Before any training begins, it is important that you meet the needs of your target audience. You may wish to gather your information by interviewing typical candidates or sending out a questionnaire.
The aim is to build a generic program which meets the needs of the type of group that you wish to train, rather than the needs of the particular individuals interviewed (the latter is customized training, when the knowledge and experience of the particular trainees would be taken into account, and the training designed or adapted accordingly).
Summary of the Planning Phase
- Use the Identifying Training Needs Questionnaire
- Meet with people in the licensed trade
- Gather "hard data" on the licensed trade, such as numbers and types of premises (from your local licensing authority or a government statistics office).
- Look at the 5 W’s
- Decide whether there will be one course for everyone or if there should be different types of courses
- Decide the length of the course (shorter is more attractive to the trade).
- Create a course outline. All courses should have an introduction and present
the content of the course in sections; use a variation of activities (see page 9)
and end with a recap and evaluation section.
Identifying Training Needs Questionnaire
Q1. What tasks does your job include? (tick all that apply)
- Pouring alcoholic drinks
- Taking customer orders
- Giving customers advice about food or drink choices
- Serving customers alcoholic drinks
- Refusing service to customers when appropriate
- Clearing up
Q2. What do you think you need to know in order to serve alcohol safely?
Q3. What key areas should training cover to help you do this?
Q4. Is there any topic or piece of information that you think should be covered but which hasn’t already been mentioned? If so, please state:
Q5. If you were to attend the training session, which of the following formats would you prefer it to take?
- Short units, delivered over 2 or more sessions
- One-day course
- Other (please state)
- Delivered by independent trainers
- Delivered by your manager using a pre-designed pack
- Delivered by a local college
The 5 W’s
The success of a training course depends on a great number of variables. It is important that you have decided exactly what you would like to achieve with the training. To help with this, you should answer five questions – the 5 W’s.
Why? - Ask why you are training at all. What are you trying to achieve? What should learners think or do at the end of the course?
What? - Ask what the course content should be. What can you put over in the available time? At what expertise level will you pitch your teaching? What equipment, handouts and materials will you need?
Who? - Ask at whom is the course aimed. What sort of variables will you need to consider, such as level, knowledge and prior experience? Also consider learners’ expectations and mind set.
When? - Ask whether the timing of the course is good for your target audiences and for you. Consider the time of year, time of week and time of day.
Where? - Ask about and prepare the course environment. Consider the room, the layout, breaks, interruptions and temperature.
You’ll need to decide:
- Target Group
Who your key target group is (e.g., bar staff or managers, or staff from a particular type of premises - such as
staff of off-sales premises)
Whether you will have variations of the course for different types of premises (e.g., off-sales, bars, late night premises)
How long the course should last and whether it should be in one session or more. Most server training
programs last one day or less. Courses just for staff tend to be shorter (e.g., 4 hours compared to 6 hours for
a managers’ course). Some people prefer to do a course in 2 or 3 sessions (e.g., 2 x 3 hours or 3 x 2 hours). It is
possible to have a course that can be run either as short sessions or as one long session.
You will need to decide whether or not there should be a test at the end of the course. Some courses start with
training alone. Then, as they develop and become more well known, a test is added.
If you do decide to have a test, you are best to work with a suitable awarding body to develop this, if possible. In
any case, most participants will appreciate receiving a certificate, even if it is just a certificate of attendance.These can take many forms. See what your target market would like: for some, a card maybe more attractive than
a paper certificate.
Hints and Tips: Planning Course Timing
When planning a course, always allow time for things such as:
- People arriving late at the start of the session
- Breaks over-running by a couple of minutes
- Moving into small groups and reconvening the whole group
- Learners going over the time allowed for tasks or small-group work
Some of this can be minimized:
- Be clear when giving instructions about timing
- Have a clock in the room that everyone can see and use to judge the length of time left for an exercise / break / etc.
- Give time checks, e.g., "5 minutes left"
- Insist that learners stop the task when the allotted time has passed
Designing the Exercises to be Used in a Course
What are you trying to achieve with the course?
Is it to give people facts?
Is it to change people’s opinions or behavior?
Is it to give them skills?
Probably, it’s a bit of all three. You will need to give people facts about the laws governing the sale of alcohol in their country and about alcohol as a substance. You will need to ensure that everyone shares the same opinion: that alcohol should be served responsibly. You want people to improve their practice and change the way they do things in order to ensure that they serve alcohol responsibly in their premises.
Getting people to learn facts, influencing their opinions or behavior and giving them skills require different methods of training.
You need to plan how best to present information so that participants understand, learn and remember it. There are some key points to consider. 1. Retain learners’ interest throughout the course:
The brain can only focus on one thing for about 10-15 minutes. After this, it needs to be stimulated again. As a Trainer, this means that you should aim to change something every 10 or 15 minutes.
- Change the topic (e.g., move onto a different subject / take a break)
- Change the type of exercise (e.g., quiz / discussion / lecture / video / group task / small-group work)
- Change people’s positions in the room (e.g., make them move seats or stand / get everyone to stand up and stretch / take a break)
- Change the way in which information is presented (e.g., PowerPoint / flipchart / video / picture / flowchart / list / anecdote or story)
Trainers should also vary their own tone of voice and position (e.g., sitting, standing) to fit with the exercise and to avoid becoming boring or monotonous.2. Five main factors in how the brain recalls:
- We are more likely to remember the beginning of events or the first in a series of events
- Equally, we are more likely to remember the end of events or the last in a series of events
- Recall falls rapidly after 24 hours without review
- We remember unusual things exceedingly well
- Recall is high for things linked by a story or obvious pattern
It is therefore important that we use activities that take this into consideration. 3. Review is important:
We know that, in the short term, recall falls rapidly without review. This also affects long-term memory. When a message is given once, the brain remembers 10% one year later; when it is given six times, recall rises to 90%. Training must include recap, repeat and review. 4. Use Multimedia:
Each side of the brain - left and right - responds to and stores different sorts of information. The left brain deals with logic, and the right brain with artistic or creative activities. People can store visual, hearing and feeling information. Trainers should aim to use a variety of exercises and activities and so engage different parts of the brain. Because the information will be stored in more than one part of the brain, the Trainer has multiplied the chances of the learners remembering the message.
- Visual - Pictures, scenes, images, logos, diagrams, graphs, charts, photos, drawings
- Hearing - Words, music, sounds, accents, conversations
- Feeling - Emotions, smells, tastes, tactile experiments, pain / comfort
"When a message is given once, the brain remembers 10%
one year later; when it is given six times, recall rises to 90%."
Summary of Activity Types
|Type of activity||How it can be used||Good for:|
|Throughout history and across all cultures, humans have learned from stories.
These can be funny or unusual stories – the brain finds it easier to remember unusual things and things that we can relate to our own experiences.||✔||✔||✔|
|Questions||Questions can be used to establish current levels of knowledge; to check that new information has been understood; to review learned material.
Questions to which learners have to work out the answer engage their interest and thought processes more, meaning they are more likely to remember the answers.
Short, closed questions can be used to get agreement and establish a logical argument to influence opinion.||✔||✔|| |
|Lectures can be used to give facts. Little participation is required from learners. Learners may be encouraged to make their own notes during the lecture and / or the information can be backed up with handouts. Best accompanied by a visual aid (see page 27).||✔|| || |
|Written quizzes||Written quizzes can be used in the same way as verbal questioning. Written quizzes ensure that all candidates have the opportunity to come up with answers. Quizzes are best done in small groups, where learners will benefit from discussion with their partners, and there is less risk of them feeling anxious if they don’t know the answer.||✔||✔|| |
|Discussion||Discussion can either be in small groups or involve the class as a whole.||✔||✔||✔|
|Video / DVD||Video clips can be used to present information or to illustrate a type of scenario or skill.||✔||✔||✔|
|Pictures / Diagrams||It is said, "A picture can say a thousand words". Pictures can help make key points clear and tend to be more easily remembered.||✔||✔|| |
|Role-play||Role-play should be used to practise situations in a safe environment. Care should be taken to ensure that feedback deals with the character that was being portrayed, and is not personal.|| ||✔||✔|
|Recap / Summarize||It is important to emphasize the key points – repeating is important for memory.
Recapping topics learned earlier gives the Trainer the opportunity to relate it to the current topic under discussion and reinforce earlier topics in the context of the new things you’re talking about.||✔|| || |
|Case studies||Case studies can be used to illustrate various points and processes. The Trainer must be clear about all information and be able to answer questions as required.|| ||✔||✔|
|Action plans||These can help to provide a "bridge" to get the learning back to the workplace.|| ||✔||✔|
|Games||Games must have clear learning objectives. They are often used as an "ice breaker" at the beginning of the course to get people used to working together and for waking people up.|| ||✔||✔|
|Assignments||Learners have to find out information or skills for themselves.||✔|| ||✔|