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- Viewing thread: RE: Training is not a profession; discuss.,
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Message 5 of 9: Mac Macdonald on 29/01/2013
What a great topic Peter.

I am a huge fan of interactive delivery and engaging learners etc. I also deliver PTLLS and CTLLS through 2 Awarding Bodies and with these and other qualifications in training, I too wonder about what a "Professional" trainer really is and what a new trainer would have to do/achieve to gain the title of “Professional”? Perhaps you could ask a similar question on how each of us define a "Professional" trainer or what we see as the difference between a trainer and a professional trainer?

I appreciate the extract from Wikipedia, of “structure and rigour”, but I can’t help but wonder if this is official structure and rigour, as prescribed by the powers that be (educational bodies), or could this be such elements as implemented by trainers, designers organisations and so on?

I like your example where you say “And just thinking about it, I designed and built my own house but am not an architect ”. When I read that sentence my first thought was “wow that is impressive”; my second thought was “does that mean that you are a professional house builder”? I have a voice in my head (don’t be alarmed) saying that if someone classes themselves as a professional, I would expect/want them to be competent at what they do. I would want them to have a recognised qualification to make me feel that they have been officially measured at what they do and be professional in their approach communication etc. (Just can’t get away from that word professional can we)!

At the risk of touching a nerve with some, I have real concerns at what is deemed "correct" by some bodies. I therefore wonder just how effective a trainer deemed professional by that body really is. I wonder if at times we focus too much on the theoretical/academic aspect of training and not enough on the stand and deliver hands on skills. I can’t help thinking that some people involved in the design of qualifications are possibly constrained by their own academic experiences and focus too much on the theoretical work and evidence.

I manage the development of a global training product called TPMA, we insist a trainer must recertify every 3 years to renew their TPMA Trainer Certificate and TPMA Assessors must recertify their TPMA Assessors certificate every 2 years. This is to ensure that both trainers and assessors maintain their Skills. Given my earlier reference to SKU (Skills Knowledge and Understanding), I am conscious that for renewals there is a lack measurement of Knowledge and Understanding at the renewal stage. That is now being addressed to ensure the trainer’s or the assessor’s SKU and certificates are current. This is part of what I personally see as being a professional trainer, renewing/refreshing our skills and not for our sake but for the learners we are ultimately responsible for.

I have had personal experience of a trainer holding a Cert Ed who delivered a training course so badly, I seriously thought it was some form of prank and that the memorable Jeremy Beadle was about to appear and say “gotcha”! The holding of a qualification does not always mean a trainer is professional or is competent. In its simplest term I believe it proves a competence met at the time it was tested (which may have been some time ago as was the case above).

I wonder what being a professional trainer means to other trainers.

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