Trainer Ultilisation, trainer quality and learner outcomes
February 4, 2014 2 Comments
How many hours a week should a trainer deliver Face to face training?
What is a manageable, reasonable and maintainable number of hours a week in which a trainer can deliver face to face training, and does delivering very high hourly levels of face to face training have an adverse effect on the quality of the training and the learner outcomes?
So the old TAFE award in Queensland said 21 hours a week was the amount a time a trainer could be scheduled for face to face training, so in my book that is three days of training. The rest of the time was for preparation, marking, administration, professional development and other related activities. However and this I think is where the question gets interesting, what if the Trainer is a full-time staff member, so 38 Hours a week, and the training is all already developed, there is only a small percentage of marking/assessment involved and most of the administration is done by dedicated administration staff. Is say 4 days of face to face a sustainable level, where the trainer wont burn out over a period of time and quality and learner outcomes wont suffer?
Before I continue I will say that I think 3 days of face to face a week (60%) of workload, is a good minimum standard. I say this because I have over the years been involved in roles where the levels of face to face training were much higher and after a while (and really to be honest not all that long), the quality of the presentation and the outcomes for the learner decline. In my single biggest year as a trainer I trained over 3000 people face to face and worked in excess of 190 days, which works out on average to be 4 days a week. (The fifth day of the week was more often than not taken up with travel) This I can tell you from first hand experience is unsustainable in the long-term and perhaps even in the medium term.
The other part of this question then also relates to assessment. Through our RTO we have a fairly large number of students, a lot of whom are doing, assessment only, RPL, distance learning for most of their learning, so for a number of our trainers rather than delivery of face to face training making up the bulk of what they do on a daily basis, assessment is the prime component and for others it is about s 50/50 split. So therefore a follow-up question is, is it reasonable to expect a trainer might be fully utilised (100% 5 out of 5 days) doing only either face to face training plus assessment? If that doesn’t seem unreasonable what then is a reasonable split between training and assessment or is it just a scheduling and workload issue at that point?
I have to admit that I have reservations however about suggesting that a trainer/assessor could be for all intents and purposes 100% utilised simply doing training and assessment, without there being a decline in the quality of both the training and the assessment activities and as a result a decline in the learner outcomes.
The final question then is should utilisation be made part of performance reviews, particularly in a situation where the trainer has no control over the amount of training or assessment that will be required on a week to week basis as it is really not about their performance, it is just a question of volume of work.
I would be really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks about this and how (if at all) they use trainer utilisation within their organisations.