Training is about telling people what they should and should not do…

Posted on Nov 7, 2010

…. now before you all set up a car-share and drive up to Cheshire with pitch-forks and burning torches baying for my blood,

I must stress that the title of this blog post does not reflect my own thoughts. Allow me to explain…

I work in a highly regulated Industry which is not only regulated by several Industry specific bodies, but like everybody else, by the Health & Safety Executive.

Given the extremely high importance which we apply to safety, we have a Compliance Department which contains a number of H&S Advisers, who interpret the various rules, regulations and red tape and then provide guidance and direction to the organisation on how to meet those rules and regulations.

Over the past few years I have on occasions found myself at odds with some of these advisers over the fact that best-practice L&D thinking/practice doesn’t always fit with HSE ‘training delivery‘.

So it was not without some self-interest that I brought the forthcoming eLearningNetwork event, Innovation in Compliance Training to the HSE’s attention via their Twitter account. It was my hope that they would attend the event and gain a flavour as to how L&D professionals were attempting to enhance competence and not just ‘tick boxes’. Whilst also allowing people such as myself an insight in what exactly the HSE require; is it a box ticked to cover a backside, is it an intervention that has a real chance of being transferred back into the workplace, or is it both? I really wanted to hear what they wanted and not how their wishes were interpreted by workplace providers.

At the time of writing this post I have not received any indication as to whether they intend to attend or not, but what they did send me was this document (isn’t that kind of them).

Like I said training is about telling people what they should and should not do……

Now I know why I have been having such an uphill struggle 😉


  1. Oh dear! Not a single mention of *why* they should or shouldn’t do things (or in fact why they should care!). Whatever happened to the ‘what’s in it for me?’ factor? Still, at least the document does recommend identifying what people need to know in order to *do* their jobs safely and checking that that is the case after the training. So there is some focus on behaviour – it’s a start at least!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Many thanks for taking the time to reply to my Blog post. I agree with your observations about the fact that there are some ‘good points’ in the document, including the reference that not all activities have to be formal (although I’m sure that my H&S advisers would argue that if it is informal, how can there be any proof that the Company delivered on its obligation(s) to provide the training).

      What really stood out for me though was that the word ‘training’ was used 66 times throughout the document (excluding the title and footers), whereas the word ‘learning’ was used 3 times.

      And I keep getting told that it’s not about putting a tick in the box, Hmmmmmm!!!


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