Times are hard. Training budgets are rare and precious resources. How can I help people make the most of what little training they can afford? How can I help skill people up to deliver quality interventions despite growing caseloads and shrinking resources?

IN 2010 I spoke at the annual conference of the New Directions in the Study of Alcohol Group on The Secret Life of a Trainer.  (They run great conferences; see ). I read the paper again when it was published in their 2012 journal. It was a bit of a rant about the unhelpful things my customers sometimes do when commissioning and organising training.

To turn the tables, what could I do better when setting up and providing a course? My checklist so far is;

  • Be clear what it is realistic to expect from the course and check it matches what customers want
  • Identify optimum numbers, enough to make it a good deal for the customer financially but not so many as to prevent effective participative learning
  • Brief the organisers well about room layout, equipment etc
  • Offer and encourage use of materials to follow up and consolidate learning (e.g. DVDs, books) 
  • Make space on the last afternoon for participants to make their own plans to embed the learning in their practice.
  • Keep my own knowledge bang up to date

What else should I do or not do? What would help you?