Training is developed for the work that associates are engaged for and will be delivered during the first few weeks of their engagement (length and type of training is dependent upon the client and work being undertaken).
The training may be delivered by trainers provided by the client or by Huntswood subject to the engagement, and it is expected that they will have some understanding/experience of the roles that they will be training for.
There may be tests during the training that must be passed to progress.
Practical exercises may form part of the initial training with case studies that can be worked by the associates to understand the practical application of the information they have been taught.
Where possible, subject to the engagement, client requirements etc, it is recommended that a ‘trainee’ work their first live case in the training environment so that they are supported.
Route to Competence
Following the completion of training, associates enter a period where they should be supported through the development of their competence in the role they have been engaged for, known as Route to Competence (RTC).
Typically, during this period ‘normal’ production expectations will not apply (a reduced target/expectation is typical – increasing incrementally to the ‘normal’ target/ expectation level) and it may be necessary to work longer hours during the first few weeks to complete the work required. The RTC period needs to be clearly defined and progress against this should be tracked and communicated in a timely manner so the associates understand how they are progressing, where they need to improve and if any further support or training intervention is needed.
Additional support should be provided by the Team Leader (TL) and/or a Subject Matter Expert (SME) that is dedicated and aligned to specific individuals or a team and accompanies them through their RTC journey. This approach helps to build trust and a relationship between the ‘trainee’, TL and the SME and ensures a good understanding of what has/has not been covered during RTC.
Records should be maintained from the outset, in line with client requirements, which should include details of all cases worked through RTC, and confirmation of sign-off. A training and competency file (T&C) should be maintained for each associate where appropriate.
The TL should ensure that the individuals are receiving feedback on each case worked, prior to the next case being submitted – this will allow them to apply the learnings, and not fall foul of the same error time and time again. If this is not possible it should be raised with the EM/SDM and a risk-based decision made as to what is practical.
When Training / RTC is Not Going to Plan
Where an associate is failing to make progress or progress is not in line with expectations during training or the RTC period, further support or training should be offered where possible and the RTC period extended if agreed with the client.
Where progress within the training environment is not at the expected levels, discussions between the trainer and associate should take place to determine what additional support is needed. Required actions, progress expectations, timescales and review checkpoints must be documented and communicated to the associate, having first been agreed with the EM/Head of Site/Operations Manager.
Where additional support is needed post training there needs to be engagement between the associate and their Team Leader/Ops Manager and EM/SDM where relevant to manage and agree additional support, what these interventions might be, e.g. self-study, coaching, on the job training or an academy approach and timescales for improvement, along with agreed progress checkpoints.
This should be fully documented and this should be retained and shared with the associate, using a ‘Service Improvement Plan’ (SIP).
Where an associate does not make the required improvements the ‘Service Improvement’ section provides further details on steps to take.
Post Training and RTC
Once an associate has successfully completed their RTC there should be continued, reasonable opportunities to engage with training material along with opportunities for additional support for areas of improvement/ development as identified by the associate, their TL, Ops Manager or SME etc. This may be through:
- Access to training modules on an ad hoc basis
- Access to a ‘training academy’ that could provide tailored/bespoke support and coaching to help deliver quality and production targets for its case handling population.
There needs to be engagement between the associate and their Team Leader/Ops Manager to manage and agree additional support and what these interventions might be, e.g. self-study, coaching, on the job training or an academy approach. Again, timescales for any improvements identified should be agreed, along with appropriate checkpoints to review progress being made, using a SIP.