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On-Site Training FAQ

(For answers to your questions about web-based training, visit our On-Line Training FAQ.)

Why is technical staff training useful?
Many organizations do not have a training department or staff dedicated to technical staff training. As a result, there may be many different ideas about how to train staff and what kind of training is best. To get this discussion started, we will list a few of the reasons we think training is useful:

  • Technologies Change: Even traditional, manual techniques are constantly being improved, and instrumental techniques are always in a state of change. Don't get left behind!
  • Trained Staff Are More Efficient: If you know how to use a particular technique or instrument properly, you will probably be more efficient than someone who doesn't really understand what they are doing. Well-trained laboratory staff know which parameters are more important, and which ones have little impact on data quality.
  • Trained Staff Make Fewer Mistakes: This is mostly about improved decision-making skills. Staff who understand the technologies they are using are more likely to make good decisions when they encounter problems or unfamiliar situations.
  • Trained Staff Provide Better Flexibility: Cross-training can be a powerful tool for dealing with changing resource requirements.
  • Trained Staff Feel Better Job Satisfaction: In our experience, those labs that make an effort to train their staff often have fewer problems with job satisfaction, morale, employee retention, etc. Training can't completely eliminate these issues, but it does send the message that the organization cares about it's employees and their skills.
  • Companies That Invest In Training Are Often More Successful: Don't believe it? Read this article from Training Magazine. The 2004 "Top 100" companies have established an advantage over their competition by improving revenue, productivity, and quality. Some of these companies have used our training programs, and we can see the result of this attitude in the quality of students that we teach.

Is on-site training cost effective?
Yes, in certain situations. Many training seminars are available at professional meetings (we even teach some of them!). However, registration costs are usually about $400/day, and you must add on travel costs and lost work time. After the course, you still have only trained a limited number of people. On-site training can cost around $250/person/day, everyone will be trained, and lost work time is minimized.

We use our own people to train our staff. Isn't this more efficient?
If you are currently using a senior scientist to train your junior staff, you are probably spending at least $75 - 100/hour on senior staff time. If there is any additional preparation required (lecture notes, slides, etc.), that time should also be factored into your training costs. For example, in our experience it can take 10 hours or more of preparation time to prepare one hour of quality lecture material. Can you afford to lose a senior scientist for this long? Also, not every scientist is a good teacher, or has the teaching experience necessary to design and present high quality training material.

We already have an extensive training program. Why should we switch to on-site training?
If you are completely happy with your current training program, and the resources required to run it, then on-site training may not offer anything better. However, if your senior staff and training staff are already busy, and you want to increase your staffing, this is another tool to have available. On-site training is not capacity limited. There are a number of general topics that can easily be adapted to your specific training program, which frees up your staff to focus on the more complex issues. Customized presentations can also be prepared.

For more information about our on-site seminars, click here.
For more information about our on-line training, click here.

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ACCTA, Inc., 3534 Jessie Ct, St. Paul, MN 55125 USA
Phone: (651) 731-3670 Fax: (651) 730-0965
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This page last updated October, 2007.