From me – do intensive programs really offer value for money?

So sorry I haven’t posted for a few days, as some of you already know, I’ve been in training myself for the last week (I’ve finally got around to doing my Cert IV TAA!).

We don’t do Cert IV TAA at Chifley so I’m doing it with another RTO (no names mentioned for reasons that will become clear) – this isn’t unusual as we quite often take part in external training, which is obviously very interesting as, aside from allowing me to upskill, it gives me the opportunity to see how the competition is ‘doing it’.

I’ve had some great experiences with other training providers and there’s certainly some fantastic programs and facilitators out there. However, there are times when I attend programs that make me wonder what possible learning outcomes the group is going to achieve and I’m afraid this is one of those occassions.

Don’t get me wrong, the facilitator is a great guy, delivers well, and clearly knows his stuff. However, in attending this program I broke one of my own golden rules…it’s a five day intensive and (as any of my clients would tell you), except for a few specific occasions (see below), I don’t believe in intensives.

Now I know there’s a place for intensives but, in my opinion, they are the reserve of two types of groups – a/ people who already have the skills/knowledge but can’t, for whatever reason, RPL and b/ for people who really don’t give a stuff about learning outcomes and simply want a piece of paper that says ‘I have this qualification’ (although one would have to question how competent they’d be at it).

In honesty, I’m not suffering too much but only because of my experience in the RTO/L&D world, which means I’m able to ‘fill the gaps’ myself (I’m also extremely fortunate to have a large number of qualified, highly experienced people who’s brains I can pick at work later), which means I’ll complete the qualification with pretty much everything I need. However,  the conversations at tea & lunch breaks have made it clear that the majority of people in my group are not achieving anything like the learning outcomes they were expecting – indeed, due to the speed of delivery and ‘spoon fed’ nature of the program (the facilitator is trying to fit a HUGE amount into a few days after all) it appears that good number of them have gone into a bit of a trance, simply filling in the blank spaces as directed, which means the information simply isn’t getting taken in.

I guess my point here is that all-too-often an intensive program is percieved as being a cost-effective option as they’re typically pretty cheap. However, unless all you want is for your workforce to have a ‘piece of paper with their name on it’, if the learning outcomes are minimal (or non-existant), then what you’ve actually done is paid a considerable amount for next-to-nothing…and that’s not even taking into account the negative impact on the wider workforce when the program participants go back to their work group and tell everyone how awful the training was and not to go anywhere near it!

Back to posting regularly next week, I promise.

Cheers,

Sam

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4 thoughts on “From me – do intensive programs really offer value for money?

  1. Good article and good insight into the learning process Sam. I concur with what you are saying. How did it taint your experience with the provider?
    Peter

  2. As you can imagine, it’s not left me with the best impression of the provider Peter – I was especially disapointed (and dismayed) when the facilitator said (in response to someone who’d pointed out a few issues with the materials) that “the managers of the organisation didn’t believe in spending time and money on updating the materials as they felt this was a waste of resources”…did I mentioned I was dismayed!?!?!?!

  3. Althouh on that note, I have high expectations for the TAA program in general, as the focus of the program is quite important, yet from my experience and in discussions with many who that have participated with varying RTO’s, sometimes it can be as simple as the facilitatior failing to deliver. You can imagine the dissapointment for individuals who have paid lots and then walked away only knowing what not to do … just my thoughts 🙂

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