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Can ongoing training help your long-term approach to continual improvement?

01 February 2023
Picture this...You’re new to ISO certification and go on a course for an introduction. Great course, great tutor but will this be enough to demonstrate to your organisation that you are committed to achieving continual improvement?

Reflecting on the last 6 months of NQA Training, we are starting to see this pattern of aiming for continual improvement. It's a requirement in the majority of popular ISO standards and therefore it's apparent that delegates are planning an ongoing training journey, starting from beginner level Introduction courses towards more in-depth courses such as Internal Auditor courses. This means that they not only improve their own skillset and knowledge-base but in turn, that of their management system(s) and organisation.

The vast majority of ISO standards link back to Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) and this can also be applied to training in your organisation

Plan – Identifying the training needs in your organisation. This may be an immediate problem such as new employees with limited knowledge or an opportunity to improve experienced employees by updating their knowledge. It is important at this stage to understand your success criteria for the training so this can be reviewed at the Check stage.

Do – Complete the training. Gain the knowledge required which was highlighted in the Plan stage. This may be part of, or all of the training required. For some delegates breaking down training courses into manageable chunks, such as shorter e-Learning courses, and then moving on to courses that increase in difficulty over time, supports memory retention of the topic being trained but also increases confidence of the delegate in what they are learning.

Check – Review whether the training resulted in the success criteria being met in the Plan stage? This may be the employee putting what they have learnt into practice in their organisation and seeing what they results are. This is a time for reflection to understand if additional training might be required.

Act – Implement what has worked and continually refine to continue the cycle. If the training worked for this individual, are there other employees that need similar training or using the same methodology. This training needs model then becomes the standard approach, however should also be adapted at this stage to continually make it better.

How does this show continual improvement and how does this work in reality?

Plan – An employee who has worked at a company for a number of years is the ISO Internal Auditor however only completed an introduction course to internal auditing a while back. The organisation might identify that the internal auditor needs more experience and would benefit from a refresher course to update their knowledge.

Do – The employee is sent on a more advanced NQA ISO Internal Auditor training course. There will be some overlap; however, there is a chance for the employee to practice and sharpen skills, learn of updates and potentially learn from other delegates and calibrate their experience in a safe environment.

Check – The employee continues to conduct internal audits at their organisation, with their new skills. The employee will not only have an increased confidence, however will also ensure that the skills they have learnt are being completed correctly and can add a benefit to your business and the management system by introducing new or improved processes.

Act – 'Refresher training' is added into the training plan periodically with reviews to look at taking even more advanced courses. Employees are noticed to be much more satisfied when an organisation focuses on their personal development, feeling more knowledgeable, confident and empowered, leading to increased retention and higher productivity levels within the organisation.

How can NQA Training help this?

We hold a number of virtual courses throughout the year to suit your organisation, ranging from beginner introduction courses right through to more advanced courses, with everything in-between. Virtual courses also help to alleviate unnecessary travel and time expenses.

If you would like something for a group of employees in your organisation, we can offer In-House ISO Training which can be tailored to your organisation. The benefits of this mean that everyone learns together, and examples can be directed to your industry for greater understanding and relevance.

We also offer a number of E-Learning courses which can be completed at a time to suit you. These are bitesize information learning courses designed to provide registrants with a brief initial overview and awareness into a specific topic or standard.

We host training for:

If you're unsure which training course might be best suited to you, take a look at our Journey Guide.

Take a look at our range of training courses and book online here. Please feel free to contact us if you need any assistance.