The Changing World of the Trainer

Emerging Good Practice


  • Martyn Sloman, Martyn Sloman is Adviser - Learning, Training and Development at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

The ‘Changing World of the Trainer’ considers how the human resource development professional should undertake his or her role in today’s organization. It offers a new framework which reflects the business reality of the modern world. This practical work proceeds through a series of tools, checklists, questionnaires and instruments and presents an extensive series of illustrative case studies, drawn from organizations throughout the world.The book argues that the problems that trainers face are fundamentally the same. Their objective is to put a process in place to ensure that employees are able to acquire the knowledge and skill required by the organization. The acquisition of individual and collective knowledge and skills is not the primary purpose of the organization – skills are a means to the end of profitability and service delivery. Hence training is a derived or secondary activity. In the world economy a global model of human resource development is emerging. In one form or another, organizations are seeking to develop what are known as high performance working practices. What the customer requires drives business processes: staff must be recruited, retained and motivated. Effective learning, training and development is now essential.This does not mean the end of the traditional off-the-job training course. There are many occasions, and these are illustrated within the book, when a training course delivered by a subject-matter expert is an effective way of promoting the organization’s objectives through individual learning. However, it is increasingly evident that the range of interventions undertaken by the trainer extends far beyond the design and delivery of the training course. There has been a huge increase in coaching and in ways of promoting group learning. Action learning is undergoing a resurgence. Generally there has been a growth of non-directive forms of intervention; a shift in emphasis from instruction to the facilitation of the learning process. Many practitioners are proceeding effectively to redefine their roles in a variety of different ways. However, it is now time to offer a formal expression of the new training and learning role.Martyn Sloman is highly respected intermationally within the field of learning and development, with experience as a practitioner in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
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Primary readership: Training/HRD practitioners, HR professionals, Organizational Development professionals. Secondary readership: Masters/Exec courses in HRM/HRD.


Book information

  • Published: March 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-8053-0


‘This book is a must for every trainer. Sloman in his clear focused style punches home the message that trainers require a new mind-set and skills that now require them to direct learning opportunities to achieve organizational goals. The shift from training to learning is a world-wide challenge and Sloman’s book is at the cutting edge of the shift’ Philip Dewe, Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Department of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London ‘This book reasserts the global importance of workforce development but with a new twist – the need to look more closely at the dynamics of learning and thus rethink how we approach training. At a time when organizations and funding agencies are looking ever more carefully at the outcomes of investment in training, Martyn Sloman’s work provides timely and valuable support for the training profession’. Dr Gary Willmott, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency ‘Martyn has applied rich case studies from around the world to his research on the corporate shift from training to learning. Not only does this book underscore the transfer of ownership from the trainer to the learner, but it provides abundant stories from global practitioners that are grounded in experience, reflective of cultural challenges …and utterly fascinating’. Lois Webster, CEO, LearnShare LLC, USA ‘This study captures the essentials of the new role of the trainer, incorporating international case studies, Martyn Sloman highlights that across the cultures the role is not conceptually different. This book will help you develop your training career in today’s changing world’. Dr Hong Zhang, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Glasgow University Business School; Visiting Professor of Nanchang University, China

Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction: 1. The central premise; Part 2 The context: 2. The new economy; 3. People and the business; 4. Extending our leverage; Part 3 Current practice: 5. Becoming learner centred; 6. Some key processes; 7. The training course in context; 8. Support and challenge; 9. Embracing technology; 10. Delivering value; Part 4 The broader picture: 11. The modern challenge: a summary; 12. Culture and learning; 13.The international dimension; 14. Is China different?; Endnote: What does it all mean?