Talking TAP

The TAP Qualified Professional Newsletter

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March 1st 2010 Volume 3, Number 2

In This Issue

Monthly Features

Contact Us  
Tel +44(0)24 7641 1288

Dates for your Diary

HRD Conference and Exhibition 21-22 April 2010 at Olympia, London

London HR Summit 8th July 2010 at 5* Grange St Pauls, London

World of Learning Conference & Exhibition 28-29th September 2010 at NEC, Birmingham 

March Welcome from Claire Brookes

Hello, and welcome along to the March Issue of the Talking TAP Newsletter.  With the snow and ice (hopefully) behind us, let us look forward to the fresh growth of spring.  


After exhibiting at Learning Technologies in January we found that more and more Learning & Development departments are adopting online learning techniques because of their flexibility and cost effective savings.  Therefore in this issue we are focusing on this current e-Learning trend.

Lisa Emmington, TAP Qualified Professional of the Month, explains the real benefits of having achieved the TAP Diploma in e-Learning.  The TAP Partner of the Month is NHS Education South Central.  This will be a useful read for those of you who are interested in identifying the benefits of a blended approach. 

To continue this thought, the TAP Qualification of the Month  is the TAP Certificate in Blended Learning, read on to see if you can benefit from a 25% discount off this course.

I am pleased to introduce a new article, entitled Thought of the Month.  Each month we will be providing links to inspirational movie clips for you download and view. 

Should you wish to share some of your training 'nightmares' please do email them to us at to see them featured in next months issue, in the mean time do enjoy reading some of our trainers 'nightmares'!

Last month's brain teaser entitled; ‘The Hotel Detective’ certainly got those grey cells working! We had an overwhelming response and we have fully explained the solution in this month’s brainteaser, we have also included a list of those who successfully solved it.  While Frances Day, our Training Director, has provided the brain teaser for this month, see how you get on!

All the best,







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My Training 'Nightmares' - and How I Overcame Them

We all face stumbling blocks when training, so that you no longer feel alone we wanted to share some experiences that our own trainers have been through.  We hope that you enjoy reading through these, and can perhaps empathize with some of the situations:

"The delegates and I got snowed into one of those stately homes in the country that have now been converted to training centres.  We all had to sleep together in one room and I had to share all my clothes, cosmetics etc with some of the delegates.  This achieved a more bonded group later on when the training was re-scheduled."
Frances Day

"I flew out to Nigeria to train two groups of 5 people for 2.5 days each, but with a mix-up of communication I ended up with 10 delegates for the whole week!  Resources were pushed and the training room was a little tight to fit us all in, but the course worked out better with 10 delegates as there was more delegate interaction for the learning activities!"
Gary Clayburn

"I travelled to Rome to deliver a TAP course, but sadly on the way my luggage got lost!  This meant that I had to train in casual clothes, my jeans and jumper etc.  Although at the time I didn’t feel professional at all I tried to make the best of it and it became a talking point that bonded me with the delegates and the company who have since attended many more TAP courses, but rest assured I was wearing the correct attire!"
Marie Dolan

Should you wish to share some of your training 'nightmares' please do email them to us at to see them featured in next months issue.

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Thought of the Month

To add a little variety we are introducing a thought for the month video link - to watch this months thought provoking message please do follow this short video link:

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TAP Qualified Professional of the Month, Lisa Emmington

My name is Lisa Emmington and I am a freelance TAP® e-Learning Specialist.  I can call myself this now as I have just achieved my TAP Diploma in e-learning with The Training Foundation and haven’t stopped smiling yet.lisa.jpg

I originally started out in secretarial work at The Open University in the late 1980s when one day we all had Apple Macs put on our desks and were asked to produce the course material on these from now on!  As you can imagine, this was a huge learning curve but I managed to pick up the skills I needed quickly and ended being the one who went round helping everyone else.  As part of my career development there it was suggested that maybe I could use the skills I had learnt to move into training.  There were no vacancies at the OU so I made the difficult decision to leave a very comfortable job and have a go at training.  I’ve never looked back!

In 1995, after six years training full time for companies as well as converting to PCs I took another decision that would change everything and went freelance.  Things changed again in 2001 when I was seriously ill and unsure whether I would ever be able to go back to training.  I saw an advert from Learn Direct who were recruiting online tutors and offering training to successful candidates.  It seemed the perfect solution and in 2002 I qualified as an online tutor and mentor with Learn Direct and I also worked for 2 years for colleges involved in the Vision2Learn programme.

In 2004 I met up with a colleague from a company that I used to train for and he told me about the online development he had begun to get involved in and that was the start of another new career!  I worked for Research International as a freelance e-learning developer for four years until finally deciding to see if I could make it on my own.  My first contract was terrifying and I got away with it by the skin of my teeth and there was the Prospectus from The Training Foundation again....

I originally signed up for just the TAP Certificate in e-Learning Design but once I started I was hooked and decided to go for the TAP Diploma in e-Learning by achieving the TAP Certificate in Blended Learning, TAP Certificate in e-Learning Implementation and the TAP Certificate in e-Learning Facilitation together with a work based project that bound all of the skills together.  As I’m sure others have found, the training industry was very quiet in 2009 which gave me time to complete the TAP Diploma in e-Learning quite quickly, with the help of the excellent trainers and staff at The Training Foundation.  Their support has been invaluable.

The TAP Diploma in e-Learning is definitely opening doors for me.  At the Learning Technologies exhibition in January 2010 I spoke to a number of e-learning companies and six asked for my CV.  I also have a new contract with a local company to write instructional designs scripts for their 3D developers.  They have said that if the first job goes well I’ll be a very busy lady – so what’s new?

When you’re freelance, it often seems difficult to spend the money on training yourself but I would say it’s definitely worth it.  This new contract will almost cover the cost of the TAP Diploma but the learning will go on for quite some time, especially now there’s the Foundation Degree in Learning and Development Practice that is awarded by The University of Chester.  I have a feeling I will be back in Coventry to visit The Training Foundation at some point in the near future.

I just wanted to thank Gemma Godfrey at the Open University who was my sponsor throughout my project and send her best wishes for her new baby which is due in April.  Finally, I’d like to thank all the staff at The Training Foundation but particular thanks to Louise Talbot, Laura Layton-James, Laura Crank and Mark Johnson who all seem to have the knack of making you feel like you are the only student they have to deal with today.

Many thanks

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TAP Hits the Road Again

We are offering a variety of TAP courses around the UK at our TAP Partner's premises namely:

The TAP Certificate in Learner Engagement (Trainer of Choice – 3 Days ). This is running in London, SW1P at our Silver TAP Partner Thomsons Online Benefits premises on 16th to 18th June 2010. 

Scotland, Perth:
The TAP Certificate in e-Learning Design (2 Days plus online). This is running in Perth, at our Gold TAP Partner Perth & Kinross Council's offices on 5th to 6th May 2010.

If you are interested in attending one of these regional events please do call us on 02476 411 288 or email

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TAP Partner of the Month, NHS Education South Central

As the training and education arm of South Central Strategic Health Authority, NHS Education South Central (NESC) is responsible for ensuring that health service staff across the region's 24 NHS and Primary Care Trusts have the continually updated and improved skills to deliver the highest standards of patient care.

Serving the education and training needs of tens of thousands of staff across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire is quite a challenge. And this challenge is only accentuated by the need to meet the transformational change agenda designed to drive improvements in patient care and safety.

Providing access to best value training without compromising quality is paramount. It is not surprising, then, that NESC has been reviewing the potential for new technologies to enhance both the learning experience and process.

Alison Wright is e-Learning Programme Manager within NESC's Quality, Practice Learning (QPL) Team.  While developing the capacity and capability to deliver e-learning to staff and students is key to NHS South Central's strategic objectives, Alison stresses that e-learning must not be viewed as a standalone panacea, but another tool in the Learning and Development armoury.

"When there's so much pressure to deliver training to such vast numbers of employees there can be a tendency to choose the media without giving proper consideration to the bigger picture: what's the learning need? What are the constraints of the target audience? What's the best learning strategy to meet the need? e-Learning delivers the best results when it's used as part of a blend."

The priority for Alison, tasked with supporting Trusts to make appropriate and effective use of e-learning, was to develop an approach that supported capacity and capability building, skills development and an understanding of how to embed e-Learning into relevant learning blends with a direct applicability to the workplace.

e-Learning has a potentially significant role to play in supporting L&D across all career pathways throughout the region, for all staff whether in clinical, management or support roles.

The first step was to conduct a three-month scoping project early in 2008, which provided a revealing snapshot of current and emerging e-learning activity across NHS South Central.  The findings confirmed that Trusts and PCTs were at widely differing stages in their efforts to embed e-learning into their learning infrastructure.

Half the organisations were delivering some e-Learning to staff, 38% were in the embryonic stages of introducing e-Learning, while the remainder had not yet got off the starting blocks.

"It was clear that staff in many organisations were finding it difficult to know where to start with e-Learning", comments Alison, "while some trusts had whole teams skilled in putting together multi-media L&D courses, a general lack of skills and confidence both in ICT and e-Learning, combined with limitations in local IT infrastructures and sharing of resources, expertise and experience were proving to be major obstacles."

Alison was looking for a very particular approach to addressing these issues.  A number of options were dismissed because they were simply too technical and 'medium' focused. One offering stood head and shoulders above others, however.  The Training Foundation's Certificate in Blended Learning corresponded perfectly with NESC's aspirations to move from a position of patchy, undeveloped provision to a far more coherent, integrated approach to exploiting the potential of new technologies.

Another great selling point was that The Training Foundation offered a 'season ticket' facility, which effectively allowed a large cohort of individuals with widely varying roles from disparate locations to undertake the certificate any time, any place, anywhere - online or in the classroom - within a 12 month period.

"I really liked the flexibility of this, not only for immediate needs but also for future progression training" says Alison.  "It was also completely stress-free for me because I simply forwarded all interested candidates to Matt Hancocks at The Training Foundation, who did a superb job handling all the booking arrangements."

Another essential requirement was that the content of the course should be widely relevant, no matter what the role or how experienced or inexperienced the candidate.  The 50-strong cohort ranged from heads of L&D, IT trainers, librarians, heads of e-Learning and e-Learning developers, to those with more specialist roles such as clinical pharmacists, medical device trainers and dental educators.  The TAP Certificate in Blended Learning offered something to everyone.

Although a formal evaluation had yet to be completed at the time of going to press, Alison was delighted with the positive and enthusiastic feedback from course participants.

"They were really energised and reported greater levels of confidence in their abilities to apply what they'd learned back in the workplace" she comments.


"They uploaded some fascinating proposals of their intentions on the TAP trainer virtual learning environment; the real proof of the success of the course will be to what extent it was a catalyst for implementing a blend within their own contexts."

Paula Sands, a librarian based at St Mary's Hospital in Portsmouth, is responsible for developing and promoting resource support for University of Southampton nursing and midwifery students across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.  She opted for doing the Certificate in Blended Learning in the classroom in September 2008 and not only found the experience thoroughly enjoyable, but also entirely expedient.

"I wanted to find out how a blended approach could improve awareness and availability of resources from the NHS and the University, as well as access " she explains.  "Creativity was another issue.  I wanted a more impactful way of reinforcing learning than simply relying on handouts.  Because we're in the middle of reviewing delivery of our services, the course was particularly timely."

With plans to make resource-related information more interactive, the course enlightened her on what was possible and, significantly, the importance of not going down the e-learning route for the sake of it.

"I completed the course knowing that you have to start with the learning need and objectives, not the medium and that was a crucial learning point."

A year ago Alison faced a significant challenge. "There weren't the skills, understanding and confidence out there and we were running the risk of duplicated effort and expenditure" she says.  “The fact that we have that all important shared understanding of the fundamentals across the region now should not only give coherence to future e-learning development and delivery, but also inject the partnership ethos that will result in essential economies and efficiencies."

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Celebrate Success


Our congratulations go out to the following Learning and Development Professionals who have achieved a TAP Diploma:



Olubunmi Oludipe

Addax Petroleum Development Ltd

Heather Earl


Jill Lees


Jean Rycroft


Alison Thorp

Scantrack Healthcare Systems (UK) Ltd

Jane Wigham


Sharon Powney

Environment Agency

Kerry Chambers


Diploma in Learning Facilitation:

Janine Denison

Somerset County Council

Phil Pryce

BAE Systems

Diploma in Learning Design:

Janine Denison

Somerset County Council

Phil Pryce

BAE Systems

Diploma in e-Learning:

Lisa Emmington

Lead Training

Diploma in L&D Consultancy:

Phil Pryce

BAE Systems

We hope that you all enjoy proudly displaying your TAP Diploma Certificate on your office wall.

This month we are also pleased to announce two of our TAP Partners who have upgraded from Silver to a Gold TAP Partner status they are:

Fidessa and Brewin Dolphin

Both of these organisations have now committed that all of their training is both designed and delivered by TAP qualified individuals.  Well done!

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TAP Qualification of the Month, TAP Certificate in Blended Learning

To contunue our focus on E-Learning our TAP Qualification of the Month is the TAP Certificate in Blended Learning.  As achived by the TAP Qualified Professional of the Month,  Lisa Emmington and the TAP Partner of the Month, NHS Education South Central.

Blended solutions combine different learning media to allow organisations to provide more flexible, accessible and cost-effective learning opportunities. In many situations a single medium, whether face-to-face, online or otherwise, simply cannot provide all the characteristics required for efficient and effective learning. A blended solution exploits the advantages of different learning media whilst minimising the drawbacks. This certificate will be a value to any learning and development professional seeking to extend their capabilities beyond face-to-face and traditional self-study methods to take advantage of their own or blended with traditional methods.

In the 21st Century, every trainer needs to embrace the potential of e-Learning and blended solutions. For this reason, this Certificate acts as an entry gateway for those seeking to achieve the:

TAP Diploma in e-Learning
TAP Diploma in Learning and Design
TAP Diploma in L&D Consultancy

To benefit from 25% discount for one place on the TAP Certificate in Blended Learning please call in on 02476 411 288 or email

To celebrate our focus on e-Learning, we have developed a limited edition e-Learning Season Ticket.  To book your e-learning Season ticket at a special discounted rate available until 31st March please contact us on 02476 411 288 or email

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Brain Teaser

thinking1.jpgOur congratulations go out to; Carolyn Brough IT Trainer for Ruillion, The Purchase to Pay team at Astrazeneca and our very own Paul Edmondson for correctly solving last months brain teaser entitled 'The Hotel Detective'. 

The solution is that the postman was the only man in the room.  The lawyer and accountant were both women, therefore the post man was the only person in the room who could have been called John, the name of the killer.

Hope that helps – feel free to use it in one of your own training sessions as an energizer!

Now for March's Brain Teaser:boxer.jpg

The Boxer

A boxer leaves the ring during a competition to have his hair brushed, re-enters the ring and wins the title

– why?

To receive the solution to this activity please email and put 'The Boxer' in the subject line.  Also if you want to put forward your suggestions feel free to email them in, you'll get a mention in next month's issue if you're correct!

As you hold a TAP Qualification you are entitled to receive a copy of this free Talking TAP Newsletter each month.  This will be forwarded to your email on a monthly basis.  If, however, you no longer wish to receive the Talking TAP Newsletter simply reply to the mail with the words remove in the subject. 

Many Thanks
The Training Foundation Ltd

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