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Quality of Trainers

 
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itiltrainer
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Joined: Aug 13, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Quality of Trainers Reply with quote

As an 'experienced' (but still learning!) ITIL trainer I am getting slightly concerned regarding the questionable quality of some training that is taking place today.

To safeguard the on-going quality of training I would like to suggest that only those individuals who hold the Mgrs certificate WITH A DISTINCTION be allowed to conduct Mgr course training.

Now I realise that:
1. We need more safeguards in place than this to be assured of quality - but it is a strarting point.
2. This is likely to lead to various squeals of anguish from some present trainers who do not have a distinction (tough - go and sit the exam again and do it properly this time!)
3. It is ISEB and EXIN who 'make the rules' on this - however I would like to give them a bit of a push by showing there is some backing for this (after all an assurance of quality training would also be of great benefit to the exam boards).

Anybody got any comments on this (some squeals maybe!)?
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m_croon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the region you are working in? You can't qualify the level of training in general (globally?).
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Ed
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Joined: Feb 28, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an observation from a Practitioner (no axe to grind) - I have known people with Degrees that I would not send out to buy a loaf of bread, let alone train me.

Can I ask what makes you think that having a Distinction makes anyone a better trainer - They might know the subject, but can they impart it?

Regards

Ed
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itiltrainer
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed

The point you make is 100% valid. That is why, if you read my earlier post carefully, you will see that I make it clear that this is only ONE quality safeguard – there are of course many more - and obviously one of the most important would be the ability to teach the subject effectively.

Now we would need to have a separate (and very valid!) discussion to look at the many other qualities required to teach effectively, but for the moment I am simply concentrating on one thing – the need for those that teach the Mgrs Certificate to have passed that qualification at DISTINCTION level.

Why? Well, I believe that those teaching this subject should (as one of the criterion which allows them to teach the subject!) be able to demonstrate they have gained the highest qualification possible. If we do not accept this principle then why not let people with only a Foundation certificate teach the Mgrs Course?

Too add to your observation – yes, I have also known individuals with degrees that I would not trust with a simple practical task – yet – if I were ill I would want the doctor treating me to be as highly qualified (and capable, and experienced – you see – multiple criteria!) as possible.
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LizGallacher
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussion. As a trainer (and one who would pass your test as I have a distinction) I do sympathise. Certainly to be a marker you need to have athe distinction. I have known some very good trainers who did not quite achieve the 65% in both papers at the same sitting (after all, only 5% or so achieve that). Certainly to be acreditted as a trainer by the ISEB you need to fill out a form describing your knowledge and experience - I do not know about EXIN.
The comfort factor of having the distinction, or being taught by someone who has it, is that you can be confident that they have knowledge across the disciplines - and did not get 5/20 for their weak areas! On the other hand, trainers with practical experience are a huge asset. In an ideal world they would have both, but a good ITIL knowledge combined with experience is better than a higher theoretical knowledge with no experience. I know my knowledge of some areas has certainly strengthened since I started teaching, as I had to make sure that I could answer all questions flung at me.
I do have a concern, however, that people are being acreditted as trainers who struggled to pass the exam, and are then put forward as trainers within weeks.
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itiltrainer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liz,

It is certainly not possible to argue with any of the points you make.

It will be interesting to see what happens with accreditation in the future now that APMG are about to be involved. If they follow the same principles as they employ with P2 training accreditation then we (ITIL trainers) will have to apply for formal re-accreditation as trainers every 3 years (by passing an exam).

I do not think this is a bad idea, as anything that helps to ensure quality should be encouraged. However I still believe firmly that before you can become accredited in the first place you must be able to demonstrate your ability to ‘do the job’. Practical experience, ability to teach, and a number of other factors must be taken into account (as ISEB supposedly do at present – but not EXIN!), but I think having a DISTINCTION should be a part of the process. If you do not have the distinction, then your teaching should be limited to Foundation and Practitioner.

I would however add that I think it only fair that if the above were to come about, there should be a mechanism whereby you could re-take the entire Mgr exam (to gain 65+ in each paper at one sitting) in order to gain a distinction without the need to attend a formal course again.

Let’s wait to see what APMG do – it should be interesting!
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NorthStar
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly agree with the general concept here - that trainers should be able to demonstrate a high level of both theoretical knowledge and real world experience.

A practical point – EXIN do not have a ‘distinction’ for Managers Certificate, just binary pass/fail. I know because I took the EXIN exam and despite scoring 65 and 69, I still have a standard ‘pass’ the same as everyone else who achieved the minimum pass rate. It is my understanding that the EXIN and ISEB qualifications are equivalent, so perhaps the actual scores are the key, not just ‘distinction’ ?

In terms of ongoing improvement and assessment for trainers, well this happens already to an extent – there are course evaluation/feedback forms and also the pass rates which are made known to the trainer, their employer and the course provider (this is not always the employer). I am sure that if consistently poor feedback/results were received, the trainer would soon find themselves with a lot of free time. I would be happy to do a refresher of some sort from time to time, maybe also peer reviews – but please, not a full resit of the Managers Certificate !

Finally, something I have noticed as a relatively new trainer, is that it would be easy to become isolated. You do bump into other trainers, but most of the time you work alone. This makes other activities, such as occasional consulting engagements or involvement in itSMF or IoSM extremely useful. A 'by trainers for trainers' forum might also be helpful - perhaps within the itSMF Education SIG. Do other trainers feel this would be useful ?
Alison.
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Zarney
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject: trainers Reply with quote

I thought all trainers had to have at least the managers certificate to train, and real life experience.

Also I think that all trainers should have to do refresh courses if thats all they do. One of our Directors is an ITIL trainer of foundation and practitioner for Learning Tree, they use customer feed back and pass rates to make sure their trainers are training properly. Also this is not all he does he is also an ITIL consultant so is working with it all the time.

But I find a lot of the training companies want the courses run so the students Pass the exams not necessarily impart any passion for the subject to them they want them taught the subject and how to pass. No matter how good or bad the trainer anyone can pass an exam if they study enough, does not mean they understand the subject. To be honest the foundation certification multiple choice questions are not that hard.

Its hard to make sure all trainers are good I agree, but even if they were and everyone passed does that make all the students any good. As someone said previously they know grads they wouldnt send out for bread. I know ITIL Managers I wouldnt trust to cross the road on their own, let alone advise on ITIL implementaion, but they have been trough the training and have experience. Like anything there are good and bad.
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stevelawless
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:19 pm    Post subject: ITIL trainers Reply with quote

At a meeting of ISEB accredited training providers some time ago I was informed that EXIN would accredit a trainer who held only the Foundation certificate to teach to Foundation level, and that one of these trainers had been found teaching on a Managers certificate course. If this is true, then I think it definitely worthwhile querying who the trainer will be on your Managers course and checking that they are suitably qualified.

I believe that ISEB suggested that training providers could use this information as a way of promoting themselves over EXIN accredited training providers by saying that to achieve ISEB accreditation that all trainers need to hold the Managers certificate.

We as a company even insist that the sales staff undertake the Foundation certificate and exam, so that they know what they are talking about to clients.
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itiltrainer
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so - a direct question to you Steve regarding Purple Griffon.

Do you ensure that the trainers you use on the Mgrs course have a distinction - or does the level that your trainers are qualifies too not really interest Purple Griffon?
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stevelawless
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:21 pm    Post subject: Qualifications Reply with quote

And a direct question deserves a direct answer. Which is that we have a mixture. We have trainers that have 'just a pass'; we have trainers with a 'distinction' and trainers who are also 'examiners'.

Also remember that 'just a pass' could indicate 90% in Service Support and only 64% in Service Delivery, and a distinction could be someone who has just achieved 65% in both Service Support and Service Delivery

I take your point that there has to be a 'quality mark', and all of our trainers have reached that level, which is to be approved and accredited in our case by ISEB. If ISEB insist that we only use trainers with a distinction then we would apply that criteria, but at present they don't, and I for one don't believe that they should, as we would lose the services of a couple of very knowledgeable and talented trainers.

We as a training provider carefully vet our permanent and associate trainers and regularly check their pass rates and believe me there is no difference to distinguish between them. They are all of a high standard.

What we look for when we choose a trainer is the quality and variety of their knowledge within the various service management disciplines, and also very importantly their ability to impart that knowledge to others.

Many who have achieved a distinction level, some with an exceedingly high mark have approached us, but they lack the fire and enthusiasm, or the skills to pass their acquired knowledge on.

I also know many who having achieved a distinction believe that they can go on and become implementation consultants, and I have had to follow up after them and pick up the pieces.

I tend to treat the Managers certificate (distinction or not) as passing your driving test. Once you have passed, then you really learn to drive...

I in return ask a direct question of 'itiltrainer'. Do you work as a permanent trainer or as a freelance trainer?

I'm okay if you don't want to reveal your anonymity in this forum. Feel free to send me a direct email at steve.lawless@purplegriffon.com.

Regards Steve
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itiltrainer
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

…and a very good direct response it was as well…and I very much appreciate it.

It is good to see somebody in your position taking the time to explain the rationale behind their selection of trainers, and not simply coming out with a load of old guff! What I particularly appreciated was the fact that you obviously passionately believe in what you say, and you appear to be truly passionate about delivering a quality training product.

To give you a direct answer – I work as a freelance.

Oh – and as for the driving test analogy – fair point – but if I had a choice (and all other factors being equal) I would prefer to be taught to drive by somebody who had passed their advanced driving test1

Just a thought.
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Geeze
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To say you must have a 'distinction' in order to train at a Managers level I think is crazy!.

Experience in the real world is the key, so I'd rather be trained by someone who consults and also trains for a living. I remember back in the early noughties a lady winning student of the year who had not long been out of Uni. Would you want training someone like that or someone that had years of Service Mgt experience both in industry and consulting to teach you? I know of excellent trainers on the circuit that haven't even got their Foundation as it was invented way back when and passed ITIL v1 Managers....

There is no substitute for experience.
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itiltrainer
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geeze,

This is annoying - because you have posted a reply without even being bothered to understand what the actual argument is.

So...at the risk of wasting my time.... nobody is claiming that experience is not absolutely vital - as is a talent for communication, an ability to motivate and enthuse a class, etc etc. The argument is that ONE (of many) attributes which every trainer who wishes to provide Mgmt training should have is a Distinction (but tihs is but one of many attributes / talents that the trainer should posses). After all, if you have not achieved a distinction how can you teach oothers to attain that level?

Oh - and the argument that many fine and wonderful trainers do not have the Mgr or even Foundation certificate is true...but pointless. I have also met a number of ITIL v1 masters (who are trainers) who have no real clue about ITIL or training at all. Remember that in the early days of ITIL (Up to around 2000) it was actually more difficult to fail than pass the Mgr exam - pass rates being around 90% with distinctions running at 50%+. In those days they were giving a pass away with a box of cornflakes!

Anyway - if these trainers are so great then why not ask them to get a distinction. I am sure if they are so good they will achieve it with no trouble at all - and remember that you do not need to attend a training course now before sitting the Mgr exam ( thanks APMG). So the only reason for them not having a Distinction will be that they are incapable of achieving a decent examination mark - in which case they should not be training others.
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Fabien
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

itiltrainer wrote:
Oh – and as for the driving test analogy – fair point – but if I had a choice (and all other factors being equal) I would prefer to be taught to drive by somebody who had passed their advanced driving test1


As you say, you "would prefer to be taught" that way, which makes me believe it would be a good sales argument. But I am not convinced it has so much academic value.

If the bests of the bests would be teaching, this would be a very badly uneducated world, because there's only few of them, and there are so many of us.

It matters much more to know how to teach and relate to student experiences, than to be among the bests yourself.

At this point, the course contents is vetted by the exin and iseb. Maybe there needs to be a separate certification to demonstrate your personal ability to teach, which is a different type of certification altogether. That is something I could support.
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