Talking TAP

The TAP Qualified Professional Newsletter

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November 10th 2010 Volume 3, Number 11

In This Issue

Monthly Features

Dates for your Diary

Engaging For Success:
12th January 2011: The Training Foundation, Coventry


Learning Technologies
26-27th January 2011: Olympia 2, London

November Welcome from The Training Foundation

Welcome to the November issue of the Talking TAP Newsletter.  This issue we launch the Engaging for success Seminar for HR Directors, scheduled to take place at 10am – 4pm, 12th January 2011 Location: The Training Foundation, University of Warwick Science Park, Coventry.

Our featured article is from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) written by Ruth Spellman explaining what the recently announced comprehensive spending review means for training.


Remember to look at our Training Tips of the month in our Website Watch feature.  This month we focus on how to get your delegates back to the class on time after a break.  Do let us know if you use these tips and if they help.

Our TAP Partner of the Month is Funkwerk IT, read on to see how TAP classroom and e-learning courses have helped them to regenerate their learning sessions.

Peter Markwick from AWE has suggested a twist to our regular Brain Teaser feature, take a look at our new Caption Competition and send in your entries. 

There is a sad tail [sic] in our regular Training Nightmare feature, that has been re-worded as our 'Science Park Nightmare' just for this issue... and finally for those of you who can't make it to our training centre this Autumn, we have a lovely seasonal picture of Technology House: 

All the best,
Claire Brookes

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What does the comprehensive spending review mean for training?

cmi_logo_nov.jpgIn the wake of the comprehensive spending review, employers may be tempted to cut back on training budgets to improve cash flow. Although businesses will inevitably have to make some sacrifices, reigning in employee development now could actually damage economic recovery in the longer term.

Although the spending review was a source of anxiety for many, several of the policies announced should create some peace of mind for employers when it comes to training and development. We welcome the Government’s focus on skills and education as a way of generating economic growth in particular. The financial boost to Apprenticeships will also help to ensure that young people continue to get qualifications that make them work-ready.

Whilst employers may welcome this commitment to training, the budget reductions affecting the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) are likely affect the quality of talent on offer to prospective employers. Cuts in funding to higher and further education will undermine the quality of education offered each year, reducing the talent pool that employers can select from.

Additionally, DBIS faces a 25 per cent cut to its current spending. The training and support the department offers to UK businesses is therefore likely to suffer. This, in turn, will reduce employers’ ability to address the skills needs of their workforce and develop the essential skills that are needed for economic recovery. Now, more than ever, businesses will need to examine options for growing their talent from within.

Unfortunately, continuing to provide quality training to staff may prove difficult for many employers whose finances are already severely restricted. Although an increase in finance available via the Government is unlikely to be forthcoming, there are steps that the Coalition must take to support businesses. In fact, CMI’s recent Economic Outlook Survey reveals that 84 per cent of managers think that fiscal support for investment in skills should be a priority.

By providing tax breaks and increasing bank lending, employers can achieve greater control on how they spend what little funds are available. Businesses can then direct this money towards training and development to ensure that the UK has the talented and well-skilled employees needed to return to growth.

Businesses also need to take responsibility for skills development themselves, and resist the temptation to reduce training budgets any further. Employers must recognise that continued investment in skills development is the best way to improve morale (currently at its lowest ever), boost confidence and strengthen operations.

The spending review may pose challenges for the training industry, but, with the right support, businesses do not need to feel overwhelmed. The Government and employers must now take the appropriate action to ensure that UK businesses can drive through recovery.

CMI Article, By-Line Ruth Spellman

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Website Watch

 Welcome to the Website Watch feature, here we update you with new developments on our website:website_watch.jpg

1. Take a look at 'November's Training Tips' - just follow this link:

2. View recent course feedback from all our TAP Qualifications:

3. 'Engaging for Success’ seminar running on the 12th January 2011, Coventry.  Click here for more details.

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Engaging for Success seminar; Chairman, David Macleod

‘Engaging for Success’ seminar 12th Jan, Coventry;   Chairman, David Macleod

According to the May 2010 CBI report to Government, employee engagement is now the biggest threat to the UK’s economic recovery.  For many private sector employers, the situation is being adversely impacted by commercial decisions they are finding it necessary to make.  Across the public sector, the recently announced cuts are creating a mood of general anxiety about job security. As someone working in L&D, you are extremely fortunate indeed if you have not experienced some of the effects of this first-hand over the last two years or so.  

Against this background maintaining morale and engagement is now the biggest challenge for most HR Directors. If you are aware of the need for your organisation to improve its employee engagement profile, you might like to forward your HR Director a link to the 'Engaging for Success’ seminar running on the 12th January 2011, Coventry.  Click here for the invitation.   David Macleod, author of the Macleod Report to Government on Employee Engagement, is Chairing the event. 

From your own perspective, as an L&D professional you will probably be noticing significant changes in learners’ engagement levels. If you’d like to learn about how The Training Foundation is responding to the engagement challenge, take a look at our website; there’s lots of useful information about engagement there now! And if you haven’t yet considered doing the 3 day TAP Learner Engagement Skills course, why not do so now – it’s one of our best!  Follow this link to see the course outline for the TAP Learner Engagement Skills course.

Nick Mitchell

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TAP Qualified Professional of the Month, Mel Clark

My name is Mel Clark and I am a Trainer for WSP Group.  I graduated in 2007 and started to look for full time employment.  I took a role in an HR department followed by a role with the same company in Payroll.  After 6 years I decided to move on and I joined the HR team at WSP Group in June 2009.  I think WSP is a brilliant company to work for but what I really wanted was to be a trainer.  In July I applied for an internal vacancy for a Trainer and was successful in securing the role.  I spent my first week in this role with The Training Foundation achieving my TAP Certificate in Training Delivery.


Established in the UK in the 1970s and listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1987, WSP Group is one of the world’s fastest-growing design, engineering and management consultancies.  We have offices in over 35 countries, and our 9000 talented people provide best practice, sustainable consulting in the built and natural environment. This involves designing, engineering, and managing property, transport, infrastructure, environmental and energy projects and providing management and industrial services.  WSP is a leader in our industry and we are involved in some of the world’s most significant projects.  We have bridged the river Han in Vietnam, reinvented the ‘village school’ in Denmark and are shaping London’s skyline with our work on the iconic ‘Shard of Glass’.   WSP is a Gold TAP Partner, meaning that all training is delivered by personnel who hold the TAP Certificate in Training Delivery, while all courses are designed by personnel who hold the TAP Certificate in Training Design and Development.

I achieved my TAP Certificate in Training Delivery in September 2010. I have wanted to be involved in training for a long time but didn’t have any experience.  Gaining my TAP Certificate makes me feel like I now have credibility as a Trainer.  I am very grateful to WSP for the opportunity I have been given, and think that attending the TAP Course in the first week of my training role has given me the skills to deliver effective training that my delegates will get real benefit from.  In particular I found the sessions on objectives and questioning very informative and I am sure the course materials I brought away with me will help me for years to come.  I am really looking forward to putting the skills I have learned into practice.

I have a great deal of support from our Learning & Development Manager, and we have agreed that I will work towards the TAP Diploma in Learning Facilitation.  I am looking forward to developing my skills further and visiting the Training Foundation in future when working towards my diploma. 

Many thanks for all your help
Mel Clark

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Our Science Park Nightmare...

With deepest sympathy

The Training Foundation is mourning the recent loss of Matilda the duck. Matilda was the cover girl of last month's TAP Newsletter, and in her recent new found fame got a bit too adventurous and tried to cross the road without looking and into the path of an on-coming car.

Matilda will be sadly missed as she was visited by many delegates on their lunchtime break and has over the years eaten many of the leftover lunchtime sandwiches.

The moral of this story is when you are next visiting our training centres please drive slowly and carefully through the Science Park and think of the family that Matilda has left behind…

To nominate your training nightmare, please do email me:  

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TAP Partner of the Month, Funkwerk IT

Funkwerk Information Technologies York Limited is a subsidiary of, and is wholly owned by the German company Funkwerk Information Technologies GmBH (Funkwerk IT) and is based in York.  Funkwerk IT belongs to the Traffic and Control Communication Division of Funkwerk AG, a German company specialising, primarily, in technology and communications (


Funkwerk Information Technologies York Limited has just over fifty employees specialising in rail industry planning software, covering research, development and production of software planning systems for railway operations.  The Company also provides transport planning consultancy services which include: project development from concept to implementation; resource planning and optimisation; infrastructure and power consumption modelling; and product training to new and existing customers.

Throughout the Funkwerk group it is recognised that highly qualified and committed employees are essential to the success of the business. Opportunities for skills enhancement and personal development are made available organisation wide and are fully supported through training provision, funding for external training, study leave and mentoring.

The training department at Funkwerk IT York consists of one full time training manager supported by nine TAP certified trainers. The certified trainers have other roles within the organisation on a day to day basis and undertake training when required. The training manager and the trainers are all located in York.

The training provided is client and product specific and the methodology used consists of a combination of interactive demonstration and discussion, coupled with extensive hands on exercises and learning opportunities. Training is provided to all levels of personnel ranging from ‘shop floor’ end users through to system administrators.

The key priority in the training design is to ensure that client needs are fully understood. We always work closely with the client to produce a comprehensive and complete training needs analysis. As part of this analysis the most effective method of delivery will be identified and agreed with the client. This will shape the design of the training delivery.

The most significant issue we are currently facing is the global spread of our client base and our capabilities in delivering training on site. We are investigating the options for increasing the use made of technology in the delivery of training for remote clients.

Recognised quality assurance is essential to ensure the highest standards and levels of consistency are reached and maintained by our trainers. Using quality assurance demonstrates to clients, and potential clients, that our organisation is committed to consistently providing professional training to the highest standard.

We believe everyone has potential for development that will have benefit to both the individual and the business, and try to ensure that every opportunity is provided to enable each individual to realise their potential through targeted training, mentoring and coaching.

Our organisation first heard about The Training Foundation through our Human Resources Manager, who was familiar with them through a previous role.  

The Training Manager and nine trainers have attended various courses since September 2009. The courses are:

  • Training Skills Delivery 2009 & 2010 (Training Manager & Trainers)
  • Training Design & Development 2009 (Training Manager & Senior Trainer)
  • Blended Learning 2010 (Training Manager)
  • e-learning Design 2010 (Training Manager)
  • e-learning Implementation 2010 (Training Manager)

The feedback from those who have attended courses has been very positive.  The Training Foundation is a very professional organisation with talented and knowledgeable trainers who are very helpful and enthusiastic.

The courses are well structured and paced, ensuring that all the delegates are involved and engaged. The TAP courses have given all our trainers the framework and confidence to improve their delivery skills and the feedback from our clients is that they have seen a step change in the quality of our training.

The design of our courses has improved, with more focus on the learning than on the product.  Our courses are more structured, with clear learning objectives and we have built in more time for reflection and introduced more recaps and reviews through the courses.

The TAP training has given us a more professional approach to training, and opened our eyes to the potential we have with our training services.

We are introducing e-learning in to our portfolio of training services, and will continue to work with the Training Foundation to increase our skills and competences.

Many thanks
Janet Coles (Human Resources Manager, Funkwerk IT)


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Celebrate Success


Each month we are excited and honored to celebrate the success of our hard working delegates who have achieved one of our role-based TAP Diplomas.  This month we congratulate the following individuals:

TAP Diploma in Learning Facilitation:
Eddie Swan WM. Grant & Sons
Tina Jump Defence Academy
Anton Marlborough-Fletcher Defence Academy
TAP Diploma in Learning Design:
Angela Maher Avery Dennison
Doug Long BAE Systems
Tina Jump Defence Academy
TAP Diploma in e-Learning:
Gill Beer Aviva
Nicola Healey North Somerset Healthcare Library
Vanessa Cockayne QinetiQ
Chris Undery NFU Mutual
TAP Master Diploma in Learning & Development
Angela Maher Avery Dennison
Tina Jump Defence Academy
TAP Diploma in L&D Consultancy:
Doug Long BAE Systems
TAP Diploma in L&D Management:
Steve Penketh BAE Systems
TAP Diploma in Learning & Development:
Anthony Johnson BAE Systems

We also celebrate the success of our customer organisations that have adopted TAP as a standard and have joined as a TAP Partner.  This month we approved the following new TAP Partners: 

New Silver TAP Partners:

RoleplayUK Ltd,
NHS London,

To learn more about the TAP Partners Programme please contact me on +44 (0) 2476 411 288 or email,

Many thanks
Dave Hickling - TAP Partner Programme Co-ordinator

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Brain Teaser

This month's Brain Teaser comes in the form of a TTF Logo caption competition, as suggested by Peter Markwick from AWE.  Peter was working through the modules leading to the TAP Diploma in e-Learning, and shared with his tutor, Louise Talbot, the many amusing captions he has added to the TTF logo.  My favorite is below:











If you would like to try your hand at the caption competition, jsut copy the image and follow these instructions: 










 Or email me at for a blank template.

October’s Brain Teaser, 'Not-so Cold Blooded Murder', was a tricky one.  The solution was that the murderer was the man with the thermos flask. He went into the sauna he had inside the flask a dagger/knife made of ice, under the cover of the steam he stabbed the victim and by the time the sauna had cleared (once the steam had been switched off) the dagger would have melted - therefore there was no obvious murder weapon with incriminating fingerprints!!

Those few who correctly solved the Brain Teaser are:

Bill Smith, Handelsbanken
Kate Thomas, Crossrail
Jim Thompson, Fidessa plc
David Henry, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Alistair Scott, Serco Group
Eoin Garland, IS Oxford
Phil Wheeliker, InTeDev Training Ltd
Eric Jones, NATS, Corporate & Technical Centre

With the most amusing reply coming from Kim Broadley from AXA Corporate who suggested that the murderer was in fact the man with the I-Pod, Kim thought that surly there’s an app for Murder...!?!

As you hold a TAP Qualification, or are head of an L&D Team, 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 hit the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email

Many thanks
The Training Foundation

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