Talking TAP

The TAP Qualified Professional Newsletter

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June 12th 2008 Volume 1, Number 1

In This Issue

Monthly Features

Contact Us

A welcome from Claire Brookes

claire_brooks.jpgAs Manager of the Linked in Group I would like to welcome you to this first issue of Talking TAP.

It hardly seems possible that just a few months have elapsed since we launched the Group on January 10th.  There are members from a huge range of sectors, providing training in a variety of specialist disciplines, ranging from military helicopter flight crew training through to weather forecasting, call centre and management development.  It's amazing how widely distributed our members are, with representatives in Portugal, Hungary, Sweden, Germany, France and Australia! 

Take a look around and to see who you can link up with.  Why not try reconnecting with former colleagues or someone who completed a TAP course with you?  If you can't find someone who you know holds a TAP qualification then feel free to simply email them the invitation link:

Once they request to join, we will check our records to validate their qualification and then grant them access.

And don't forget that there are no boundaries around the TAP community within Linked In.  There are over 17 million potential partners, suppliers, and employers out there for you to network with.  Why not run a search to see if you can find some of your existing business contacts,  potential business partners, former colleagues or even old college friends?

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BILD to award TAP qualifications

British Institute for Learning and DevelopmentHolders of BILD TAP qualifications to benefit from one year’s introductory membership at no extra cost.

Learning and development professionals who successfully complete their course of study with The Training Foundation will now able to opt for the award of a TAP® Qualification from the British Institute for Learning and Development (BILD). Additionally, those opting for BILD TAP awards will automatically qualify for their first year’s membership of the Institute free.

Membership applicants holding TAP qualifications from the current awarding bodies (the Institute of IT Training, the European Institute for e-Learning, ABC Awards and the Institute of Leadership & Management) already benefit from discounted introductory membership rates across all four BILD member grades of affiliate, associate, member and fellow.

Ron Mackrell, Director of the TAP Partners Programme, emphasised that the move is designed to offer greater flexibility and freedom-of-choice to delegates seeking an alternative to existing TAP awarding bodies.

“Feedback suggests that BILD TAP awards will have a broad appeal across the spectrum of learning and development. The Training Foundation will continue to offer TAP qualifications from established awarding bodies, each of which has its own specialist niche.” 

Jack Wills, Chair of the BILD Jack Wills, Chair of the BILD, says the extension of the partnership with The Training Foundation comes at a significant point as the organisation seeks to extend its reach and influence. “One of our core remits is to promote best practice by encouraging all L&D specialists to pursue formally recognised professional development qualifications. As an award-winning, leading provider of professional development to many thousands of trainers in public and private organisations, The Training Foundation has a natural synergy with our own aims."

“This new development will support our drive to swell membership numbers, which is a vital part of our strategy.”

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Making the most of TAP Qualifications

ron_mackrell.jpgRon Mackrell, Director of the TAP Partners Programme explains how to get the very from your TAP qualification.

It is surprising how often TAP Qualified Professionals use vague phrases like "TAP certified trainer", "attended TAP course" or "TAP accredited" to describe their achievements on CV's and on LinkedIn profiles.

Since 1998 over 15,000 Professionals have achieved awards, certificates or diplomas within the framework of 21 qualifications that now make up the TAP® Learning System. These range from Level 2 Foundation Awards right through to the Level 5 Diploma in Learning and Development and take in a huge range of topics ranging from e-tutoring to blended learning and from coaching to training design.

As someone who has spent many years working in recruitment I can tell you that anyone reviewing your profile or CV will be looking for specific TAP expertise.  So it always pays to be specific.

Always make sure you list the full name of the TAP Qualification, e.g. TAP Certificate in Training Design and Development Skills, the awarding body (ABC, IITT, BILD or EIfEL) and the date you achieved your award.  It is also worthwhile adding these to your keywords within LinkedIn so you can be found easily.

For a full list of qualification titles simply check your certificate or the TAP website.   

Remember that The Training Foundation also can provide TAP artwork which you can add to your business cards.  To request a copy of this artwork in electronic format simply bounce a reply to this email with the work 'artwork' in the subject line.

At an organizational level there is also scope to get marketing benefits from your collective investment in the development of  TAP related skills.  Why not become a TAP Partner Organization?  You will find full details at the TAP Partners page of the website. This rapidly growing scheme will allow your organization to display the TAP Partners emblem on your website, certificates, training course materials and so on.  To find out more simply drop me a line via or give me a call on +44 (0)2476 411288.

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Learning and Development 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!

The BILD Conference 2008 - Engagement in Learning: Increasing the Impact of Learning and Development in the World of Work,

12th June 2008, CBI Conference Centre, London WC1

The BILD Connect event - Learning in the Workplace

16th July 2008, The Training Foundation, Coventry 

CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition 2008,

16th to 18th September 2008, Harrogate, Yorkshire

World of Learning Conference and Exhibition 2008,

19th to 20th November 2008, NEC, Birmingham

Learning Technologies 2009 Conference and Exhibition,

28th to 29th January 2009, Olympia 2, London

5th Getenergy Global Energy Exploration & Production Annual Event,

23rd to 25th March 2009, London

CIPD HRD Conference and Exhibition,

21st to 23rd April 2009, ExCeL, Docklands, London

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TAP Qualified Professional of the Month

The TAP community is hugely diverse and takes in Learning and Development specialist from every conceivable sector and industry.
Would you or someone you know be intererested in being featured in this new monthly Talking TAP item?  We are looking for Group Members who make use of their TAP skills in interesting or unusual environments and would like to raise their profile and that of the organisation which employs them!
If you are up for it, simply send a recent photo in JPEG format and a brief description of yourself and your role to Claire Brookes, Editor Talking TAP to

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TAP Diplomates take Centre Stage on July 23rd 2008

The 23rd of July marks the 10th anniversary of The Training Foundation to the very day. To celebrate this occasion TAP Qualified Professionals holding a TAP Diploma will come together at a special ceremony to be held at Technology House on the University of Warwick Science Park in Coventry.  

There they will receive their commemorative TAP Diploma certificates in front of an invited audience made up of colleagues and guests.

This ceremony is scheduled to become an annual event and the centre point of the TAP year.

Diploma co-ordinator, Sharon Litterick commented "If you have achieved a TAP Diploma and have not already received an invitation, please get in touch.  It's a constant challenge keeping in contact with training professionals as they travel so much"  If you are interested in attending, please contact Sharon via email:

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TAP Partner Organisation of the Month

There are now over 100 TAP Partner organisations throughout the UK, committed to the employment of TAP Qualified Professionals in order to guarantee the quality of learning and development services. For the full list see:
This month we profile:
Fidelity National Information Services
Training Manager Jim Battersby has led his team of trainers for the past two years.  Until recently the training focus has been on skilling the call centre staff, particularly since the introduction of a major new operating system. The team had a high profile role in the successful integration of the new system with the call centre’s operations, but now its training remit is expanding.

“We were looking for some externally provided development for our trainers that would support them as our remit broadens,” explains Jim.  “We came across The Training Foundation’s TAP® learning system through a culture change programme we were jointly providing with a consultant contracted to Creation.  He attended a TAP® Delivery Skills Course and was so evangelical about the benefits that I wanted to find out more.  As I saw it we had two options: go down the CIPD route or try something different with TAP®.  In the end, I left it to the trainers to decide.”

To read the full TAP Partner Case Study see:

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Article of the Month: Ten Years of Innovation in Learning, by Adrian Snook

10 Year Anniversary logoThe Training Foundation will celebrate the 10th Annniversary of its formation this summer.  Looking back over the last decade it is clear that some aspects of learning and development have undergone subtle shifts of emphasis and others have evolved very significantly!

When thinking about face-to-face learning it is tempting to think that nothing much has changed since Plato established an Athenian school of learning in a grove of trees owned by Academos back in 387 BC. True, the academic model has not evolved much in the last 2000 years, but many interesting developments have certainly cropped up in just the last ten years.

Our understanding of how the brain works has advanced significantly as a result of  cognitive research and modern body scanning techniques, resulting in a rethink on popular theories like the ‘split-brain model'. In turn this has prompted greater awareness of the awesome power and complexity of the human mind and the degree of ingenuity required to enhance learning processes through interactivity and improved learner centricity. Much of the work undertaken by The Training Foundation over the last decade has focused on finding practical applications for this research and making the necessary best-practice models available to training professionals.

Topics like NLP, mind-mapping, action learning and emotional intelligence have all captured the popular imagination of the learning and development community to some extent during the last decade, spawning a proliferation of books and events as well as regular features in the training press. Equally, interest in leadership development and in coaching has also reached what seems like fever pitch over the last five years, spawning a proliferation of providers, some of whom inevitably offer services of dubious merit.

We have experienced more of a roller-coaster ride over the last decade in relation to the use of technology to enhance learning. Back in 1998 there was a general feeling that technology had huge potential to transform learning, but the optimum technology platform was still a matter for heated debate.  The ‘bandwidth squeeze' imposed by floppy discs and other esoteric forms of storage media had been overcome thanks to large PC hard discs and the CD-ROM. As a result by 1998, a increasing number of lucky people had the benefit of learning by interacting directly with the PC sitting in front of them.

Looking back at learning content from this period of 'direct interaction' one is immediately struck by the richness of the media, the ubiquitous availability of video and so on.  By 1998 the effect was almost televisual in terms of quality. All this lovely rich media content was destined to disappear within a couple of years as learning went ‘online'  via dial-up connections and was not to reappear in the mainstream until the arrival of almost ubiquitous broadband networks nearly ten years later.

Virtual Reality was still very much a hot topic in 1998 and learners wearing ‘feely gloves' and space age VR helmets regularly featured in the training press. Terms such Computer-Based-Training (CBT), Technology-Based Training (TBT) Computer-Based Learning (CBL) all had currency in 1998, each of them meaning subtly different things to different people.

However by 1999 the rise of the Internet had created the right conditions for what is now known as e-learning.    As is the way with weather patterns, the storm gathered its resources over the USA, crossed the East Coast and made its inexorable way across the Atlantic, with the Eye of the e-Learning Storm making landfall in the UK in late 1998. I spoke at a CIPD conference entitled TechTraining 1998, also attended by the then virtually unknown US commentator Elliott Masie. His hot tip for the event was to look out for the term ‘e-learning' and for the concept of learning online, which was generating huge excitement in the US.  It turned out that this was an understatement. The FORTUNE On-Line Learning Supplement published on May 24, 1999, (Vol. 139, no. 10) reported:

"According to the most recent study of corporate America made by the Masie Center, a Saratoga Springs, New York-based think tank, 92 percent of large organizations are implementing some form of On-Line learning this year."

In no time Industry pundits were queuing up to make pronouncements about the e-Learning boom. There were parallels with sex.  It became common for senior learning professionals to believe that everyone else was doing it, doing it more often and much better than they were.  By 2000 I had coined the term e-ness envy to describe a little known mental condition that creates forces sufferers to implement poorly thought out high profile e-Learning projects for reasons of personal prestige!

This early mania for e-Learning as a panacea for all ills thankfully passed away pretty soon after the dot-com boom turned to bust.  I still have a residual phobia about the phrase 'e-Learning Guru'. I certainly suggest you ignore anyone that still describes himself as one!

Over the last five years e-Learning has grown up to take its rightful place as a tried-and-tested addition to the learning and development toolbox, ideally as part of a carefully blended solution.  During the last decade a large portion of The Training Foundation's efforts have been focused on ensuring that  learning and development professionals possess the new skills and knowledge necessary to make the most of learning technologies. I like to think we have played a key part in moving e-Learning out of the technologists ghetto and into the mainstream learning and development community.

Interestingly Virtual Reality has recently been staging a resurgence although feely gloves and helmets never did catch on! Today VR environments are regularly being used to train the military, police and emergency services and networked serious games are being accessed by large numbers of people via more conventional PC interfaces.

As we look forward from 2008 we face a very interesting development. It seems that learners themselves have been changing over the last ten years, as their brains are subtly rewired by daily interaction with the Internet. Generation X learners like me, born between 1961 and 1981, had radically different life experiences than those in previous generations. Because we grew up with desktop computers (remember the Commodore 64, ZX81 or Sinclair Spectrum?) Generation X'ers were technologically literate to a degree uncommon with previous generations like the Baby Boomers.

However Generation Y learners ( born between 1981 and 1995 ) will soon be making up a significant portion of the workforce. These learners were reared using networked technology and e-commerce and this is conditioning the way they prefer to learn. They have learned to expect instant gratification and have little patience for due process and conventional models. They are used to finding out what they need to know, when they need to know it.  Don't expect Generation Y'ers to listen to lengthy trainer centred presentations or to learn reams of dull facts on the off-chance that they might come in handy one day. That's what Google is for!

Generation Y learners are also deeply conditioned to distrust communications from anyone they do not know  ( have you had a suspicious email from your bank lately? ) and to rigourously probe surprising claims made by strangers, so 21st Century trainers can expect to have their training expertise challenged pretty regularly. - Unless your learners have previously checked out your NetRep references with their peers via Google, Wikipedia, Linked-In and Facebook that is.

So how will learning and development need to evolve to cater for the evolving learning preferences of generation Y learners? One thing the last ten years has taught us is that Samuel Goldwyn had a point when he said, "Only a fool would make predictions- especially about the future."

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