What Have We Really Learnt in 2015

As we approach the end of the year we await the many blogs that review the year’s learning, reflections on the Big Events and the top ten things about XZY learning.

However we wanted to reflect on our experiences this year, as a business we deepened our relationship with the Training Foundation and aligned our joining criteria to their TAP qualifications as a result we were able to reduce our annual membership fees by almost 70% is some cases.

We also attended two of the big conferences this year: Learning and Skills in January which we felt is a poor relation to Learning Tech and we also attended World Of Learning in September. We attend World of Learning every year and are a big supporter of their work.

However at World of Learning this year we confirmed that it was by far our best year ever, and we reflected on why.

Some of the reasons we that we had a new and exciting story to tell, in that we launched our new membership joining criteria on the first day of the event. We were surprised at how well that was received.

Another reason my have been due to changes to our quality mark, which no longer requires membership of the Institute in order to become assessed.

Also World of Learning had some news strategies they held a Learning Design Live event and a fringe seminar programme.

We also compared World or Learning to Learning and Skills; our view is that because L&S is partnered with Learning Tech and based in London more people attend, however, many in our opinion are there anyway and come for a nose about, whereas World of Learning is based at the NEC in Birmingham as a result less people attend this event. Whilst less people attend the event we believe that attendees have to make an effort to go, therefore they are going for a reason.

We feel that this is what makes World of Learning a better show; again this year (2015) was still the best year ever with more people expressing an interest in joining the Institute than any of the previous events.

Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring have been forgotten cousins of the learning and development profession.

There are many theories about why this might be, one of the main arguments for this is due to the proliferation of Life Coaches in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but at the British Institute for Learning & Development we believe that coaching is an integral part of L&D.

Coaching isn’t a new art, it’s as old as teaching! there have been sports coaches for years, I used to be a bit of an amateur runner and in 1986/7 I had a running coach as part of the team that I trained with, I’m now a coach myself for Kickboxing.

What has changed in recent years is that coaching has gone from the sports arena into business, I don’t know when this change occurred but it was significant.

Coaching isn’t mainstream but the principles that have been developed from time immemorial have been applied to the business world and, more importantly, have now been enhanced. Coaches can now take coaching qualifications such as those offered by the Training Foundation.

The point of this blog isn’t to discuss what coaching is, there are plenty of sites for that, this is about the professionalism of the coaching industry. We see coaching and mentoring as an essential skills that anyone involved in L&D should have even if you don’t hold a qualification it’s likely that you exhibit those traits.

What is a new development is that some companies are now appointing Mentors not as a full time job but as a part-time role alongside their full time role.

Anyone involved in Coaching is part of the learning and development industry, therefore should look to become suitably qualified and then join a professional body. Those involved in mentoring are often at the very beginning of an exciting and reward new career path in learning and development, we’re in a position to help you explore that.

We’re holding a CPD event on the 2nd December on the topic of coaching and mentoring – more information can be found HERE

Rich Wootten

Business Manager for the British Institute for Learning & Development.