Elements of formal training

In formal training, the needs of the job dictate the required training for the job. Good formal training includes the following characteristics:

Many factors can contribute to performance problems that cannot be solved by training. A needs analysis involves knowledgeable personnel who are aware of the requirements of the job and the necessary level of performance. This analysis determines whether a need for training exists.

A job analysis determines the specific tasks critical to competent performance of a job. These tasks may be frequent, repetitive, important, difficult or error-prone. It is this analysis that provides the basis for training objectives.

Each task is analyzed to determine the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the task. Task analysis can identify problems associated with the performance of a task, such as the need for training.

Information from the analyses is used to develop performance objectives in accordance with training standards. Skills and knowledge associated with a task are translated into learning objectives. Objectives guide the development of training materials and assessments.

Lesson plans, guides, training aids and materials are prepared and reviewed for technical and instructional sufficiency. Reviews are documented.

Training is planned and scheduled. Training is conducted by qualified facilitators and could include a variety of delivery methods.

Actions taken and decisions made during formal training development are documented. This facilitates modification and revision, as well as creating an audit trail. For audit purposes, it is critical that the rationale behind each decision made in the development and modification stages be documented.

Feedback from participants is reviewed. If warranted, training is modified. The following are specifically evaluated for adequacy:

  • Content
  • Presentations/facilitation
  • Assessments
  • Documentation
  • After-training job performance

Formal training is not necessarily conducted in the classroom. It can include on-the-job training (OJT), computer-based training (CBT), online training and other forms of facilitated learning opportunities. Whatever the medium, it is important that:

  • Training is based on performance objectives
  • Learning objectives are defined
  • Knowledge is tested and skills are demonstrated
  • Training standards are met
  • Development of training is documented
  • Post-training performance is evaluated
  • Records are kept
  • Feedback is obtained and analyzed

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