Colin Steed, chief executive of the IITT, explains the rationale behind the newly created IITT Trainer Performance Monitoring & Assessment Service.

The evolving role of the training professional

During the past decade the function and role of traditional trainers has evolved from being a person who stands in front of a class delivering instruction to a much more multi-skilled role. Today the requirement is for much less emphasis of presenting passive training sessions to significantly more focus on training professionals facilitating active learner participation.

The Institute of IT Training believes that the training professional of 2008 needs to be an all-round professional with a multi-faceted role of a trainer, facilitator, adviser, coach, enabler and consultant, as well as a subject matter expert in their chosen subject.

The Institute of IT Training has, for the past 13 years, been successfully working with its members in raising the standards of training. In the past, it ensured that members were certified to at least Level 3 standards but during the past two years has been working closely with national Sector Councils, awarding bodies and BCS to update the requirements for training provision quality to modern standards.

Following this extensive programme of research and development, the IITT is proud to announce its new initiative - The IITT Trainer Performance Monitoring & Assessment Service, which has combined Government, BCS (ACTT) and IITT standards to create a best of breed, de facto standard for IT trainers. The IITT believes this will significantly upgrade the standards of performance of training delivery for the entire training industry.

IITT has worked with BCS and LLUK to create a single set of standards. The joint standards provide a single standard and assessment for all elements of the IT industry, leading to a joint IITT / BCS certificate and an optional Level 3 OCR 'Preparing To Teach in The Lifelong Learning Sector' national certification.

This provision allows for a clear industry-wide set of standards suitable for all IT trainers, whether they are trainers, tutors or teachers.

What is the IITT Trainer Performance Monitoring & Assessment Service?

Through a national network of authorised assessment centres, training professionals can now receive an objective professional assessment, in a live environment, of their training delivery and facilitation skills, based on National Standards.

This assessment, which is authorised, governed and monitored by both the IITT and leading awarding body Oxford Cambridge & RSA Examinations (OCR), is a record of the training professional's quality of performance in a live environment to National Standards.

This assessment record is further enhanced by any developmental requirements for the trainer over the coming year.

The record is then placed on the candidate's record held by the IITT and facilitates the IITT to issue its 'Certified Training Practitioner' Certificate and a nationally-recognised Level 3 award on the National Qualifications Framework - 'Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)'.

The assessment record must be updated annually to enable the trainer to retain their IITT membership.

Why trainer performance assessment?

The training manager of any organisation must ensure that the quality of all training is performed and monitored to the recognised National Standards on the National Qualifications Framework, that the learners actually acquire a sound learning experience and that the learning acquired is able to be applied to the learner's workplace, and that all training delivery is consistent across the organisation.

In order to make this happen, the organisation must ensure that the training is delivered and maintained to the highest level and that it is consistent across the organisation.

To facilitate this, it is imperative that each trainer is assessed in a live environment on a regular basis and that each assessment conforms to national standards, is maintained and governed externally and independently, and is then linked to each candidate's continual professional development. This also can, and should, be linked to the individual's appraisal process.

The IITT strongly believes that in the past organisations have relied on trainers just attending train the trainer courses and obtaining a certification to feel comfortable that their training staff are performing to quality standards.

It contends that this is not a true way to judge quality of performance and strongly believes that a regular, live, independently governed assessment is the only way to ensure that every training professional:

  • facilitates / delivers learning to the National Standards benchmark;
  • receives objective guidance on potential improvement and developmental activity which should link to individual's appraisals;
  • provides the employer with an objective benchmark to monitor the performance and quality of all trainers and the learning for all employees;
  • provides a nationally-recognised Level 3 qualification on the National Qualifications Framework;
  • enables all training professionals to achieve professional membership of the Institute of IT Training with post nominal letters after their name.