Rebels form breakaway institute

A rebel group of trainers has set up its own institute in an effort to give
training staff professional clout and represent their interests separately from
HR managers.

The Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL) was officially
launched this month. ITOL director Jeffrey Brooks said the organisation had the
backing to survive its first year by itself but would be looking for a
"critical mass" of membership in its second year to ensure its
financial security. Basic membership will cost £69.

Among benefits to be offered re professional qualifications, a regular
training journal, a web site and an advice line.

The group is currently considering how to develop certificate and
diploma-level qualifications.

Despite a string of complaints from trainers last year about the IPD, Brooks
denied the creation of ITOL was a direct threat, saying, "It will have a
much wider audience than the IPD and a different composition of

But he added, "We see training as a distinctly different profession
from personnel – the IPD doesn’t seem to recognise that divide."

An IPD spokesman said the organisation was not surprised or concerned by the

Most trainers in the IPD were happy with the organisation, he added.
"It is important to trainers to see where people management and
development fits into the business case rather than saying, ‘We are a special
niche and that is what we are going to focus on’."

Training managers gave a mixed response. "To have a splinter group
weakens the overall impact," said Joe Eason, training manager at Corus.
"But with all the government initiatives I can understand trainers
questioning if there is enough exposure."

Joy Heward, people development manager at Heathrow-based Gate Gourmet, said
she would consider joining the new institute.

Trainers need access to more specialised development, she argued. "The
IPD is very HR-based," she said.

By Tom Powdrill

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