Thefuture of training looks bright – e-learning, the new economy and globalisationare some of the challenges ahead. But what is the CIPD doing about it? PaulTurner, its new vice-president of training and development, tells all toCatriona MarchantHandsup who can remember the name of the CIPD’s last vice-president of training anddevelopment? Ask a classroom full of trainers this question and few would knowthe answer. Probably it would then spark a heated debate along the lines of,“What, if anything, does the institute do for its members who are full-timetrainers?”Therole of training is changing dramatically with the relentless advance ofe-learning, the new economy and globalisation just some of the many challenges.So what support is the main professional body giving to its members? How is itresponding? Personnel Today put these questions to the CIPD’s new figurehead ofits honorary post of vice-president of training and development. Theman in the hot seat is Paul Turner – a seasoned HR professional who says atleast four times during the interview that he cares passionately abouttraining. Well, probably not as much as his avid support for Manchester Unitedor his salsa dancing lessons, but as a new vice-president he is setting off onthe right track. Starting with HRD 2001 at Olympia this week he has a clearview of the CIPD’s training agenda during his two-year tenure.Turner’sstated training priorities for 2001-2 centre on the need to develop knowledgeand skills to meet forthcoming global demand. In particular, his agendaincludes:–Knowledge and innovation – e-learning, training in the new economy, globalcorporate learning, for example–Professional practice – annual training survey, topic for trainers on theCIPD’s website–Public policy – “influencing” rather than overt lobbyingHesays these need to be underpinned by the vast changes in the businessenvironment, such as globalisation and the impact of technology in training.They should take into account the questions of individual and organisationallearning and the context in which training takes place in an organisation. Turner’s“day job and a half” is group HR business director at Lloyds TSB – a bank whichhas 80,000 employees and a huge HR department of 800 staff. He has had severalsenior training roles – one as director of the TSB Group Management Collegewhich delivered management education in the early 1990s. Turnerbrings the hard lessons learnt in the commercial world to his new role. “One of the challenges we have got at LloydsTSB is that we are just putting in a £20m HR information system and on the backof that is a big push towards e-learning. At Lloyds TSB we have a corporateuniversity which is web-based and we have had a lot of good feedback from that,so I can also bring that perspective to the CIPD post.” As he puts it, “I havepractical hands-on experience and can see through the hype.” This is somethingneeded in a world where it is technologists now who can have the upper hand.Notonly does Turner have an HR and training background, grounded in business, heis also a visiting professor at Nottingham Business School and was a member ofthe CBI’s education and training affairs committee.Ebullientand media-friendly, he could be just the man to articulate the, undoubtedlyhard but often unsung work going on behind the scenes at the CIPD’s Wimbledonheadquarters, and even, dare we say, shake up the CIPD’s training anddevelopment side a bit?Heis more diplomatic. “Not shaking up – it doesn’t need shaking up, but what I amdoing is providing a different perspective which I think is what avice-president should do. There is already enough expertise in there.”Thisexpertise includes a new face – Martyn Sloman, a bluff Welshman, who used to bedirector of management education and training at Ernst & Young. Sloman ispublishing a new book on e-learning this week which Turner cites as an exampleof what the CIPD is doing in this area. E-learningis one of Turner’s hot topics for the training year to come and so it shouldbe. The institute’s annual training and development survey of its own members,published this week, shows that the use of the Internet and intranet has grownby a third in three years. Butisn’t e-learning just incredible hype – a high-tech tool that took over thetraining agenda last year? Not according to Turner, and some of his professedpassion for e-learning starts to show as he warms to his subject. “Thismy main worry – what I want to make sure is that trainers take ownership ofe-learning, give it a direction and make sure it is integrated into other typesof learning. It will be part of an overall offering which will includeface-to-face and other traditional methods as well as being technology-based. TheCIPD survey shows that only 17 per cent of those questioned are usingtechnology a great deal and companies most commonly use e-learning only forcommunication skills, health and safety and induction courses. So isn’t acompany putting a 100 courses on the intranet just wasting its time and money? “Individualshave different learning styles and different preferences and what we have to dois satisfy the needs of individuals and their preferred learning styles andthat of their organisations,” says Turner. “In that respect the Web is afantastic platform for delivering the training – there is so much potential.“Web-basedtraining is a fantastic opportunity if trainers can add it to their armoury ofother training skills, he says, quoting from a recent seminar where a speakeradvocated that, “The sage on the stage is being replaced by the guide at yourside.” ButTurner disagrees that online learning’s mission is to slash training budgets –leading to what has been called the “McDonalds-isation” of training. “Thedriving force at the moment is the ability to deliver lots of informationquickly and at low cost, through the Internet.”Hebelieves strongly that the CIPD should take a lead in steering this opportunityfor its members and should be at the top of the training agenda. Anotherforward-looking part of the agenda is the whole question of training in the neweconomy. Turner defines this as, “Not about dotcoms. It is a technologyinfluence, particularly the Internet and the way the world of business nowoperates”. Headds, “Expectations have been transformed by the new economy and I think wehave to transform our training offering to satisfy a much broader range ofmedia, whether it is any time, anywhere learning or whether it is coaching.”Turner is keen to set research and guidance in motion on this during his termof office.Itis all very well to look forward to what is new. Unfortunately, the job comeswith historical baggage in tow. How can the CIPD change the perception amongtrainers, still resentful of the now seven-year-old marriage between the oldInstitute of Personnel Management and the Institute of Training andDevelopment, that training has been subsumed into personnel? “Weare moving towards an integrated approach to HR management,” he responds. “Moreand more now, if you work on any significant project, there are going to beelements of training, empl-oyee relations, diversity – a whole range ofthings,” he says. “It is really critical that we have an integrated approach inhow we deliver HR – and training is such a vital part of that. I want to keeptraining in the mainstream not as a separate, standalone activity.”Whatis important, he says, is that, as in e-learning, HR professionals, whethertraining or personnel, have got to set the agenda now. “What I want to do withthe CIPD is to make sure that the training portfolio is part of that althoughrecognising and respecting some differences.”Andwhat about the complaint that the CIPD needs to be more practical and lesstheoretical for trainers? “You have gotto have a practical element but what is missing at the moment is the strategiccontribution that training can make to an organisation. The CIPD has to havethis balance between practical, pragmatic approaches to training as a lot ofour training people want that, and also an overall thrust towards a strategiccontribution in training, and we will be trying to do that as well.”Practicalthings for trainers include a “topics for trainers” series and the certificate inonline learning that trainers can access through the CIPD Website. Turnerdefends the CIPD’s past record for speaking out on public policy for trainingbut concedes that having more of a profile for the CIPD is important in this area. Perhaps the reason whyits trainer members have been so disgruntled in the past is that they do notknow what work is being done. “Withall these things you have got to get a balance. I think it is much moreimportant to influence and set the right agenda, than have any personal profile– but it has got to be high enough to make a difference.”Turnerwould still rather be remembered for what work he has done rather than whethertrainers remember the name of the last CIPD vice-president of training anddevelopment in two years’ time. But as a training enthusiast who has given uphis half-day training course to be interviewed at short notice by PersonnelToday – profile must count for something these days at the CIPD.CIPDtraining & developmentOfthe CIPD’s 110,000 members, 15,000 are full-time trainers and 35,000 havetraining as part of their HR responsibilities. They range from trainingdirectors and training consultants to those who deliver the training.TheCIPD’s research programme on training and development is managed by twofull-time and one part-time adviser, Mike Cannell, Jennifer Schramm and MartynSloman, who work in the “professional knowledge and information department”.They report to the CIPD’s assistant director general Ward Griffiths. Inaddition, John Stevens, director development and public policy, initiated thecurrent drive on workplace learning, and is responsible for the CIPD’s policyactivities on training and development.Inaddition to research, the team is responsible for initiating much of thetraining information on the CIPD’s Website such as Topics for Trainers, aneclectic series of practical hints and tips and Online Training Digest, whichprovides updates on developments in public [email protected]@[email protected]: 020-8263 3313www.cipd.co.ukTherole of vice-president Whatexactly does a CIPD vice-president do during his/her two-year term in office?He is nominated then elected at the institute’s AGM in Harrogate. The post isan honorary one and there are seven vice-presidents in areas such as trainingand development, employee relations and pay and employment conditions. Thevice-presidents meet up every two months. Theposition is similar to a non-executive director in business – vice-presidentsmeet their own advisers at least once a month and work with them to develop astrategy and look at future research which can feed into practice. “Ithink what they want is someone who is coming in at a fairly senior position intheir industry,” says Paul Turner who has first-hand experiences of managing alarge training budget at Lloyds TSB. “I have a good view on the trends – bothon demands coming from employees and business as well as from suppliers,” hesays.Whatdifference does 12 months make?Thesewere trainers’ biggest gripes about the CIPD a year ago–Training and development has been subsumed into personnel–It should be recognised as a profession in its own right–The remit of the CIPD is too broad–Membership criteria for the CIPD is not inclusive enough–Trainers require a more practical approach–Members do not have the chance to be part of the institute’s magazine –The CIPD is in competition with some of its membersResponsefrom Martyn Sloman, CIPD adviser, training and development: “Thereare many specialist groups in the CIPD’s membership, now nearing 110,000 andgrowing, and we value and seek to serve and support them all. “Ouragenda for trainers is extensive – qualifying schemes based on newly reviewed,business-relevant professional standards (designed with significant trainer involvement),the production of relevant and stimulating material from our research, publicpolicy and professional practice programmes; Web-based information, includingthe on-line training digest, and networking; and branch-based opportunities forinteraction and meeting colleagues. “Thebig issue for all of us is linking our efforts with the objectives of thebusiness. Trainers cannot afford to isolate themselves from other activities oftheir HR colleagues; just as all functional specialists need to work acrossorganisational boundaries and create effective strategic alliances in theinterests of the business. “Weare witnessing a general blurring of boundaries as divisions disappear.Knowledge management, performance management and training all seek to maximisepeople’s effectiveness. From the user’s point of view the relevant applicationswill be increasingly accessed on his or her personal computer. Trainers andother HR professionals need to be in the business mainstream together.” The Turner prize goalOn 3 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.