As part of our feature on trainer development, we asked TrainingZONE members to tell us a bit about how they came to be involved in the training profession, and offer some thoughts on what it means to be a trainer today. We received a fantastic selection of responses, which will be published throughout the month. Here, Archie Scott, a training provider specialising in purchasing and logistics gives his response.
- What's your current job role?
I have a training company which provides training & qualifications in Purchasing and Logistics. We also offer One-day Courses and In company training all in supplies subjects. Our qualifications are from entrant to corporate membership of Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and the Institute of Logistics & Transport. In addition we are an SQA Centre, Scotland’s First Registered SVQ Provider for CIPS, Approved Centre for the CIPS Diploma and an Approved Centre for the IOLT.
- What did you do before this job?
Previously I was a professional Supplies Manager in a utility company. In my leisure time I lectured in purchasing & logistics at a university in Edinburgh, hence my interest is in education of others.
- Describe your route into training
A late starter in some ways, I have had lots professional experience to convey to others and I have had the added advantage of an academic experience too. Essentially I have always been a people-orientated person and I have also had the benefits of support from many people in my career, so it’s fitting that I return some of this to others.
- Did you always want to work in training and development?
I had a variety of jobs before I found supplies/purchasing and I found it suited me – challenging, continually changing, great variety and a chance to make a difference to the company. So I became a lecturer as a way of keeping myself up to date and my interest in the development of others. You see people struggling with concepts and ideas, so you make it more interesting for them, then they get qualified and make those differences to their companies. The next students come in and you start again. While at work I helped to train others in an ad hoc way, my lecturing was adequate at that point.
Then I had the an offer I could not refuse and a chance for a new career opportunity, a chance to do two things – Be my own boss and to do what I really like doing - providing learning to others. I don’t come from a traditional background so I have no luggage and I don’t have normal boundaries as I make the principle decisions. Personally I am a great believer in continuous development - I can always see better ways to deliver, a little tool here, a game or case to support an idea.
- What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?
Handing over my first candidate’s certificate (and I still feel like that many candidates later). I am a facilitator – I allow others to grow and reach a higher level than they would have done otherwise. But it is their efforts that bring their results and we share this. (After all it is their name on the certificate.)
- How do you think the role of the trainer has changed since you began your training career?
I think trainers are people who enable others and the challenge for trainers now (as they have always) is to make learning easy and enjoyable. The people today are looking for slicker smarter solutions and it is up to trainers to deliver.
- What single thing would improve your working life?
- What's your favourite part of the TrainingZONE site?
I suppose I learn more about e-learning just now because this is my development plan for this year and next. In addition my interest in training is fed by articles and mail updates (very useful for the busy trainer) which prompts me to learn more.
- Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in training?
Are you a people-orientated person – do you like people and interfacing. Stamina, tolerance, patience and innovation are all very useful traits. Learn from learners. I did a Level 3 in Training & Development as a development and the trainers were excellent and experienced. I learned more from them than the course syllabus. If you have a learning mentality, then you will never stop training (or learning).
- What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the trainer today?
Trainees have such a variety of needs and they learn differently, the greatest challenge is to make training more interesting to match these needs. More diversity of people means more diverse training.