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22nd May 2015

Getting the Most from Mandatory Training

It’s something we dread

I had the pleasure of spending a day out of the office this week. Not because of something pleasant, but for something that I’m sure we all dread – mandatory training! Do you remember the last mandatory training session you had to attend? It might have been awful, maybe you didn’t learn anything, in fact you probably struggled to stay awake, never mind pay attention. Mandatory training sessions often seem unpleasant, even when you have a professional speaker or qualified trainer in front of you. However, mandatory training is necessary and the good news is that you can get something from it. It can be enjoyable and beneficial and you can get through it, without nodding off!

Have an open mind

If you don’t like any form of training then, regardless of how funny or knowledgeable the trainer is let’s face it, you’re going to dislike mandatory training. The key thing is that you will only get out of it what you put in. Sitting there all day with folded arms, doodling on the handouts or thinking about what to have for lunch, then dinner, isn’t going to achieve very much. You need to go in there with an open mind and stay positive. Health and Safety, Information Governance, Equality, Diversity and Culture all seem like dry subjects but if you listen carefully you can pick up some pearls of wisdom, and I’m sure plenty of do’s and don’ts for when you’re back at work.

Involve yourself

If you actively participate then you’re more likely to get something out of the training. You can join in by answering the occasional question or even asking a question, if you’re feeling brave enough. There’s a good chance that someone else wanted to ask the same question but was afraid to do so. Plus, there’s nothing worse for a trainer than standing in front of people who don’t want to engage and imagining tumbleweed rolling across the floor!

One thing

There’s often so much to take in so try to find that ‘one thing’ you can take away from the training session. You’ve got an idea what the training involves before you arrive and the day is often broken down into different subjects, so try to find just one thing from each subject that you can learn from and put into practice. It might make the day a bit more interesting too.

Types of training

Whilst there are other forms of training such as e-learning and webinars I personally prefer face to face training. Here are my 5 reasons why:

  1. E-learning doesn’t answer my questions at the time.
  2. Despite the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on my door I often still get distractions.
  3. Training is completed by the end of the day, rather than over weeks or months usually.
  4. I don’t have to re-sit the training or test over and over until I get a satisfactory pass mark.
  5. I am a kinaesthetic learner.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Alison Lowerson

GP Specialist

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