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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Barone

Foolish Thoughts #19: We don’t need no stinkin’ training records!

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

In the learning profession, we love to talk about the latest eLearning module created or team building exercise. And, there is nothing wrong with that.

However, many times, we either ignore or don’t talk about the importance of keeping good records. You know, the ones that tell you who attended, when they attended, what they attended, who was the instructor, etc.

(Yes, I know that it does not mean that a transfer of knowledge took place, but I am assuming that the training offered was appropriate for the topic.)

Recently, I was talking to someone about the fact that their organization keeps no training records. From a legal, financial and administrative perspective, this spells disaster for an organization in so many ways.

Did the forklift operator receive proper training on the equipment, before running it into the shelving unit, which fell onto another and another, causing $1.5m in damaged product and equipment? Was the manager, who was fired, receive semi-annual training on the latest updates to federal and state regulations?

Even it does not cost the organization millions in lawsuits or fines, there is also a reputational risk, both internal and external.

A few years ago, a staff member complained to a very senior manager, about the fact that she did not receive training on the new software package. The reason was because none was offered in her location, at any time. When I received the complaint, from the senior manager, I was dumbfounded.

After reviewing the training records, we reported that that each week (before, during and after roll-out), we offered two full days of training, for a period of over two months, in her location. (That did not include the training offered in the other campus locations, which she could have attended.) Training consisted of three to four sessions, per day, depending upon the topic. Some topics were offered every day, others were offered once every two weeks. This meant that a minimum of 48 sessions were offered at this person’s location over a two month period.

Still think “you don’t need no stinkin’ training records?” Then think again.

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