This article is mainly aimed towards managers responsible for training within organisations but there are lessons to be learned for everybody in here.I deliver training all over the country to a huge diversity of sectors and people. I deliver long courses, short courses and online courses. The organisations I work with range from small businesses to large multi nationals and government bodies. There is only one thing that every single training course we run has in common and that is that somebody has identified A TRAINING NEED around security.
This need may have been identified from a risk assessment, an employee suggestion, a legal requirement or sometimes an incident has already happened and there is a need to prevent it happening again. The most common scenario is that something has happened and there is pressure either internally or externally to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This is changing slightly in the past number of years and I’m seeing some organisations who are very proactive in addressing security issues before they become a reality. Once a training need around security has been identified an organisation usually acts. This is because the impact of not acting is so great when it comes to security. Nobody wants to be the person who needs to explain why they didn’t act after something goes wrong. However just as important as acting on the training need and having the training delivered is what you do before and after the training. The training audit trail.
Start of the trail
One of the first things I ask to see before when meeting with prospective clients is their current policies in relation to security. This can include risk assessments, operational procedures and reporting guidelines. When delivering training to any organisation it is vital to me and to the clients audit trail that our training is supported by the contents of their policies. We often find that clients have limited policies around security as it a very difficult area to manage in any workplace. Many clients have been winging it for years and hoping for the best. In these cases we are happy to help with this prior to the training in order to safeguard the clients interest. These parts have to be in place before any worthwhile training can even be considered. This is the beginning of the audit trail.
The training delivery then forms another significant part of the audit trail. Who delivers the training? Are they qualified? Do they issue certificates? Can they stand over their material later if an incident happens. All of this needs to be documented as part of the delivery process. Selecting a quality training provider is an area for another blog post but it is a vital part of the audit trail. If you book into a training a course because it was the cheapest one you will get what you pay for. If you book onto it becomes it looks flashy and promises all sorts of “tactics” you will most likely get lots of flash and not a lot of substance.
The final part of the audit trail is what happens after the training is delivered. Are employees implementing what they have been shown? Where is this being documented? Are incidents being recorded effectively? What’s happens when an employee doesn’t follow their training? All of these questions and the evidence generated by their answers also form part of the audit trail and complete a quality conflict reduction system.
Mostly importantly will your trainer stand up in court when things go wrong and stand behind what they taught you? Will their training background and qualifications stand up to scrutiny. Are their training support materials in place and legally sound? The onus is on you to check this out before you attend or purchase a training programme. Never be afraid to ask the questions beforehand, the good trainers won’t have an issue with supplying it. Just because somebody claims to be an ex something doesn’t make them a good trainer or make their programmes any good either. Being an ex door supervisor, security manager, police officer or soldier makes you good at that job certainly. It can also add skills and knowledge to your training toolbox but it doesn’t make you a good trainer or deliver a good programme. Consistent delivery of quality supported training does.
Is it important?
You may ask why the audit trail is important? The answer is that the audit trail becomes hugely important once something happens. An incident is badly handled or an unforeseen emergency happens. When questions are then asked by management, employees, insurers or authorities is when the importance of a solid audit trail becomes evident. An audit trail that started with a solid policy and procedure backed up by a thorough risk assessment and was communicated to staff via a quality training programme and supported by supervision and reporting afterwards. This is something that can be stood behind and offers huge protection to organisations and individuals.
Delivering this type of quality audit trail doesn’t need to be resource or time consuming. A good quality training programme supported by some work on the support processes can go a long way to making the audit trail a part of daily working life.