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Training design is not an art (Salas and Cannon-Bowers, 2000), but rather should be a systematic process that allows for the creation of an environment that enables dissemination of the non-technical skills required to improve job performance. This chapter has outlined the steps that should be taken when designing a non-technical skills training course. It is recognised that limitations in terms of personnel, time resource and access may mean that it is not possible to carry out the steps exactly as described above. Nevertheless, the efforts made to complete a systematic approach to training development will pay off in terms of the quality and relevance of the training, and as a mechanism for enhancing individual, team and organisational effectiveness.

Key points

  • • A training needs assessment is an easy step to ignore, or ‘pay lip service to’, but it is crucial for the design of an effective non-technical skills training course. The needs assessment should be based upon a training requirements assessment and used to formulate training objectives.
  • • The training method and strategy should be based upon the type of skills to be trained, time and resources available. Further, it is likely that a combination of different methods and strategies will be the most appropriate.
  • • Training evaluation is crucial to ensure that the training course is meeting its objectives. A training evaluation should be carried out at as many levels of Kirkpatrick’s hierarchy as is practicable, and an evaluation design appropriate to meet the evaluation issues that need to be addressed.
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