Who Trains the Trainers
October 12, 2012 3 Comments
A little bit of a shift of topic today. I have been recently thinking about the process of training trainers. This idea pops into my head from time to time as it is often bought up (in a round about fashion) in conversations about trainer qualificiations, that is what makes some qualified to train someone else in a particular subject or area. In Australia the basic qualification for someone to train ‘Nationally Accredited’ training packages in what is know as the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In addition to this the trainer needs to have qualificiaitons in the area in which they are training and assessing. Apart from this qualificiation there are many others qualificiations and certifications available, not just in Australia, but around the world, there are degree and post graduate level courses in learning, e-learning, learning management and the like, certification processes like the ones run by AITD or by the ASTD, which seek to ‘certify’ people who can show that they have meet additional requirements, often including peer review of their work. Now all of this is well and good, but the question that sits in the back of my mind is; Who trains the trainers? What qualificiations/experience etc does someone need to be able to train other people in how to be trainers?
Perhaps it is not even a question of qualificiations when I think about it, perhaps it goes a little deeper that than. Let me pose another question; Can someone who is an accomplished, well qualified ‘soft skills’ trainer, train someone in how to train ‘IT skills’. I guess the question is about portability and transferability of training skills. There are certainly basic skills around communication, presentation, and creating training programs that are it seems to me to be transferable, but even with these I am not sure, and I am less sure about who can and should train people. I have worked across a number of different industries and in a number of different educational environments, including VET and University settings and with a wide range of clients and organisations and have over time developed (what I think is) quite a good skill set. Can I train someone else to be a trainer though? Maybe. I can share my experience and what I do and what works for me, but I wonder how much of what I do when I train is about me and who I am and not really transferable.
I guess the real question is what makes someone qualified to be able to train someone to be a trainer?