Getting Engagement: Passing skills along

Holly training colleagues on the T o THolly Hass has been on the staff of Institute members, TWR, for 20 years working in learning and development in Africa. Returning to the headquarters in the USA Holly recognised a need...

How do you equip people to become trainers when there appears to be no budget for training or at least it is not a priority? How do you develop trainers in an organization where training happens all the time, but yet training overall is not a priority of leadership?  What do you do when nobody has the time or the budget or their supervisors don’t see the need for them to take the time or spend the budget for training? It’s an issue we all face in one degree or another.

I’ve been with TWR for 20 years, and now in my third region. America, my country of birth. While volunteering in a training consultant role this past year, I had the opportunity to nonchalantly make a lot of observations. An observational needs analysis if you will.  Many people in the corporate headquarters deliver training, and some them well. But they could be better and more efficient if these folks had gone through a Training of Trainers (ToT) course. Although based in the USA, many folks from this office are often travelling and involved to some degree in training overseas.

I approached one department head about holding a ToT with their team and initially they were on board. We were going to open it up to others in the office as well and share costs. Well…when push came to shove this department pulled out. So, conducting a ToT in the traditional one-week style wasn’t going to work.

I observed a need. I had no budget. I didn’t have enough people at the same time because they didn’t see the need, or have the time or budget, etc. I had to think outside the box. We set goals to cast a vision for quality training events; raise the bar of these events; and create a common training language In March, I went to four people who I knew were delivering training. After explaining the ToT course. They were interested. For a couple weeks in April and May we met and went through the ToT course materials. In our discussions, they were immediately explaining how they were planning on using this material in their next events.

Their excitement from the ToT spread to a few others. This time I sent an email out to the entire office to see who was interested. 23 July 23-10 August six new people signed up. This time I was able to utilise a few other trainers via Zoom and a couple from the previous ToT helped facilitate sessions. Yes, this is unorthodox, and not ideal. But…

  • Ten people were trained in ToT and are EXCITED and immediately began to apply it.
  • Vision was cast for quality training events, and now there is a core group in this office to carry on what quality training looks like.
  • A variety of departments were represented in the ToT. My hope is that internal training events will improve as well as our training and service to our National Partners.
  • Because of the ToT, a common training language has developed. It’s already present in other regions like TWR Africa and TWR Europe and now it’s here.

Training colleaguesEveryone agreed to meet in November to discuss the ICTI Certificate in Training process. We’re all gathering together every month or two to encourage each other in our training skills.

It’s no longer one person saying this or that about training. It’s now 10 people from nine different departments talking about needs analysis, learning styles, session plans, measurable results, SMART objectives, etc. And the few out-of-pocket expenses were covered by charging a small fee for each student covered by their department.


The Institute’s Training of Trainers courses are available for members to deliver in their organisations with help from the training team. Contact

Last modified: Friday, 26 October 2018, 11:24 AM