Medium Size International Charity Case Study

Medium Size International Charity

Training for Trainers (T4T) for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation (

Alison Lewis designed a Spiral Training week long Train the Trainers (TtT) programme for the Foundation in 2004, and co-delivered the programme several times with various staff from the charity.

The programme was designed to be highly practical, with two practice and feedback sessions for every participant (one individual and one in a co-facilitation pair), using content included in the training of new volunteers.

Alison explicitly designed the original TtT to be sustainable and capacity building for the Foundation, with thorough facilitator notes so that internal staff could take over full delivery of it – this therefore saved external consultancy costs as well as building internal capability.

The EMAS Region (Europe, Mediterranean & Arab States) wished to outsource the delivery of the Train the Trainer programme again in 2016. They needed a pool of more highly skilled and confident trainers to act as trainers in their own countries and across the EMAS Region, and HQ no longer had the capacity to run Train the Trainer programmes themselves. There was also now a difference between the needs of those who were required to design as well as deliver training, and those who delivered training that had been designed centrally.

Following meetings with the Regional Director for EMAS at the time, it was agreed to run a blended three-phase version of the Train the Trainer programme, re-named Training for Trainers (T4T):

Stage 1: 2 or 3 days face-to-face in the Foundation’s HQ building (2 days for those required to deliver pre-designed sessions and courses, and 3 days for those required to design their own sessions and courses to deliver)

Stage 2: the participants deliver courses for EMAS central office or their local offices, either on their own being observed by an HQ staff member, or with a previously trained co-trainer

Stage 3: 2 days face-to-face in HQ

All stages were supported by an on-line discussion space and Learning Hub (managed and run by the charity). This enabled cohorts to discuss theories and reflect on their practice online, as well as share materials for participants to read / watch before a face-to-face stage. The workshops were also co-delivered with an internal member of staff who had a good understanding of the training content that participants would be expected to deliver, as well as the cultural contexts of the countries they would be working in.

Outline of the face-to-face workshops (for those needing to design as well as deliver training in their own countries):

Three Day Workshop – Stage 1

  • Systematic training cycle (including training needs analysis, design, delivery, and evaluation)
  • Group dynamics in training
  • Individual practice and feedback sessions
  • Facilitation skills
  • Responding to learner diversity
  • Co-trainer practice sessions
  • Looking ahead and action planning for next phase of programme


Two Day Workshop – Stage 3 (partly designed following feedback from participants and observers of their Stage 2 practice in their own countries)

  • Reflections and learning from Stage 2
  • Preparing for a course
  • Co-training skills
  • Dealing with situations and people
  • Advanced training skills

This is what the Regional Director at the time, who worked with Alison on the project, says:

“During my term as the Regional Director at the time, we had experienced trainers and were delivering the TtT courses in-house. However, this was on top of our colleagues’ daily jobs and required a lot of time and effort to be dedicated to prepare, deliver and follow up on these courses. We saw this as a distraction from our core business. We also thought working with an expert like Alison would allow us to keep up with the latest methods and trends in training.

We had worked very well with Alison in the past so decided to ask for her support again.

At the end of the 2 TtT programmes we designed and delivered together, not only we had new volunteers trained but also our operational staff who also deliver training had the opportunity to enhance their training skills and approaches. The design of the programme allowed the volunteers and staff in-training to practice their learnings mid-way into their TtT programme. This allowed them to come back to the training group and discuss about their experience in the last phase. I would say this element of the programme increased the likelihood of those trained to go back in the field and actually deliver training.

Alison was very flexible in adjusting her methodologies to our needs and made sure we come up with the programme designs that suited the needs of two different types of audiences. Her genuine interest in what we do allowed her to use examples and activities very relevant to our work and contributed hugely to the success of the programmes she delivered for us.”

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