Anexpert panel of judges has been lined up to assess all the entries to thisyear’s TD2001 Award. Their interests and specialist areas reflect the entiregamut of business and training issues, as Patrick McCurry reportsAsbefits the TD2001 Awards, all three judges have a passionate interest intraining and wide experience of advising on or putting effective trainingprogrammes into practice. Theywill be looking for examples of best practice from applicants in the key areasof how training is integrated with the organisation’s goals, how much top tableinfluence training managers have and how initiatives are evaluated. Twoof the judges have expertise in researching and advising on training and onecomes from the “coalface” of industry. AndrewForrest, learning and development director at the Industrial Society, hasadvised on training at organisations as diverse as Rolls-Royce, theMetropolitan Police, the BBC and the Royal National Institute for the Blind. ProfessorMike Campbell heads the Policy Research Institute at Leeds MetropolitanUniversity, which has carried out wide-ranging research on training for theDepartment for Education and Employment, about half the country’s training andenterprise councils and for local authorities. Bringinga perspective from within industry is Colin Midson, operations director ofengineering company LGH. He has worked his way up the organisation from salesrep through management to a directorship and steered the company’s products divisionto attain the new Investors in Peoplestandard. His company also recently received an award from its local Tec forinnovative practice in achieving cultural change. Practicalview“Icome at training from a very practical point of view,” Midson says. “I’m not anacademic and I don’t have any letters after my name, but I have a stronginterest in how training can help a business achieve its objectives.”Midsonwon’t be impressed by organisations that “flower up” their training but haven’tthought through what they are trying to achieve. “Too many organisations decideto send managers on, say, a time management course because it sounds good, butwithout having thought through whether it’s necessary or how it will impact onthe business goals.” Midsonhas specialised in dealing with acquisitions and turning around loss-makingcompanies. “I’m particularly interested in how training can contribute tocultural change in organisations.”Froma more research-based background comes Andrew Forrest, who has spent his careerat the Industrial Society, where his roles have included project managing aself-managed learning programme and HR director. But his is no ivory towerexistence. “I spend 80 per cent of my time out of the office, working withclients or delivering seminars and workshops.” Heis keen on trying to encourage whatever training is done in an organisation torelate to the business and not just the individual. “There’s often a gap betweenthe individual’s training and how that is put into practice in theorganisation,” he says. SupportToooften organisations do not properly brief staff before training and, worse,when the individual returns from a course there may be little support by theemployer to ensure that what has been learned is applied in the workplace orshared with colleagues. “Organisations waste a lot of money in just hoping forthe best from courses and not following them up,” he says. Forrestis keen that organisations tap a variety of training sources and do not simplyrely on traditional courses, which he regards as a “one-club approach” thatlimits the potential of training. He says, “There are so many training methods,from books and courses to mentoring, and different people may respond better toone or other method, or a combination may work best.” LikeForrest, Campbell has a sound academic grounding in training issues, but alsosignificant practical experience of the subject. The early years of his careerwere in hotel and catering, working for Trust House Hotels, and then as a lossadjuster in the insurance industry. Aftercompleting a Masters degree, he became an academic and set up the PolicyResearch Institute, which specialises in looking at the links between trainingand economic success, whether for the individual, company or community. He hascarried out research projects on training for the DfEE, about half thecountry’s training and education councils and for local authorities. Coherence“I’mvery interested in whether an organisation’s training is systematic andcoherent and whether it runs across the workforce as a whole,” he says, addingthat one of the unfortunate traditions in Britain is for training anddevelopment to be concentrated on those who are already well qualified. “Thereneeds to be equal emphasis on those that have the most need but often haveleast access,” he says. Campbellwill be keen to question applicants on how their training is linked to thebusiness or organisational plan and how the employer tries to measure itsimpact. “I’ll be asking what the payback of training is both to the individualand employer, what lessons are drawn from that evaluation and how it influencesthe future approach to training and development.” Campbellbelieves that, while there are some excellent examples of best practice intraining, too many British companies still do not take it seriously enough.“The best British companies are the best in the world, and that goes for theirtraining and development, but there is a long trail of underachievers behindthem because many business people do not value training enough, probablybecause they have not been convinced of the business benefits.” Awardssponsor Raytheon Professional Services believes TD2001 will reinforce thegrowing interest in training issues by UK companies competing in anincreasingly globalised market place. Asthe global economy continues to change at an astounding pace, the ability tolearn quickly and effectively will become an even more significant factor inbusiness success, says Michael Nehrmann, RPS director, sales and marketing forEurope, the Middle East and Africa. Hesays, “A major issue facing companies is the question of ensuring that theirworkforce is appropriately equipped to deal with both current and futurebusiness issues. This can only be achieved by ensuring that training isinseparably linked to the company’s business strategy and goals. “TheTD2001 Award will recognise organisations that are able to demonstrate success inthis area.” Nehrmannadds that the global business environment means companies must focus on corebusiness competencies. “The ability to work with professional partners willplay an ever-increasing role in boosting the value and standing of training anddevelopment within the overall organisation.” Judges of characterOn 1 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.