As a committed vocational training it is hard to admit that I’ve attended some pretty poor training sessions. I find it even harder to admit that I may have presented some of them myself!

Over time, I’ve been frustrated by joining instructions that don’t make sense, attended training sessions not certain why I’m there and not been told when the session ends so that I will be home in time for my evening meal. Vocational training is often a wonderful and sometimes life changing experience, yet I know I’m not alone in sharing these misgivings with you.

So, in tune with our modern times, we need a training revolution! And all good revolutions need a charter of intent. . .

The Training Charter



On a different topic but in the same vein, another kind of charter. . .

Television News Code of Practice







Published FE News 07 February 2017


1. If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough (Einstein).
If you can explain something clearly to yourself, there’s a much better chance you can explain it clearly to others.
2. At the beginning of the learning session let the learners know the duration of the session and the times of any breaks.
We all like to know what’s going on!
3. Learners must be given a good reason to participate in training.
Explain how learning fits into the bigger picture and the benefits to be gained.
4. The trainer decides the training topics, not the learners.
It is right to ensure the learners’ training needs are being met, however the trainer must not be led by the learners.
5. Never assume prior knowledge, always start from the beginning.
Beware of thinking that something obvious to you, will be obvious to everyone.
6. Step-by-step instructions must be accurate and include every stage.
Test your instructions on a novice.  Having subject knowledge, it is easy to inadvertently leave gaps in your instructions.
7. Never say anything is easy.  What’s easy for you may not be so easy for everyone.
Don’t demean the efforts required by your learners.
8. The objective of vocational training is to give the learner a sufficient amount of   knowledge in order to perform the task.
Telling the learner everything you know about the subject, may gratify you but will probably confuse the learner.
9. Only show one way of way of doing something.  Alternative methods can be shown after the first lesson is understood.
Learn to walk before you run!
10. The objectives of training sessions take precedence over the needs of learners.
The industry standards need to be complied with because all practitioners must be properly informed of their responsibilities.
 11. Learners must not be trained beyond their natural ability.
Learners operating outside their comfort zone often fail to apply common sense.
12. Do not start your presentation before the advertised time.
Starting too early will cause disruption and embarrass the delegates who are arriving on time.  Best practice is to prepare some general discussion to allow the delegates time to settle down.
13. Prepare handouts of the main points of the topic.
Taking notes is awkward and distracting for the delegates so let them know that you have prepared a handout at the beginning of the session.


In conclusion, I don’t suppose I’ve listed every example of good practice but it’s a start.  If you can think of any more, let me know and we can build on the charter together.  The Training Charter is a further step on the way towards vocational training being recognised as a profession in its own right.








What’s emerging is that journalists are being seen as the tail that is wagging the political dog.  While they are charged with holding politicians in check, increasingly they are seen as setting the news agenda through their control of the press and television.  There is the perception that the good intentions of television news are in need of some moderation.


1. Avoid the use of dramatic music, drums and chimes to introduce the news.
Television news should be a considered reporting of the facts and the use of ‘tom-toms’ is frivolous and sensational.
2. Refrain from saturation news coverage of atrocities that can lead to copy-cat behaviour.
If the message is to carry on as normal, how is it normal to disrupt hours of scheduled television programmes?
3. Do not show Intrusive interviewing of people who are clearly upset.
This is unnecessary and the lame excuse that they wanted to be interviewed, just doesn’t wash.
4. Do not repeat what we’ve already been told.
The bringing on of ‘correspondents’ and ‘editors’ to tell us the same thing in different words adds nothing to the story.  As Winston Churchill said: Experts should be on tap not on top.
5. Stay away from showing additional information at the bottom of the screen.
This is very distracting as few of us can listen and read at the same time.
6. Don’t ask questions and then constantly interrupt the answers.
This is not only extremely rude but is a waste of the viewer’s time.
7. Be prepared to move on to another item if you receive a satisfactory answer sooner than expected.
It’s obvious to viewers, when the point keeps being repeated, that you are filling a pre-allotted time.
8. Observe the correct use of English.
Programmes don’t start at the top they start at the beginning, shambolic doesn’t mean shambles, disinterested doesn’t mean uninterested and only earthquakes have epicentres, as a few common examples.


The Nuts and Bolts of Vocational Training and Assessment  is where you’ll find lots of useful and practical guidance.


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