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What is a Train-the-Trainer Course?

By James Timothy White

A train-the-trainer is a course that has been designed to train someone who will then train others. The trainee could be an individual or a group of people (i.e., employees), and it could be in-person or online learning. This type of training is quite common, especially when there are restricted budgets for HR compliance training.

In most situations, a trainer/presenter will deliver the material as part of an eLearning package with other associated documents such as presentation slides, additional information and resource files, etc., which sometimes includes some more complex interactive scenarios where the trainee can practice their newly acquired knowledge through specially designed exercises.

Normally train-the-trainer courses are high level and may be delivered over several days. The trainee should already have some working knowledge of the area before attending a train-the-trainer course. However, trainees do not necessarily need significant experience or expertise before participating in train-the-trainer programs. In fact, this type of learning activity can also help inexperienced people build their skills if the training program is well designed.

This provides an alternative way for professionals to learn skills they might need in a workplace or for trainees to gain knowledge that they did not previously have, which is particularly valuable in compliance courses. Train-the-trainer courses must be designed with the trainees’ industries nuances because courses should cover all the subject’s essential elements and include examples that trainees can relate to. It’s not just about the trainee learning new concepts; train-the-trainer courses should also encourage trainees to develop their own personal skills and knowledge to train others once they have finished their course.

In addition, train-the-trainer courses do more than just teaching compliance training for legal or regulatory reasons; they also teach trainees how to deliver training effectively. Because trainees will be responsible for delivering information on a particular topic, they must know how to engage their group members/students effectively. Train-the-Trainer programs also cost less for organizations because train-the-trainer programs are cheaper than hiring external consultants or large eLearning packages. Train-the-trainer courses can be used for trainee trainers as part of their professional development, and trainees can get credit depending on the organization’s requirements. A train-the-trainer program is also a good way to prepare employees/ trainees for new roles within their organizations in the future in case an expert position opens up.

Train-the-trainer programs are also a safe way for companies to train large groups of employees at the same time because trainees can progress at their own pace and revisit information if needed.

Overall, training employees in-house through train-the-trainer programs is a very cost-effective way to ensure that training budgets are being used effectively and training sessions can be delivered faster. Still, before designing training programs or choosing eLearning material, organizations should consider who will deliver training to the employees.

Training programs are only as good as their training delivery (i.e., trainees). Trainee trainers need to understand how training works, and training programs should encourage trainees to learn how training works.

In-house trainers/presenters are very important in training programs, and their training style should be suitable for both a diverse set of learners and knowledge levels (i.e., trainee training).  In addition, training programs should cover everything needed to complete the training course successfully, including examples that employees can relate to.  Train-the training programs should also encourage trainees to develop their own personal skills and knowledge to become effective training delivery professionals.

Training delivery is the most important component of training programs because it encourages employees/ trainees to take ownership and responsibility.

Training delivery is an essential part of training programs because training should be presented to allow employees/ trainees to understand training concepts easily and encourage them to learn new concepts.

Training delivery also helps professionals reinforce their learning about training topics. If training delivery is poor, the training program won’t achieve its goal of training employees, and training will fail.

Because training delivery is an important part of training programs, organizations should consider trainee trainers suitable for different types of learners and knowledge levels (i.e., trainee training).

Many training programs don’t think about their training delivery until the last minute. However, training programs should include content that is engaging and promotes learning for trainee trainers.

Training delivery also needs to be suitable for all types of training audiences because different topics have different target audiences. If trainees cannot relate with examples in training sessions or if there are not enough examples to suit various knowledge levels, then training will fail because trainees won’t be able to learn new concepts easily, or they won’t understand how concepts relate to each other.

In addition, training delivery should also focus on transferability and employability skills (i.e., transferable skills). Training programs should encourage employees/trainees to develop these skills to develop a transferable training (i.e., training that can be applied to multiple settings) skillset and become employable professionals in their industry.

Training delivery also needs to consider the learning styles of training employees/ trainees because training programs should encourage employees/trainees to learn how training works to become effective training professionals.

If training delivery is not suitable for employees, training programs will fail because training sessions won’t engage trainees or be interesting.  In addition, ineffective training delivery will cause training programs to take longer than necessary, increasing training costs, decreasing productivity levels inside organizations, and further encouraging trainee trainers to leave the organization due to lack of opportunities for progression in their resumes.

To sum up train-the-trainer courses: train trainers receive training on how to train others!

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