The new Institute of Training and Occupational Learning aims to reinstate training as a profession in its own right, rather than as a sub-division of HR management. Director Jeffrey Brooks explains how the new body will differ from the alternatives
The Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL) has been developed as a result of discussions within a group of practising trainers who have informally networked over a number of years to aid their own development. We had become increasingly frustrated by what we saw as a lack of support and encouragement for the recognition and development of training as a distinct profession rather than a subsumed and minor part of HR management.
Listening to our ourselves - and to the wider rumblings of discontent about these issues from other trainers - and waiting in vain for someone else to take the initiative, we were eventually forced to conclude that we would have to do something about it ourselves.
The institute was set up in February with myself as full-time director based in Stockport, Cheshire. I am taking a year out of my own training consultancy to establish ITOL.
Here to stay
We believe we are here to stay. We have the funds to sustain the institute for one year irrespective of membership take-up rate. However, we need to have reached a critical mass of membership by the beginning of next year to finance the following year’s operations.
Initial response has been most encouraging with lots of membership information requests and applications together with a number of messages of support including some from rather surprising sources.
So what is different about ITOL and what would encourage trainers to join? I suppose the first thing that needs to be said is that we believe ITOL is the only body of its kind in the UK solely committed to trainers and development practitioners. This means that our membership may be drawn from people working as trainers in industry, commerce or the armed forces, from training and development consultants and from those working in vocational education in further or higher education.
It is a wide audience and it involves people working in a wide variety of roles and operational circumstances but the common link throughout is that they all help others to learn and are interested in how to make that learning process more effective. Many have looked at other professional institutions such as th