees regular 1-2-1s and kept the trainees line mangers up to date with their progress.

    Now the trainees are former trainees and they are working as part of their new teams. How they are supported is up to the individual line manager and what they think best suits the officer’s needs. Some have a mentor; some are “kept an eye on” by the manager or deputy and some have happily taken to it like ducks to water.

    3&4. We don’t currently use on line training but we are looking at it as well as getting a TNA in.

    5. Staff progression is based in part on the individual’s performance against their targets as set in 1-2-1s and appraisals (or that’s how it’s supposed to work…). Quality returns feed into this too. Otherwise, it’s down to ability, aptitude and so on.

    6. We organise and run refresher training based on information given to us by team managers (which they identify as part of the 1-2-1/appraisal process) and on quality returns. Where a need is identified, or a subject is requested, then we swing into action like a finely tuned machine. Course(s) are booked; delegates scheduled; training material is dusted off, checked and updated or written from scratch (or, indeed, nicked) and then training is delivered with style, energy and a shed load of skill and knowledge. I hope.

    7. We have a “Training Contract” which lays out the responsibilities of the trainee and the training team. There’s no target number of training days but if you are booked on a course it is generally mandatory.

    8. Most small changes are dealt with in our fortnightly training update which is emailed to all staff. However, if a small problem is sufficiently large then we’ll drop into team meetings to discuss it. If it’s larger than that, formal training sessions will be considered. Whatever works really.

    9. We do system training when required. There is a test copy of the system that we can use. There is also a third copy that we can use. If we’re allowed. If they’re not being used for testing or other stuff. Grumble grumble.

    10. We are only responsible for benefits training but we have a small crossover with CTax as some officers can award and remove single person discounts but that’s about it.

    In all, we are responsible for the training and development of the benefits staff. We also co-ordinate and provide support for corporate and external training. In addition we also have major input into the writing of procedures as well as supporting management in formulating and implementation of policy.

    For the first time in many years, I love my job.

    #5507
    craigworc
    Participant

    Darren,

    it sounds like you’ve really got everything sorted out. How long did it take you to get to this point.

    I’ve been a Training/Quality Officer since 2006 and the first year was really about my colleague and I getting our training qualification. The second year was when we were going to start writing procedures and in-house courses but then Shared Services appeared so everything was (unoffically) put on hold. I’ve done losts of quality checking in the last year but little else really.

    The shared service has now happend (we all moved in together about 3 weeks ago) and the two of us have gone from Training/Quality for 23 staff (13 assessors plus OP’s/visiting officers/managers) to 95 staff including Revenues.

    I’d love to be at the stage you’re at but I think the next couple of years are going to be hell.

    Ps – like your sig, one of my fav songs (i’m a miserable git 🙂 )

    #5508
    mcloriet
    Participant

    Darren

    I agree its sounds like you are in the place I would like to be, its just knowing where to start and planning your priorities properly.

    Thanks for all of your help.

    Tracy 😛

    #5509
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Well Craig, I was lucky: I joined a well established team with clearly defined responsibilities and procedures. Additionally I work for a large urban authority – training team of three training officers plus a manager, quality team of 5 plus a manager, appeals, system support, pre-assessment, payments and over 100 assessors. We have had to develop methods of conveying information to people without it getting lost in such a vast organisation. So for me it’s just a case of working with what’s in front of me.

    For me, the most important things are
     Having clearly defined objectives – “what, exactly, do you want me to do?”; and then
     Having officers [i:0156bd570c]and management [/i:0156bd570c]buying into what you are doing. There is no point doing anything if nobody cares.

    Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” (just say “I don’t know [i:0156bd570c]yet[/i:0156bd570c]”) and do make use of any resource you can get your hands on. It was once put to me that trainers are like magpies, always nicking little bits from here and there. Mind you, sometimes it’s more like wholesale pilfering…

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