Talking TAP

The TAP Qualified Professional Newsletter

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September 3rd 2009 Volume 2, Number 7

In This Issue

Monthly Features

Dates for your diary

Every year The Training Foundation takes part in a wide range of Learning and Development related events. TAP Qualified Professional LinkedIn members will receive advance notice and special registration privileges. Jot these dates in your diary!

TAP Partners Announcement Event  & TAP Diploma Awards ceremony 4th November 2009: The Training Foundation, Coventry 

WORLD OF LEARNING 2009: NEC, Birmingham 30 September & 1 October 2009, World of Learning 2009:

Contact us

September Welcome from Claire Brookes

Claire Brookes
Hello All,

I hope that you are all enjoying your well deserved time-out to look through the September issue of Talking TAP.  September is a really busy month for us, what with delivering our Roadshow events and exhibiting at World of Learning at the NEC.  In fact we have had great feedback from the TAP Roadshow courses that we have so far ran this month and, as a result we will be scheduling more in 2010 – so watch this space for more details!!

In this issue our TAP Partner of the month is Aviva (formerly known as Norwich Union).  Here Nicola Heffner (L&D) Delivery Manager responsible for co-ordinating training explains how TAP helped her training team to be at the top of the game every time, adding value to everything they do, while always being cost conscious.

Another highlight from this issue  are the words from Daniel Gabriel, our TAP qualified Professional of the Month, who explains the benefits from gaining our TAP Diploma in e-learning.

As always, if you would like to promote yourself as the TAP qualified Professional of the Month  or if your organisation is a TAP Partner and you would like to be listed as a TAP Partner of the Month please contact me on 02476 411 288 or email me at

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FREE e-Taster Sessions

Tired feet
Classroom trainers … are your feet killing you?

How to Enhance your Skills & Increase your employability

Join in our free virtual classroom tour

  • experience the look, sound and feel of participating in a web-based training session
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  • amaze yourself by what you can achieve using this medium
  • transfer your current training skills to a virtual classroom environment easily 

All this from the comfort of your own desk

Session are 45 minutes
Limited to 8 places per session
Open to all TAP trainers
No previous experience required

You will need:

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Speakers or headset

For dates, please E-mail Laura Crank

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A world of learning opportunities

The vital role of the L&D function in achieving better business performance by ensuring that employees are equipped with the skills to adapt to changing sets of circumstances is now widely acknowledged. However, it is increasingly the case that L&D professionals must achieve this ongoing skills development on a reduced budget. As a consequence, they may need to deliver L&D across the organisation using techniques with which they are unfamiliar in order to make the L&D budget stretch as far as possible.

This year’s World of Learning Exhibition, which takes place on 30 September and 1 October 2009 at the NEC, Birmingham, hosts an extensive range of companies to assist L&D professionals in finding out about the latest trends, products and services, as well as feature areas to further aid their skills development. These include:

A wide range of experts and providers
With such a wide range of L&D solutions available, from management development, coaching, instructor-led training and training venues to blended solutions, e-learning, HR/learning management systems and social media, selecting the most appropriate method of delivering training can seem extremely daunting. At World of Learning, more than 110 major industry organisations will be offering the latest ideas and solutions, giving L&D professionals an opportunity to discuss their needs at length.
Free Seminars
The role of L&D in delivering real results in organisations and the skills L&D professionals need in order to be effective will be covered at the event in a series of free educational seminars. Presentations will include essential ‘nuts and bolts’ sessions and best practice guidance, as well as the latest learning solutions in action.

British Institute of Learning & Development (BILD) Advice Clinic
This free area is facilitated by experts from the BILD, who will be available to offer guidance to visitors on learning issues or questions through one-to-one appointments. The Advice Clinic is open to all visitors on a first-come, first-served basis – simply sign up on the day.

The Clinic also features small group skills workshops focusing on some of the key aspects of running an L&D function. Places are limited and must be pre-booked by calling the hotline +44 (0)20 8394 5171.

The Trainer Base
New for 2009 is The Trainer Base, a dedicated area that will offer advice on criteria to select a trainer, as well as providing the opportunity to meet trainers across a wide variety of disciplines.

Experiential Learning Zone
The Zone is a highly popular feature at the World of Learning, with short interactive sessions giving visitors the opportunity to learn about creativity, communication and leadership by participating in unusual and revealing activities throughout the event.

Serious Games Zone
The leading providers of serious games products and solutions will be demonstrating these learning techniques and tools in this dedicated area, which includes a programme of free seminars, and explaining how they can be implemented effectively.

Product Presentations
Visitors to the product presentation area will be able to see the latest products in action from the leading learning suppliers and establish how they could fit within their organisation and address their specific needs.

Energiser Zone
Learning techniques that can help improve health and wellbeing at work are under the spotlight in the Energiser Zone, with sessions that include workplace wellness, nutrition advice and reflexology.

Networking Café
The relaxed environment of the Networking Café provides the ideal venue to meet exhibitors, colleagues and friends.

World of Learning Conference
A key feature of the World of Learning is the industry-leading conference, which this year focuses on the impact of the economic downturn on organisations, the role of L&D in contributing to organisational performance and how L&D professionals can learn the necessary skills to face the challenges of today’s pressures and demands. It also considers how L&D professionals can help their organisations continue to invest in the skills of the people they will need to take them forward out of the recession.

Chaired by BBC news broadcaster and presenter Bill Turnbull, the conference programme features speakers from a number of high-profile organisations including Rolls-Royce, BBC, NHS Coventry, Keele University, British Red Cross, Marks & Spencer, Lloyds TSB, BT Group and Sony Electronics Europe. 

Andrew Gee, Senior Project Manager for World of Learning, said: “The current economic conditions present a challenging time for L&D professionals as they strive to equip both themselves and their organisation with the skills to deliver what is demanded of them. We have combined our high-quality conference and valuable educational features with a wide range of exhibitors in order to ensure that World of Learning remains the most time and cost-effective method of keeping up-to-date with the market and sourcing new suppliers.”

World of Learning takes place in Hall 18 at the NEC, Birmingham, and is open from 10:00-17:00 on Wednesday 30 September and 10:00-16:00 on Thursday 1 October 2009. Delegates who would like further information or to book conference sessions should visit or call +44 (0)20 8394 5171.

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TAP Qualified Professional of the Month, Dan Gabriel

Dan Gabriel
Dan Gabriel, e-learning developer for Cornwall IT Services

Daniel Gabriel is an e-learning developer, working for Cornwall IT Services, a shared service providing IT support and training to the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly NHS Trusts. There are approximately 12,000 NHS staff working across Cornwall, and approximately half use IT in their day to day jobs –this is growing as part of the NHS modernisation programme.

A couple of years ago, Daniel was asked by his departmental manager to “get something together to put up on the LMS for basic IT skills”. This was the start of a long journey which will shortly result in him gaining his TAP Diploma in e-learning. Daniel and our organisation see the benefits of following the TAP methodology with consistent quality and flexible approach in all our e-learning development projects.

Daniel has extensive background in teaching and training – TAFLA qualified and working for the British Council teaching on the British embassy graduate scheme, preparing staff for roles across the Middle East, gave him a very broad experience in classroom training, different cultures as well as materials development. He started teaching IT some 10 years later when he moved to the UK in 2000, but e-learning development didn’t come into the equation until 2 years ago. In fact until then he had had nothing but bad experiences with on-line learning.

The project he was given to” …get something on the LMS”, also came with the caveat that the Trust didn’t have a budget for any tools but would allow him to drop teaching in the classroom 3 days a week in order to see what was possible. Looking back Dan says, “ I was really surprised how much free software there was out there and with a bit of digging and luck, I managed to find two tools that not only were free, but also were excellent products in their own right.”

Dan uses Courselab e-learning authoring tool, and Wink screen capturing tool extensively. More recently he has integrated Seltico Alligator Flash to give more flexible learning solutions.

At the same time the Strategic Health Authority were keen to raise awareness in e-learning and requisitioned a series of train the trainer workshops. The scope was to provide practical guides on how to start to implement e-learning in a Trust with hands on practice with using the authoring tools Dan had mastered. They also wanted to raise awareness about he national LMS programme being rolled out to all Trusts over the next 12 month period, which includes a platform to host all e-learning.

Some 20 plus modules later, Cornwall IT Services is one of the leading organisations in the NHS with respect to e-learning development. The successful development work has been supported and promoted by the Education & Training manager both nationally and locally. Sally Gabriel is TAP qualified in Implementing e-learning solutions, and has extensive experience in Training and project management. As a husband and wife team with very differing skillsets, we manage to tick most of the boxes when it comes to the TAP methodology in developing and managing successful e-learning programmes for the NHS.

As an organisation, Cornwall IT Services has recently achieved Gold status in the TAP Partner Programme as all our e-learning is developed and managed by TAP qualified professionals. The opportunity to engage with the TAP e-learning programme has been possible due to investment by the NHS South West Strategic Health Authority in courses offered by the Training Foundation. For Cornwall IT Services, Gold partner status adds credibility and quality to all our e-learning work, which is particularly important when we apply to develop modules for other organisations in the NHS.

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Qualification of the month, Foundation Award in Training Delivery Skills - for Subject Matter Experts

Do you use subject matter experts or line managers in training roles?
Many organisations do.

The complexity and technical nature of many products and services today means that organisations are looking to save money by relying on subject experts to train staff, however this raises the importance of the training skills as without the supporting training skills, they will develop ‘death by PowerPoint’ courses and deliver these by lecture or presentation; they won’t train.  This severely reduces learning effectiveness. Compared to the overall budgets involved in staff training, the cost of empowering the subject matter experts with the necessary skills is trivial indeed!

This 2 day course provides a foundation for subject matter experts who have been asked to deliver training in their area of expertise, whatever that might be.

Focusing on training skills rather than presentation skills, this course offers a structured approach to planning and delivering training.  Delegates will learn how to plan and deliver a training session that is structured with a clear beginning, middle and end. They will learn how to involve their learners by using question techniques and by managing activities.  They will learn new skills which will help them to grow in confidence, to the benefit of their future learners.

See what past delegates say about this qualification:

'Excellent, enjoyable, a really good environment for learning. It has been very useful and very enjoyable and will benefit my career.'

Kerry Young
BAE Systems

'Excellent. I have really enjoyed it. I now feel that I can structure training courses appropriately and feel confident in the delivery.'

Pamela Harrison
BAE Systems

'Excellent. A good course expertly delivered. Thanks very much.'

Martin Gildroy

'Thank you very much, the course has been extremely useful.'

Irma Gonzolez
Barclays Capital

'Excellent. Very productive and useful two days. I feel better equipped to deliver good training. Thank you.'

Mike Phillips
Exprodat Consulting Ltd

'Great course which I got much more from than I expected, very useful and enjoyable.'

Adrian Birch
Exprodat Consulting Ltd

If you wish to take advantage of the 10% discount that’s available for the TAP Qualification of the month please do call me before 30th September to get enrolled, tel: 02476 411 288 or

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TAP Partner of the Month, Aviva

Left to right: Steve Orton, Jacqui Thornton, Nicola Heffner and Tony Duff
Left to right: Steve Orton, Jacqui Thornton, Nicola Heffner and Tony Duff

Aviva is one of the world's largest providers of life and general insurance, marketing its products in 27 countries to around 45 million customers. Here in the UK, Aviva
(formerly known as Norwich Union) is the country's number 1 insurer, employing 28,000
staff nationwide and delivering life and general insurance products via a number of partnerships, as well as directly to personal and business customers. 

Like every financial institution, Aviva is operating in an intensely competitive environment and facing tightening regulation in the wake of the global financial crisis. The need to reduce costs, improve efficiency, stand out in a difficult market and increase customer loyalty means that the quality of advice delivered by staff is paramount.
Aviva's biggest joint venture in the UK is with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), through which the insurer delivers life, pension and investment advisory services to RBS and Nat West customers. Historically training delivery has focused on the 250-300 new entrants to the sales force every year but, driven by business priorities and a major competency review, the emphasis has recently shifted towards developing the skills and
productivity of the existing sales team.
Nicola Heffner is one of three Learning a Development (L&D) Delivery Managers responsible for co-ordinating training for the joint venture sales force through a 23-strong team of Delivery Consultants.  

"Current uncertainties caused by market conditions and the change in focus for training
delivery mean that we need to adapt very quickly to changing demands and a learning journey for our delegates that is far less prescriptive," she says. "We also need to deliver to our partner at the top of our game every time, adding value to everything we do, while always being cost conscious."

Aviva already has robust people development measures in place to underpin  improved productivity and service quality: a new initiative called Talking Talent merges performance development with the aspirational needs of each employee, while the Trainer Excellence Programme motivates the L&D team collectively and consistently to deliver of their best.
The extent to which the team achieves this aim is captured and reflected in customer
satisfaction ratings which already stand at over 90%. The team has set itself challenging targets for 2009: an overall improvement in salesforce productivity of 10% and improved performance in 75% of participants through training interventions. Efficiency of delivery methods, both in raw cost and lost man days, is a key priority and this is reflected in a strong emphasis on blended learning.
All of these factors have placed an increased focus on consistency of training approach and the need for quality benchmarking through an externally recognised qualification route, which is what attracted Nicola and her fellow managers to
The Training Foundation's TAP. Learning System
"In this fast moving environment where speedy delivery to training needs is essential, we wanted skills-based development for our Delivery Consultants, rather than theory," explains Nicola. "The Training Foundation impressed us with its passion for trainer excellence and, specifically, the skills focus, structure, validation and questioning techniques that promised both the consistency we desired and the increased capability to meet our targets."
With a close eye on cost, the option to buy a 'season ticket' and run programmes in-house at times to fit in with the team's commitments also appealed, as did the modular nature of the suite of programmes, allowing development to be tailored to individual needs.
Six trainers piloted the Training Delivery Skills programme at the end of 2007, with
the remainder of the team completing their Certificate in early 2009.
Delivery Consultant Rocky Riccalton is a highly experienced trainer, having been part of the team for over ten years. Despite his experience, however, he was not convinced that his personal style of delivery was delivering the best results for course participants.
"TAP has transformed me from a presenter dumping information onto participants to a true learning facilitator," he says. "It's given me a real, proven structure and the skills to help learners to come up with the answers for themselves. It's also helping me with quite a tough design programme, in that TAP has made me think ahead about the structure and learning outcomes for this new programme."
Although it is still early days for some members of the L&D team to feel the full impact of TAP, Nicola can point to the impact of achieving TAP Silver Partner status - an accolade awarded to organisations where all training is delivered by TAP qualified trainers.
"It provoked an immediate reaction from our joint venture partner," she says. "They recognized it as a tangible symbol of our commitment to delivering the best possible quality of L&D to the salesforce. They know they can trust us and the external benchmark provided through TAP underpins this. It's also great to feel that we're
part of the wider TAP 'family' of Partners, which will expose us to best practice across other businesses and sectors."
The L&D team raised the expectations of their joint venture partner and while Nicola believes they have already gone beyond their delivery promise, the bar is set to be raised further still. Several members of the team are now working towards the TAP Diploma, as well as design and facilitation skills qualifications. The new Trainer
of Choice programme, which develops the interpersonal skills that are vital to stimulating
learner motivation, is also being piloted.
"TAP is a thoroughly modern, realistic approach to skills development in today's L&D world," concludes Nicola. "It's given us an external benchmark qualification that the entire team could attain and rally behind and which positions us as top class deliverers."

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Celebrate Success, New TAP Diploma Qualifications Matrix

Frances Day, Head of Training The Training Foundation presenting the new roles based TAP Diploma in Facilitation to Dave Jones of Rolls Royce
Frances Day, Head of Training The Training Foundation presenting the new roles based TAP Diploma in Facilitation to Dave Jones, Staff Training Officer of Rolls Royce

Working closely with TAP Partners has given The Training Foundation valuable insight into the changing landscape of organisational development.  With more companies seeking value from business partner relationships it has changed the focus of some L&D job roles and responsibilities.

Many L&D Departments are now modelled on four clear strands of specialisation in an attempt to aligned L&D capabilities and strategies to organisational objectives. These four strands are:

1. L&D Management
2. Delivery and Facilitation,
3. Design & Development and
4. L&D Consultancy

We have therefore developed a new Diploma matrix that is now more in line with company job roles, offering individuals the opportunity of developing their personal mastery in their chosen disciplines.

David Jones from Rolls Royce plc (Learning and Development) became the first recipient of the new learning and Facilitation Diploma.

In addition The Training Foundation is having on going discussions with a number of Universities who have an interest in extending the curriculum of the TAP Master Diploma so it would qualify for credits towards a foundation degree in Learning and development.

It was a great thrill to receive my Diploma in Learning and Development. Through all of the modules that I attended for this Diploma it has developed my skills in the training field. This is of great benefit to me, but also for the delegates who attend the courses that I lead on. Each module is very well structured with processes and methodologies that always lead to a great outcome.  I am now currently looking for my next step in the TAP Learning System. Thank you all at The Training Foundation especially Ron Mackrell. 

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