Training Strategies

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    Currently reviewing our training strategy (after reorganisation). Is anyone prepared to share examples of good practise that I could learn from?


    replies to p a d l a r d @ o x f o r d . g o v . uk


    Hi Phil,

    did you receive any guidance? if so, i would be interested to see what other LA’s do, as I am now responsible for the training side too.


    Deb Fensome
    Luton borough Council.


    I’m a training officer in a large urban authority. Our team consists of 3 trainers and a manager. We are supposed to have access to administrative support but we not see any of it. Our training needs are identified in three ways

    •Legislation, policy or administrative changes – we in the training unit write and plan the training course and then deliver it in the appropriate manner.

    •Quality returns – or for that matter, issues raised by the appeals or subsidy teams. Where something is going wrong or not working, then we can target the area of concern and provide refresher training or advice in the right place.

    •Individual 1-2-1s – during the usual appraisal process or in monthly 1-2-1 meetings with their managers, officers can request training on individual subjects. The manager can suggest areas that may benefit from training.

    We also offer training to other parts of the Authority and any other interested stakeholder. For example, last year I ran a 2 day introduction to HB/CTB course for our local Pension Service visiting team as part of a joint working project.

    Formal courses end with a “technical evaluation”. I’m loathed to use the word test. This is useful to ensure that the course did what it was designed to do (and that people listened!).

    It is important to try and deliver training in a manner that suits the trainee but that has to be balanced against the needs of other officers and of the service as a whole.

    The method training will be delivered by varies as to the needs of the audience and the complexity of the issue. ESA will be a series of 3 or 4 half or whole day formal courses, with officers attending the appropriate one(s) for their role. Other changes for October will be dealt with by giving briefings as part of team meetings. We might spend time with individuals or support managers in doing so. We also issue a fortnightly(ish) training update in which we summarise recent circulars (and provide links to them), advise on forthcoming learning events, highlight problems or issues causing concern and so on.

    We usually deliver training ourselves. We have a number of courses and programmes “on the shelf” that can be got out, dusted off, checked over and then delivered within a day if needs be. Other times we “make to measure” for specific needs. We will also sometimes buy in courses from external providers where we need to.

    The last part of this is keeping records of what we do. Individuals attendance and time-keeping at learning events (our own and any external) and the results of any evaluation are recorded and fed back into personal development plans as well as the training unit’s part of the “corporate plan”. Oo-er!

    Feel free to pm me if you’ve got any specific queries.


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