Ten questions for a training manager - Katherine Mohamed, Waltham Forest College

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In a new feature, TrainingZONE asks training managers to describe their personal experiences of what the role of Training Manager or Training Officer involves.
Waltham Forest College logoHere Katherine Mohamed, Staff Development & Training Officer at Waltham Forest College gives her answers.

1. How did you come to work in training?

I worked in operations for several years, training people on the job, then an opportunity came around for a training position in Head Office which I went for it and got it, then haven’t looked back!

2. Describe your role.

My current position is very varied, as Staff Development and Training Officer in FE, it varies, from designing and delivering programmes in house. Searching for the most effective use of spending our limited budget on external events and providing development advice for individuals. As well as focussing on project work and improving evaluation of our training. We also work quite closely with other FE and HE establishments in the area, to improve the provision of training available.

3. What activities do you spend most of your time on?

At the moment it is planning for the New Year, I am currently trying to write several new programmes and plan in briefing sessions to commence in October.

4. Is training in your organisation mainly organised according to a strategic plan, or mainly arranged when a need has become evident?

I would say majority of if is linked to our strategic plan. All departments and schools within the College have to put in a training and development bid for monies by July, to be assessed by me, who distributes the allocated monies to each budget holder. We also get funding from the government that is usually for a specific type of training, so this largely dictates what we spend our money on.

5. Is any of your training accredited by external bodies?

No but I am working towards getting this in the near future.

6. Do you feel that training has a high enough profile in your organisation?

Unfortunately no, education in education is sometimes hard! Particularly for people teaching who cannot alter lessons to attend an event.

7. How do you demonstrate the value of your department to your organisation?

Each term our department reports back to senior management on what it has achieved against our targets, then each year we review our strengths and weaknesses against the business objectives.

8. What influences do you think have had the greatest impact on the training sector in recent years?

E-learning.

9. Do you think that training professionals should have a greater say in planning national training policy?

Yes.

10. How do you see your work changing or developing in the next few years?

I hope it to become more about wanting to participate in development events, rather than feeling people have to. I would like to think that my work could encompass stopping people from beating down my office door to attend training and development events!!

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