Developing Training Quality Standards

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Learning and development professionals nearly constantly face the threat of their training budgets being cut. To counter those threats, it is imperative that trainers prove their worth and show that they are the best choice for their organizations’ training needs.

In his February 2014 Infoline, “How to Develop Training Quality Standards,” Bruno Neal describes several methods that can be used to identify and measure the quality of a service or product—such as ISO guidelines, Baldrige principles, and curriculum review—and offers guidelines for quality improvement processes.  


The measure or indicator that an L&D professional uses should best represent factors that lead to improved customer, operational, financial, and societal performance. Some common quality indicators of success include:

  • achievement-oriented policy: whether or not departments set achievement standards and achieve them
  • amount of time dedicated to instructional issues during staff meetings, with less time better than more time
  • quality of instruction as rated by learners
  • direct expenditure with training per employee.

Quality of instruction as rated by peers, through pilot evaluation, and from Feedback for Internal Training (FIT) is another common indicator of success.
FIT includes a structured discussion between instructional designer and the trainer about the material. Neal provides questions that can serve as a basis for such a conversation.

  1. Were the objectives clearly stated at the beginning of the training?
  2. Was the leader’s guide clear?
  3. Were slides easy to follow?
  4. Did the trainer deliver the content the way the instructional designer intended?
  5. Did the trainer distribute and collect evaluations?
  6. Were the associates participating in the discussions?
  7. Were associates convinced that the topics were important?

How to Develop Training Quality Standards” also includes a list of questions for quality reviewers about training materials and their content, text, graphics, navigation, media, and technical aspects. 

About the Author
Patty Gaul is a senior writer/editor for the Association for Talent Development (ATD).
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