We are increasingly getting a lot of delegates attending the PTT Train the Trainer course whose business is subject to external audit and their training has recently been picked up as having non-conformities that require immediate action.  So why is this happening more often and what might an auditor ask to see evidence and examples of?

It’s an extremely common occurrence that in most businesses, training plays second fiddle to most everything else but this is now changing.  With advances in knowledge in fields such as Human Factors, training and its quality is now more commonly looked upon as crucial to the success of a business and the reason why things can work so well or go so badly.  This is one of the main reasons why your future audits might just concentrate on the training you do far more than you have experienced previously, so what might they look at?  Here are three main questions that you can consider, based on my experience of preparing very large training organisations for audit:

What professional and training qualifications do your trainers have?

It goes without saying that anyone training should be professionally competent in their field of quality and credibility but just because you are knowledgeable or good doesn’t mean that you will be a good trainer.  Auditors are now looking for those who are delivering the training to have some form of formal training or qualification since most people who are “training” just read lots of PowerPoint slides; this will never count as effective training.

How often do you review your training content to ensure your information and practices are current?

We all know business is always evolving and so many things like process and practices change on a daily basis.  When it comes to output/profitability needs, most businesses react quite quickly to making changes but not so much with training.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people tell me that because training is perhaps a “secondary role”, they “Don’t get the time” to review and amend the training properly so very quickly it can become stale.  All training must be examined regularly to ensure that process and practices are current so what mechanism do you have in place to do this?

How do you review the effectiveness of your training?

It’s not good enough to say that because you are training people that this is sufficient.  There needs to be a system in place that reviews the quality of delivery (effectiveness at the point of training) but more importantly at a later stage in the workplace.  If not, how do you know that overall, its fit for purpose to achieve what its meant to and that the training need is still the same?  How can you prove that you are acting on the information you are gathering and analysing any trends to then feed it back into the training you deliver?

Having been through many successful audits, I just love seeing those green “ticks” rather than those nasty red ones but irrespective of the result, it’s critical to view an audit not as an excuse to be tripped up, but as an opportunity for improvement.

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.