I have been working as an admin assistant in the training department of an
NHS trust for 12 months and have reached a dead end. I would like to be
involved in training, but I am not making any progress. What can I do?
Margaret Malpas, joint managing director of Malpas Flexible Learning
Does your line manager know that you feel you are in a dead end? I wonder if
you chatted this through or used the appraisal system, whether your manager
might be willing to help you achieve your objectives. After all, it’s much
easier to manage motivated staff and you are unlikely to be all
"bushy-tailed" if you feel you’ve reached the end of the road.
You might be able to get some involvement in training as an enrichment to
your current role. Perhaps you can suggest some things you could do which would
assist the trainer, eg handle call assessment sheets. The first step from
training administration to delivering training is often a very big step to
organise, so a small move in that direction would actually be a big step
The next thing to think about is what you are equipped to train others in.
What are you very knowledgeable about? Is there a need to train others in this?
But don’t forget that training has its less glamorous aspects too. Would you
feel secure with participants commenting upon and scoring your work on a daily
After this you could think about training for yourself, and a good course
would be the Certificate in Training Practice. Perhaps your current employer
would sponsor you and you would meet others in training admin roles on this
Anna Cook, consultant at Chiumento Consulting Group
If you are happy within the organisation but frustrated by your lack of
involvement in training issues consider what differences you would like in your
area of responsibility. When you feel you can talk about the changes you would
like to make, speak to your boss or one of the management team. Perhaps some
relatively easy changes to your job scope could offer you the challenge you
You have gathered a good knowledge about how the department runs. If
"involved in training" means designing/delivering courses, it is
useful to have detailed knowledge about the workings of a trust as a whole.
With this, programmes can be anchored in real experience/made more
vivid/relevant to participants. Any experience of how customer departments work
is useful, especially if carried out with the possibility of a return to
training as and when a suitable opportunity arises. Also remember that training
is about strategic thinking not purely standing up and presenting.