Training Service Providers


Policy for when a facilitator becomes ill

This topic contains 75 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Skills Universe 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #28490

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Hello fellow training providers

    I would like to ask advice for a scenario where you have contracted to provide a particular training session for a client booked at an external venue, and the facilitator who is scheduled to do the training takes violently ill and only notifies you on the morning of the training … what would most of you do?  Cancel the training? Try to find a substitute?  Do any of you have a reserve trainer on standby every time?  And do you have policies in place to deal with such a scenario?  What is fair and reasonable and what is industry practice and standard?

    Thanks

    Kerrin

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  • #28561

    Hi Kerrin,

    From a trainer’s point of view, there are times when things happen and we really can’t prevent it…we are human too. If I have been unable to train, then I would not invoice the company for the training. Hopefully, the client would be understanding and reschedule. I once offered my clients a free lunch when my trainer did not pitch up and offered to train at their premises a week later, and they were very happy with this.

    One of the companies I freelance for does have other freelance trainers as backup. There isn’t a shortage of trainers out there. But I think it is important to note that the trainer themselves should have a standby in cases like this. If I am unable to perform due to circumstances beyond my control, it should be my duty to substitute an equally qualified trainer in my place.

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  • #28560

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    If you have a stand by Facilitator, you have the best option, but is this always possible? Most contract Facilitators would want to be paid to stand by, since they would not be working on the day. If you are lucky enough, you might find one. I think the real issue here is agreed Terms and Conditions to limit your liability as a Provider. While some clients may be understanding and accept the failure to provide the training service, some may be asking for the cost of venues, travel and accommodation for delegates and other related costs which would have been lost as a result of failure to provide the course. In the absence of some agreement on how to handle a no-show, you may have a hard time denying liability for costs incurred by the client. Google “terms and Conditions for Training Services”, you will find a whole lot that you can adapt and attach to agreements with clients. This will also protect you from the costs you would incur if clients did not show for training or cancelled all too late for you to avoid them. You can also loo at ours at http://www.pmads.co.za/legal – feel free to adapt or give me ny suggestions on the T’s and C’s we use.

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  • #28559

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Thank you Shakira.

    The issue is around whose responsibility it is to have the backup: the training provider or the trainer?  I would think the training provider.

    What happens when a substitute is just not available at such short notice?

    And what if the client is simply not understanding of circumstances beyond your control and will not allow for a re-run or a suitable action to remedy the situation?  What if huge costs were involved to book the venue and fly in delegates?  Or if the training was for top management?

    I would like to know if other training providers always ensure a back up is on standby?  If so, under what circumstances?

    And if not, do your terms and conditions inform the customer of their options should unforeseen circumstances arise such as the sudden illness of the facilitator?  If so – could you share your clauses?

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  • #28558

    Well said Tom

    Personally, When I was a Training Manager, the only facilitator’s that would use the “violently ill” excuse were the ones who just weren’t prepared. I found that with my biggest deals, I would then use my best and most reliable trainers, and very often myself… It helps to be a qualified trainer too 😉 This way, we eliminated excuses on the day of training.

    I completely agree with Tom. The “Terms and Conditions” are everything.

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  • #28557

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Hi Shakira

    We have some common thoughts on the Terms….but “violently ill” as only an excuse? I am not so sure.

    Having said that, I saw one of my facilitators show up with a drip strapped to his upper arm and delivered the course while on treatment for septicaemia. I am still not sure what to make of this…but the guy is still with me and one of the most reliable. The reason I raise this is because I have certainly heard my share of excuses which made me think about preparation. This is generally when I hear reasons such as “sinus” ( most of Gauteng nowadays) or headache, toothache and other bull. This being said, I do believe the topic of this discussion is a real threat to many in training. It’s never an issue when a delegate is ill or late. It can never be the same for a Facilitator. We have a saying/rule in our company: “You can never be late for training”. No traffic, no illness no excuse. But we are human, and cross training/multiskilling to make the most of our Facilitator capacity is always at the top of our agenda. We also collaborate with other Providers and Associates when we reach capacity or emergencies. I do agree, it helps to be a Facilitator in more ways than just as a stand-by. While my suggestion for Terms may protect the Provider,  they don’t do much for the client relationship if you have to invoke terms and by so doing, you may be telling the client that you do not have the capacity to manage their needs. One cannot prepare for all contingencies, but perhaps there is some answer in all the waffle I just posted. 🙂

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  • #28556

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Thank you Tom and Shakira

    I am wondering whether it is prudent of the training provider to manage the risk of a no show for such important training projects that simply MUST happen on a given date and with given delegates and where the stakes are high, by building into the costs a stand by fee in case of such circumstances.

    I will certainly take a look at your Ts and Cs. Thank you for generously sharing. Ours are on our website too http://www.leadingtraining.co.za.  I think it is time for a tweak to cover ourselves.

    Come to think of it, the small print of most contracts with big corporates tries to limit liability in the case of unforseen circumstances.

    @Shakira – we have been fortunate to work with mostly reliable facilitators and we are careful to match the facilitator to the client.  But I do take your point.  I don’t think we have had a poor excuse before.   Most freelancers are happy to get work and eager to prove their competence.  This was a true case of “man down”. 

    I really appreciate both of your input.

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  • #28555

    I saw one of my facilitators show up with a drip strapped to his upper arm and delivered the course while on treatment for septicaemia.”

    Now that is a keeper!!! True dedication!

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  • #28554

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    or management 🙂

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  • #28553

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    I have had facilitators arrive and train through flu and bronchitis (yes), bladder infections, sinus, headaches, kidney stones and back pain.  They really are a tough bunch.  But when this one threw up in his car on the way in with violent gastro … I had to admit – he couldn’t train.

    Just wish the client was so understanding.

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  • #28552

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Love your Ts & Cs Tom – thanks for generously sharing.

     “Industry standards” – wish those were clearly written down and had the buy in of most in the industry.

    Are any of you members of http://www.appetd.org.za ?

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  • #28551

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Asking for a standby fee is probably tantamount to asking the client to take out an insurance policy against your failure to deliver. Do you really want to consider this? If the project is as critical as you explain in the last post – no terms, no fees, just standby. If you have someone who would be occupied in other ways, like assessments or admin in the office which can be placed on hold if the need arises, all the better. There is always something for a Facilitator to do outside the classroom if the standby is not needed. Perhaps even send them both to train, they can only learn from each other and impress the client with your abundance of resources.

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  • #28550

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    You are welcome. The T&C’s have only ever been quoted when individuals (never our corporate clients whom we allow to torment us in many ways) tried to cancel at the last minute. I have often quoted their last movie ticket – the movie will be screened whether you take your seat or not. I don’t think anyone has ever gone through with the cancellations. My understanding from such people is that funerals have been postponed, car accidents where not as serious as they initially thought and the labour pains were, in fact, indigestion, and uncle came back to life. I am not joking here!

    Please let me know if you find anything we should change.

    As for appetd, I was, can’t remember what peeved me into abandoning the effort in it’s infancy all those years ago. I will have a look again.

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  • #28549

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    I think we should start a thread to list the most debilitating conditions Facilitators have taken into classrooms and set industry standard for acceptable excuses.

    I know of a Facilitator who was so ill, he died in front of the class.

    Another, a young lady in Durban had an epileptic fit and resumed Facilitation when she recovered. It was, yes, a First Aid Class and the delegates took care of her. 

    By he way, did you just change your picture or has my screen changed colour?

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  • #28548

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Gosh!  Hectic.  Yes a thread on such stories would be a hoot. I could invite some war stories from our facilitators.  We have had some really interesting interventions.

    About my photo yes – I changed it.  The original was too small.  I need to take a recent photo.  All of my shots on my phone are of my kids!  No-one takes of me.  I am the family photographer.  Lots of photos with my kids, but a clear portrait?  None!

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  • #28547

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    LOL! “never our corporate clients whom we allow to torment us in many ways”  Ditto x 10.  I have grown to love the “little guys”.  Those faithful decent Mr and Ms Citizen who book, and pay, and come, and leave – happy!  They are balm to the training provider’s soul.  We sweat over our corporate clients.  They think we owe them the earth. And they still want a bulk discount!

    Though in truth, this year, finally, we hauled our cancellation policy out for a few corporates who wanted to bail out a day before, and surprisingly – they pitched on the day!  Not too happy with us, yes, but the next time around, they were more careful to ensure all of their people were committed to the dates.  

    It has to be fair.  We commit with the external experts (when in-house staff aren’t available to do that particular session), book catering, flights, accommodation, print manuals, certificates etc, and then they don’t pitch, and we are left with footing the bill with an irate facilitator.  

    I need to start a discussion about cancellation rates and terms with external / freelance facilitators for the times when the client pulls out at the last minute.  Perhaps another day. 

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  • #28546

    Graeme Lategan
    Participant

    Hopefully One day Kerrin I may get a response mail from you to collaborate – As a freelance facilitator I would do my best to not let you down – suppose I am the never ending Terminator Sequel…

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  • #28545

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Apologies Graeme.

    We have been snowed in with CVs and projects.  We are going to create an upload database where facilitators can upload their CVs and answer basic questions on their skills sets so that we are able to draw reports based on client’s needs and not have to trawl through emails to find CVs sent or read through CVs to check if there is a good match.  I will repost when we have that up and ready.

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  • #28544

    Graeme Lategan
    Participant

    Excellent – Look forward to meeting you and your team – and meeting your clientele expectations.

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  • #28543

    Petra Penninkhoff
    Participant

    The discussion made me realise that as a emerging training provider with just me as the trainer, I will to have to reflect on and develop a contingency plan. Your comments give me the necessary inputs.

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  • #28542

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    Hi all

    Interesting discussion on this issue. I would however not fully agree with Shakira on the “shortage” of facilitators not being a problem. I guess it depends on what type of training you are doing. Yes, there are many out there who can do first-aid and all the other legally required training and at affordable rates. But when you are involved in Continuous Professional Development, it is a different ball game. I once had a call from a training provider who wanted me to facilitate a course on the Fidic contracts. It was a Thursday and the course was booked and paid for by all the delegates and scheduled to start the next Monday. The facilitator (an advocate) they had on the course had to appear in the High Court and could not make it. They asked me to help out. I couldn’t, as I was already booked.

    They had to cancel, but at huge costs. Most of the delegates on courses I facilitate are project managers, engineers, architects, and even sometimes an attorney or compliance officer, some practicing for their own account. If you tell these people the course is cancelled due to a no-show, you are not going to have a claim or three on your hands. These courses are normally sold for R3000 plus per person, so we are not talking small refunds either. I have had delegates from Lesotho and Zimbabwe on courses in Randburg. You do not just cancel. You die trying.

    But, I would agree with Tom, to get T&C’s in place for those legitimate no-shows. “Sorry I cannot make it, I was admitted to hospital after a heart attack” would be a legitimate reason. But failing to prepare and then developing a sinus? I will claim from the facilitator. And that should be in the contract.

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  • #28541

    I think the best way is to agree on terms and conditions which include a clause which places an obligation on the facilitators to have their own ‘back-up’ trainers to substitute them. It is true that the training provider will also most probably have a training manager who might also be a back-up facilitator,  but the facilitator who ‘committed’ to the training must be held liable and accountable to the training provider in the same terms as the training provider is accountable to the client. Arrangements for  training sessions include many costly logistics, but the actual training puts the facilitator at ‘centre-stage’; the whole event becomes a training session only if there is a facilitator who delivers the training: the trainer should therefore back himself up from the minute he contracts to the provider; the ‘violent illness’ episode should be reported as a formality with the backup already on the way to the venue…ready and fully prepared to train as agreed upon in the provider-facilitator  contract.

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  • #28540

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

     Bulie, I would love to support your suggestion, but from a freelance point of view, you may find a lot of competition among facilitators, and sourcing a back-up (fully prepared and ready to go) is just not possible without an increase in the already costly logistics.

    I for one is based in Cape Town and most of the time I facilitate in Johannesburg. If back-up was available in Johannesburg, why not use the back-up in the first place? So a one-size-fits-all solution is highly unlikely.

    Nevertheless, further investigation into a possible solution are surely needed. 

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  • #28539

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    For specialised training interventions, you require a specialised facilitator.  It is very difficult in such circumstances to source a fully prepared and ready to go back up. But I do take Bulie’ point – backups in some form or another are necessary.  I think the responsibility lies more on the training provider than the freelance facilitator though.  We do try spread risk by ensuring that we have multiple skilled facilitators for generic courses, but for certain technical, specialised and programming courses – they are hard to find and are often not available on short notice.    We are dealing with reality vs what would be ideal.  And cost is a big issue.

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  • #28538

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Hi Rudy

    I have to agree that in the CPD space – trainers are few.  We are always scouring for affordable skilled facilitators.

    What would be your requirements for a legitimate illness? A doctor’s note? A list of chronic illnesses?

    All of us in the training space lay our heads on the block to ensure that training happens.  I think this is the freak event that I am speaking about.  Is it good management practice to have plans in place to deal with freak events?  ie should we build into the cost a fee for having someone in the wings should there be a freak “no show” – to save our reputation and to ensure that the customer gets benefit for the spend.

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  • #28537

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    I see a valid point here. The Provider commits and is accountable to the client. Why should the Provider not create accountability with the Facilitator? Just as a Provider needs to guarantee delivery of service, why should the Facilitator (as a sub contractor) not have the same obligation?

    I don’t know about the practicality of this suggestion, but if a Facilitator wants to be involved, they certainly need to offer some assurance that they can deliver. Costs are not necessary, freelance Facilitators could possibly form alliances to support each other, much like many Providers do with other Providers. Google “Star Alliance”, I first stumbled onto this during my airline days in HR, and see how the airline industry handles this on a global scale. Applying an alliance model here would probably need whole lot of ethics and trust.

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  • #28536

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    From a Provider’s point of view, I would certainly use the back up in the first place, to cut the obvious costs and risk associated with the logistics. I have spent many hours waiting for delayed flights.

    I get your point from a freelance business point of view. Quid pro quo with a potential JHB based freelance Facilitator may even expand your options. I for one, as a Provider who does engage freelance Facilitators, would most certainly look for local options.

    As I said in my reply to Bulie’s post, much trust and ethical practice is needed for the freelancers, who by the way are often a critical component of many Provider organisations, to make an alliance  work.

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  • #28535

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Most Providers probably have a database of their freelancers. Perhaps we need a central national registry right here. Something brief, searchable and free!

    Good for everyone.

    Site bosses, where are you?

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  • #28534

    Benjamin Nteko
    Participant

    Hello everyone

    This is a really interesting topic. We don’t have enough skilled and experienced trainers. Training is not just a job. It is also a calling. You need to understand people and never pretend. We have lots of trainers who claim to train but believe me or not, 75% of them are just taking chances for a quick buck. You can’t even understand them when they train. Another way of getting a good trainer guys is to hire someone who has ComTIA CTT +  because it requires a trainer to do a video that will be checked by training subject expects. The trainer only receives the qualification if they meet the international training standards. 

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  • #28533

    Ian Webster
    Participant

    Even if your facilitator provided you with a doctor’s note or hospital admission form, Kerrin, you are unlikely to present it to your client. As the facilitator, I wouldn’t present it to you in the first place, unless you asked for it. It sounds too much like ‘Gee, I’m sorry, but I do have a proper excuse, promise!’ 

    So far it hasn’t happened to me. I just keep praying it doesn’t!

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  • #28532

    Ian Webster
    Participant

    The theory is good, Tom, and may help in some cases. But as Rudi said earlier, he was contacted on the Thursday before training was to happen on the Monday, and he was not available. If you are contacted on the day, what is the real chance of finding someone available.

    By the way, thanks for sharing your Ts & Cs. I am grateful for the generosity I have found amongst fellow facilitators and providers. It’s a good place to be.

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  • #28531

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    Benjamin

    I do not think the question is about “good” trainers, but more about their own ethics and the issue of not showing up when required and their reasons(excuses). No certification can prevent this. Reputation is what counts, and to build that as a facilitator you have to be a subject matter expert with character. Everyone can read from a presentation or learning manual. Not everyone can captivate the delegates and get 85% plus positive feedback. 

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  • #28530

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    You are welcome. theory is always good. The practice is sometimes a call late Friday afternoon for training on Saturday morning. We do what we do.

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  • #28529

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Some screening is critical. But given the fact that I would be giving my flag to an unknown facilitator, I will not rely entirely on any certification. Facilitation qualifications are the start to the process.

    I have never, and never will, hire a permanent or contract Facilitator who has not presented one of my courses with a panel of my experts in the room. The process is really quite simple. I give the facilitator all the training materials and a few days to prepare. Assuming he/she has the subject matter expertise, it is more than enough time. If they present to the satisfaction of the panel, we have a relationship. Costly, time consuming but effective.

    I have lost count of the people who somehow have come to believe that being something of an extrovert or a subject matter expert makes one a trainer.

    I don’t know about 75% taking chances, but after many years in corporate HR, I have seen many who have become unemployed take one of two options: Garden Service or Training. By this premise, we are all horticulturists and trainers. Both are actually complex professions.

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  • #28528

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    Tom, I fully agree with your comment on trust and ethical practice. I also agree with the issue of liability to the training provider as sub-contractor and extension of the provider’s business. People use me because I do not give out business cards after the training and offer lower rates if contacted directly. Most of the material I have, I developed myself, and in some cases the intellectual property is owned by the training provider. Unless I have (and I do for some courses)an equally qualified “partner” or “alliance star” I would not even consider it. I would rather enter into a joint liability agreement with the training provider in the event of me failing to deliver.

    Not that I am knocking your suggestion, but the practicality thereof, as you correctly stated must be based on trust and ethics, but also on experience and education as subject matter expert. It is not impossible to achieve, all we need is what you have suggested below, a central database of facilitators which can be drawn from. As to the free? Well, who will host it, maintain it, do the administration of applications etc etc? And I can already see a few hands being raised. Good, but beware of falling into a boards and rackets game. Although not a member, and perhaps punting on their behalf, SAPTA is a possible good start. Charles and Alexander? Any comments?

    I have seen this with so many upcoming professions in the past. It does not last or achieve anything if it free, and the moment you add money, the issue of ethics becomes a bigger monster.

    Just Google “professional associations” for HR, Safety, etc and count the numbers in each discipline. 

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  • #28527

    Hi Benjamin,

    Much as I understand and appreciate your input,  I’d like to point out that the discussion is about ethics and the practice thereof and not so much about the quality of the qualifications of the facilitators. Highly qualified and internationally recognised professionals can become ‘violently’ ill, too; but the scheduled training which they are contracted to do  has to happen… ( because they have been selected by a provider who recognises their ‘abilities’ from the qualifications they have presented)…If they come up with last-minute excuses …valid or otherwise, then the provider has to question their ethics and not their qualifications. Thank you for the input. I think it does add value to what i hope is the providers’ continuing search for quality facilitators. However,  their ethics will be questioned if they do not turn up at training venues.

     

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  • #28526

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    To add, the facilitator is the provider’s competitive edge. Provider A has Stephen Covey, and provider B has Joe Soap. Although, perhaps in the information age we live in, it is not that much of an advantage?

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  • #28525

    Ian Webster
    Participant

    Absolutely. Have drip, will travel…. 🙂

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  • #28524

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    🙂 I would not call an extrovert a trainer, and agree that being a subject matter expert “doth not maketh” a trainer either. But let us, although deviating from the topic, not lose focus of our purpose; to part with knowledge and experience in such a way that it is transferred from master to student. 

    So my question to you would be how would your panel of experts judge if learning actually took place? Agreed, you would be able to tell if I am fake or real, but nevertheless; learning is the goal.

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  • #28523

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Interesting, a Facilitator should not be holding a manual at all. If they cannot talk the topic for the duration using their slides or cue cards, they are not Facilitating. I would add 10 to the 85%, this is an “end of contract” mark if you exclude ratings for venues and catering.

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  • #28522

    Absolutely Tom! As ex-SAA, I can say there were innumerable occasions when one airline bailed out another, and all in the spirit of helping each other. 

    Yes, trust is the issue. I have built up a small but very trusted network of friends who are trainers too, And we help each other wherever we can. And no one has tried to steal the others’ client… It has worked exceptionally well. 

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  • #28521

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    Benjamin, if I have a valid reason (not excuse) for not pitching, are you going to question my ethics? A facilitator is not indemnified from accidents and death nor violent illnesses, although some people think so. Some training providers even think they own you.

    It cuts both ways. As example, I was invited to speak at a conference of a large company. I booked the date, and as a result had to turn down a few other offerings that followed. A week before the date, I received an e-mail that the event was cancelled as the CEO’s child passed away. That is a valid enough reason to cancel, would you not agree?

    Second scenario, 24 hours before the date, I enquired to my flight details, only to receive an apology that the event was cancelled due to lack of bookings. I invoiced the full fee as per our policy, and received no payment at all. Here is the ethics for you. They cancelled, They owe me, But I lost a training provider, as they have never called me since. 

    But, you are partly right. Regardless of the valid or invalid reason, there is always the risk of permanently losing a client because of one cancellation.

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  • #28520

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    Tom, I think I said, read from a manual, not holding a manual and perhaps the wrong word; presenter’s manual. I use a tablet and as far as possible do not look behind me at the presentation on the screen, if the venue layout allows for it. And no, I am not trying to sell my services to you. 🙂

    But let us then agree to disagree on what a facilitator’s function is.  But I would like to challenge you do present a Legal Liability course on a piece of legislation, say the Companies Act, without ever looking at your “manual” (which should ideally contain the actual text of the act) and then teach me how to interpret it.

    I could relate to the 95% feedback rating, but as a freelancer, you often find the training provider’s marketing team have created expectations during their sales pitch. In a public group of 15 to 20 professionals, you have people who are already qualified and experienced. The “additional” learning they achieve are divergent. To give you an example, a masterclass was sold and I facilitated it. One delegate scored my 100%, as the material was all new to him. The other scored me 25%, because in his opinion it was an overview and not a masterclass and not worth the money he paid. The average? And I am bad at facilitating?

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  • #28519

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Very interesting discussion with some practical and constructive solutions.

    It strikes me how key communication and relationship is in all this.  You need to ensure that there is clear, free flow of communication with both your customers and your facilitators.  If this is not the case, an emergency is not the time to fix it and harm will in all likelihood be done to both relationships. On the other hand, if you have invested in establishing a strong base of open communication where expectations have been clarified, assumptions and shared values are agreed upon, problems will surface early rather than at the last minute.  Your facilitator will let you know the night before for example, to allow you time to come up with a plan B.  And your client will trust you to look after their best interests.

    Of course this is in a perfect world.  But that’s what I would aim for.

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  • #42969

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Very interesting discussion with some practical and constructive solutions.

    It strikes me how key communication and relationship is in all this.  You need to ensure that there is clear, free flow of communication with both your customers and your facilitators.  If this is not the case, an emergency is not the time to fix it and harm will in all likelihood be done to both relationships. On the other hand, if you have invested in establishing a strong base of open communication where expectations have been clarified, assumptions and shared values are agreed upon, problems will surface early rather than at the last minute.  Your facilitator will let you know the night before for example, to allow you time to come up with a plan B.  And your client will trust you to look after their best interests.

    Of course this is in a perfect world.  But that’s what I would aim for.

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  • #44016

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Very interesting discussion with some practical and constructive solutions.

    It strikes me how key communication and relationship is in all this.  You need to ensure that there is clear, free flow of communication with both your customers and your facilitators.  If this is not the case, an emergency is not the time to fix it and harm will in all likelihood be done to both relationships. On the other hand, if you have invested in establishing a strong base of open communication where expectations have been clarified, assumptions and shared values are agreed upon, problems will surface early rather than at the last minute.  Your facilitator will let you know the night before for example, to allow you time to come up with a plan B.  And your client will trust you to look after their best interests.

    Of course this is in a perfect world.  But that’s what I would aim for.

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  • #28518

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    lol like SAA bailed out FlightStar,  OneTime and VelvetSky?

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  • #28517

    Benjamin Nteko
    Participant

    Good day everyone

    Please try to understand something. I wrote the previous statement looking on the “Replacement/Standby part of a trainer” You hire the trainer that deliver training for you because they are good at what they do. It is not simple for a training provider to find a replacement. I never meant that training providers should ask for qualifications from trainers. It was just a tip to make sure that a trainer that you take in as a replacement knows what they’re doing. Most of the trainers that I met more especially the ones who train learnerships are the type of example I am talking about. Some people can’t say “No Sir I can’t train the  course”. You hire them hoping they are good in what they do and you only realize at the end that they can’t even compile a learner POE.  

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  • #28516

    Thank you for the clarification,  Benjamin. I agree with you. I think the agreement between the provider and the trainer should  include a clause about a plan B. Also, as Julian has commented, open and free – flowing communication is crucial.

    This is a very interesting discussion! 

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  • #28515

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    Accidents and situations do happen but i think having a standby facilitator will be advisable, we have a lot of facilitators here on skills universe who market themselves, it will be ideal to always keep thier contacts incase such a situation arises. Its unproffessional to reschedule a training, some clients will take it as being unreliable. Like what others are saying, you can train with a cold or running tummy but there are serious cases where one can`t conduct training.

    Tip: Most facilitators are chasing money they can make excuses because they have found a better offer, knowing that you always depend on them they will always come back and thier lives go on BUT your reputation is tanished towards your client.

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  • #28514

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Level 1 evaluation : Learner Satisfaction
    Level 2 Evaluation: Knowledge and Skills acquired (Standards based assessment)

    Fake or real, the above are the only criteria.

    Further evaluation such as application and ROI are out of the Facilitator’s control at this point.

    An age old and effective model.

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  • #28513

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    The point was alliance. Of course there will be failures in relationships.

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  • #28512

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    I cannot and will not judge your facilitation. Not the purpose of this forum. I do understand the point. Sometimes delegates score low because they don’t even want to be there or have some gripe about overtime with the employer. We can (and do on occasion) apply Dixon’s Q Test as is generally practiced in statistical analysis.

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  • #28511

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    I wonder, Kerrin, if you even half expected this much discussion. I can see where its coming from with so many different stakeholders, but in the final analysis it all depends on agreements between client/provider and provider/facilitator.

    I had my client relationships covered by T&C. It was the Provider/Facilitator relationship that caught me interest. I have my answer:
    1. No work = no pay
    2. No show without a own death certificate or similar justification = end of relationship.

    No chance of financial loss to the Provider. There is potential for loss of trust and reputation with clients, but that is a risk inherent to the business.

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  • #28510

    Petra Penninkhoff
    Participant

    Great idea

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  • #28509

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    HI Tom

    No I was quite surprised. Too busy to follow everything today.  I appreciate the rich experiences of everyone.  So good to be able to discuss key issues with an informed and responsive group of peers.

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  • #28508

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    That is a high standard Tom.  They have to present the entire course?

    I have had facilitators present part of a course, but not the entire one.  Interesting concept.  I don’t have the time to vet facilitators in this manner.  But for a high level intervention, I think this is what you need.

    One aspect that has not come up clearly in the discussions so far is the concept of a facilitator being suitably qualified vs being suitably prepared.  Even the most qualified, if he/she has not had time to adequately refresh and prepare on the material, will not be able to stand in at a moment’s notice, unless this is a course they give often.

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  • #28507

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Wow, I am quite surprised at the feedback from some commentators, including Jaison above, that there are ruthless facilitators who will drop an assignment with an excuse of illness in order to take up a more lucrative deal.  I wonder if I have been naive but I have not had that experience so far (at least not that i was aware of).  A few have dropped us a few days before and even the day before, or have forgotten and had to be reminded and came rushing in (not ideal)… but by and large, we have built up a core of competent people who are professional and reliable.  Yes, each has their strengths and weaknesses, but we try to play to their strengths.  We have a SLA to govern our relationship with facilitators.  

    What we do need to discuss in another feed, is how to fairly handle cancellations with facilitators when clients cancel at the last minute.

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  • #28506

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    The entire course is the only way to evaluate the impact of the facilitation. We do this with one day interventions. Most of the time the presentation is to the team. In cases where the Facilitator has experience with the subject matter, we actually do the test with real delegates and one of our senior Facilitators observing and ready to step in.

    The standard is high, so is the expectation from paying customers.

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  • #28505

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Jaison,  I cannot think of a single facilitator I know who would make excuses and let down a training provider because they can get a better deal somewhere else.  Maybe that is a blessing – I surely do now want to know people with such a complete lack of integrity.  The wheel turns and eventually someone will do the same to them.  

    Most freelance facilitators however cannot afford to let an opportunity pass by and will rather tend to go to the extreme of facilitating through thick and thin.  And it is precisely because they are chasing the money. It’s a bit of a catch 22 , because sometimes projects overlap in an unforeseeable way and you simply have to continue day and night though you are dog tired and honour your commitment.  This can lead to serious illness and even breakdown.  The scourge of the contractor / freelancer is to find the balance between too much and too little work.  I really have empathy for that, since I have been there.

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  • #42968

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Jaison,  I cannot think of a single facilitator I know who would make excuses and let down a training provider because they can get a better deal somewhere else.  Maybe that is a blessing – I surely do now want to know people with such a complete lack of integrity.  The wheel turns and eventually someone will do the same to them.  

    Most freelance facilitators however cannot afford to let an opportunity pass by and will rather tend to go to the extreme of facilitating through thick and thin.  And it is precisely because they are chasing the money. It’s a bit of a catch 22 , because sometimes projects overlap in an unforeseeable way and you simply have to continue day and night though you are dog tired and honour your commitment.  This can lead to serious illness and even breakdown.  The scourge of the contractor / freelancer is to find the balance between too much and too little work.  I really have empathy for that, since I have been there.

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  • #44015

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Jaison,  I cannot think of a single facilitator I know who would make excuses and let down a training provider because they can get a better deal somewhere else.  Maybe that is a blessing – I surely do now want to know people with such a complete lack of integrity.  The wheel turns and eventually someone will do the same to them.  

    Most freelance facilitators however cannot afford to let an opportunity pass by and will rather tend to go to the extreme of facilitating through thick and thin.  And it is precisely because they are chasing the money. It’s a bit of a catch 22 , because sometimes projects overlap in an unforeseeable way and you simply have to continue day and night though you are dog tired and honour your commitment.  This can lead to serious illness and even breakdown.  The scourge of the contractor / freelancer is to find the balance between too much and too little work.  I really have empathy for that, since I have been there.

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  • #28504

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    Hi Kerrin

    Tom is right. If you know your stuff, you can present an entire course. The challenge for a facilitator is to admit when a course is outside of their scope of expertise. That calls for integrity.

    When you are standing in front of 20 people and you are not prepared and “up to date” with your topic content, and someone asks a question, you have to have an answer; and “I do not know” is not the right one. But then again, if you present a course on new legislation with no court case history (case law) to support you, there are no answers. 

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  • #28503

    Funeka Mbewu
    Participant

    That would be great Kerrin. 

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  • #28502

    Funeka Mbewu
    Participant

    Interesting discussion, you gave me ideas.  I will not forget the Ts & Cs.

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  • #28501

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I totally get the T&C and SLA.  But in my years in business I have learnt it’s not contracts that fail – relationships do.  You can have all the contracts in the world, but if you don’t have healthy relationships with your clients and contractors / staff they are no good.

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  • #42967

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I totally get the T&C and SLA.  But in my years in business I have learnt it’s not contracts that fail – relationships do.  You can have all the contracts in the world, but if you don’t have healthy relationships with your clients and contractors / staff they are no good.

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  • #44014

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    I totally get the T&C and SLA.  But in my years in business I have learnt it’s not contracts that fail – relationships do.  You can have all the contracts in the world, but if you don’t have healthy relationships with your clients and contractors / staff they are no good.

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  • #28500

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Perfect!

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  • #28499

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    it is a cash 22 situation because some facilitators only think of themselves not the provider also i think there should be a stipulation on how much facilitators should get paid. The problem arises fron the point that some providers take chances and want to gain at the expence of the facilitators and when the facilitator does not get what he/she is worth they tend to look where the grass is greener.

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  • #28498

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Sometimes a seller’s and sometimes a buyers market. Free economy.

    This is exactly how Providers work with clients. Anything else would be regulated price controls, no longer based on supply and demand.

    I have declined Facilitators who are too expensive for my needs. Facilitators have declined work from me because they don’t like my offer. Fascinating stuff this free market approach, drives people to achieve and make themselves useful.

    As an alternative, we should have Providers form a cartel and control the livelihood of all Freelance Facilitators, no?

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  • #28497

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    But Mr Tom if we dont have  anything that governs the  renumeration of facilitators then we will always have some facilitators cancelling at the last minute, I have experienced that myself as a facilitator where a provider contracted me for a leanership programme for 6months in a another province  and was giving me peanuts with no accomodation allowance. what do you do  then when you get someone who will offer you twice as much during the course of that training?

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  • #28496

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Hi Jaison

    Appreciate the respect but no need for formalities here.

    I think you should ask the group moderators to remove your announcement that you do not honour contracts before any other providers see it.

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  • #28495

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    Morning Tom

    I think from now on i have to see what other providers are offering before i sign any contract.I have to adobt to the policy that its a free market out there, thanks for the advice.

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  • #28494

    Rudy Maritz
    Participant

    I have to support Tom on this one. I have a rate per day. You tell me it is to high and I will think about it. You have a rate per day. I tell you it is too low and you think about it. If we can meet somewhere inbetween, we do business. If we cannot, we don’t. Simple!

    And if there is one thing I would totally oppose, is it yet another governing body intervening in a profession. We have sufficient rules and taxes to keep us out of business; thank you.

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  • #28493

    Tom Ventouris
    Participant

    Good one Rudy. This is exactly how I choose to shop, for everything. Only in the case of Facilitation, we do have negotiation options which are sorely lacking in Woolworth Food Stores. 🙂

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  • #28492

    Kerrin Badham
    Participant

    Hi Jaison

    I agree in free market principles too. You do not have to accept any contract that does not cover your needs. But you should be up front about it and say so before signing the contract. Once you have signed, you are committed. And it would be dishonorable to pull out.

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  • #28491

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    Thanks Kerrin i will take the advice, this topic has opened my eyes. @Rudy your point on meeting somewhere would actually solve a lot of things since all your needs are laid on the table.

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