By Aline Filiot.
At INTRAC we love to train, but we also know that training is only one aspect of capacity development, it’s only the beginning of the adventure. We are pleased to see more and more individuals and organisations become aware of this, and open up to hybrid forms of long-term accompaniment combining consultancy, training and coaching or mentoring.
But it is also true that a training room is an extraordinary space to take time for reflection, to take a step back; it is an eye opener. Good training is an opportunity for learning: it challenges our convictions, the state of our knowledge, our vision of the world, expose us to others’ perspectives, and we believe it is change in itself.
As we are finalising our 2017 training calendar, talking to our facilitators, collecting feedback from participants and getting everything ready for the new financial year, we thought of ten reasons to join an INTRAC course:
- WE HAVE THE EXPERIENCE
2016 marked INTRAC’s 25th anniversary. That is 25 years of experience and knowledge of the sector, and of our courses being tried and tested by our facilitators within the field and workplace. In the last ten years alone, we have trained over 2,100 participants from 138 countries.
- WE TAKE QUALITY ASSURANCE SERIOUSLY
We carefully review every participant’s feedback questionnaire to improve our courses and our work as an organisation. Thanks to this, our participant satisfaction rate keeps getting better – with an average of 8.4/10 in 2016. We are accredited by the British Accreditation Council as an independent further and higher education provider.
- WE BELIEVE IN PRACTICAL APPROACHES
All of our courses are facilitated by experienced practitioners with over 20 year’s hands-on global experience in civil society strengthening, who draw on their own practice and bring out concrete examples. Our research and consultancy work help us monitor the sector’s evolutions and reflect them in the content of our training.
- WE DON’T DO OFF-THE-SHELF TRAINING
All of our open courses are tailored to suit the learning needs of the participants of that particular course. We focus on your personal development and we think it is vital to understand your goals and expectations. Our facilitators conduct a careful needs assessment prior to the course and use case studies and practical examples closely related to the participants’ contexts.
- WE ARE FACILITATORS
We design activities that enable participants to learn from each other and build on their own experience and knowledge. Our facilitators create a safe space for sharing thoughts and reflection within the group. We truly believe sharing is learning.
- WE OFFER FLEXIBILITY
Our 3-5 day face-to-face training courses take place in the beautiful city of Oxford, UK, and we offer both residential and non-residential options. We know not everyone can attend a face-to-face course though. That’s why our online courses are perfect for those who can’t travel or require more flexibility to fit training around other work. In a world were borders are closing, and where it is more urgent than ever to reduce our carbon footprint, we think eLearning is the future so widening our online portfolio is a top priority for us.
- WE WANT TO HELP (AND GIVE YOU A DISCOUNT)
We have created a bursary scheme for small civil society organisations which offers a 50% discount on our face-to-face courses. We also offer discounts if there are a number of people from your organisation booking on the same or different courses, or if you have attended an INTRAC course within the last two years.
- WE KNOW OPEN TRAINING IS NOT ALWAYS THE SOLUTION
For many, the collaboration with INTRAC began with attending open training in London or Oxford. They loved it and thought their colleagues could benefit from it especially if it were focused on their specific organisational needs. Sometimes a more tailored approach is needed indeed. Last year we delivered over 40 in-house tailored trainings.
- WE ACCOMPANY YOU
As training is just the beginning of the learning adventure, we listen and share learning, not impose solutions. We know more questions and challenges will arise when you integrate the new knowledge and tools into your work. This is why all of our open courses include an individual 50 minute remote coaching session after the training to discuss how you are applying the course contents in your day to day work and support you with any challenges faced.
- WE WORK FOR CIVIL SOCIETY WORLDWIDE
We believe an independent civil society is essential to social change. Many share our view. That’s why our courses attract participants from all over the world and provide a great opportunity to share experiences and to network. When you book onto one of our courses your fees help to support our work in strengthening the civil society sector. For example, enabling us to produce freely available papers and practical resources, as we believe in making knowledge as widely available as possible.
This training approach is part of our overall strategy for sustainability:
- Sustainability for organisations: learning brings change, but during training, learning applies only to the individual. There are many obstacles, once the training is over, for this individual learning to have an impact on practice within the organisation. It is necessary to activate other leverage to make a change at the organisation level. In 2017, INTRAC will continue to promote the inclusion of training in long-term initiatives for organisational learning and capacity development.
- Global sustainability of civil society: as an organisation, we are committed to working with all types of civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and donors, to develop locally accessible and quality capacity development services. We will continue to grow and strengthen our global network, and to look for partners and funds to scale up professional development programmes for consultants and trainers, to enable them to build the capacity of organisations in their own country.
Training is just the beginning of the learning journey. Take it a step further with us!