Technical training in management systems


I would like to express some comments on the subject of professional training in management systems based on standards, because, as is well known, there are millions of people who work every day in schemes for the application of management systems standards, and providing these people with appropriate and sufficient training so that they can fulfill their responsibilities within these management systems is a very important challenge, both for these people at an individual level, and for the organizations for which they work. And it is worth clarifying that those of us who are dedicated to providing technical training services on these issues also enter this challenge.


A few days ago I wrote a post about the situation that is taking place in relation to support services in terms of management systems, as I personally perceive it, and I mentioned some of the limitations that are found when someone wants to access a program training in these fields. If you wish, you can access this post by clicking here.

Now, I am shariing some recommendations, which I consider important, for people who are looking for a training program in this area, either for themselves, or for a working team within an organization.

First, I would like to mention that for most of these people, the training that is required is aimed at complying with a certain procedure, or some specific requirement of a standard, in their daily activities, or else, based on that compliance, fill in some form, in order to generate one or more records as evidence either of those activities carried out, or of the results obtained. So, in all these cases, the training should focus only on that one or those procedures with which that person must comply, with the completion of that one or those forms or that related standard requirement. It is a specific training on the correct application of certain operational activities. It is not necessary for these people to have further knowledge of the management system or the referenced standard.

However, if the functions of people who require training cover activities related to the establishment, planning, documentation, verification, auditing, maintenance and improvement of the management system, it is important that said training generates in these people both knowledge and experience in the elements of the system, its support standard, as well as in the application tools of the management system in question.

Generally, when this situation arises, it is the organization the one that hires and schedules a training scheme for its key personnel in the planning and operation of the management system. It is common that these training providers and schemes are not conveniently identified and contracted to meet those training needs. On the one hand, due to the fact that the human resources areas are, sometimes, unable to identify the specific training needs of these staff, each function within the organization has its own particular training needs, and it is common for the training programs contracted by the organizations to be in blocks, as if all staff involved had the same training needs. On the other hand, the organizations providing those training services usually don´t help to differentiate these needs.

This makes many people feel that they wasted their time receiving and analyzing information that does not help them to better perform their functions, but those who really require training at an advanced level would be feeling that they have not learned enough and that they lack the appropriate experience to fulfill their responsibilities within the management system, and usually they have to personally look for a complement to the training provided by their company. And if we add to this that there are many professionals who want to increase their competitive level and seek more complete training in these fields, for self-interest, we see that there is a strong demand for training services in management systems.

If you are looking individually, to train or reinforce your training in management systems, you have a wide range of options at your fingertips, I am going to analyze some of them here, but I suggest you analyze them well, since your decision in the option whichever you choose, it can generate an enrichment in your knowledge and your level of competitiveness, or it can generate some frustration, inconvenience, waste of time or money, but above all, it affects your motivation to learn.


The first of these options is the self-taught scheme. This requires a lot of discipline and strength of spirit, so as not to give up your efforts until you reach the level of training that you want or require. There is a lot of information on the net, in all languages, and it is a matter of selecting your topics of interest and sources of information, establishing a study method, with sufficient hours and a lot of dedication, to achieve your learning.

The main problem with this option is that much of the information we find on the web is inaccurate, outdated or misleading. It is important to understand that management system standards are documents that have a limited lifetime, that evolve and new versions are issued in which there are some modifications. A lot of information you find on the net refers to versions that are no longer valid.

For this scheme, additionally, there are people and companies that offer free courses in almost all fields of knowledge. Personally, I do not agree with this type of course, for three reasons:

a) In general, they provide you with incomplete or obsolete information, which generates great confusion in those who take them.


b) Those that provide this type of course do not work with you or accompany you in your learning, that is, they do not support you with the explanations and clarifications that you may need, nor with the appropriate feedback that strengthens and guides your learning.


c) They are unfair competition for those of us who dedicate ourselves professionally and honestly to these activities, as a means of subsistence and professional development.

These types of courses can serve as a complement to your self-taught learning, but I recommend that you do not rely too much on them.

A principle of marketing tells us that a supplier must establish a selling price for his product according to what he considers it to be worth and the level of competition in his market. If someone offers you a course for free, it is usually for two reasons: because he / she considers that is what their course is worth, nothing, or because they will try to hook you to sell you, generally in a deceptive way, other services or products using that course to entice you unwary, which can cause you unnecessary inconvenience.

I do not rule out that you could find an excellent course that meets your training needs and that is free, but it would go against all odds, since in all cultures, and even religions, it is considered valuable to support other people in different ways, you can make donations, gifts, scholarships, among others, but it is generally considered inappropriate to give away your own labor. Either way, it would still be an unfair competition.

The second option you have to get your training is to select and take a course to cover your training needs. You can find a wide range of course possibilities in different modalities, from face-to-face, semi-face-to-face, distance or virtual.

In this sense, also in this wide range you will find courses that go from terrible, bad, regular, good to excellent. It is not easy to detect among these courses. The network also lends itself to generate all kinds of deception. I recommend that you use filters to select, first, those that are not misleading, those that meet your needs, those that are good or excellent, and finally the one that is best for you.

If you are looking for a face-to-face course, it is advisable to know in advance both the provider organization and its facilities, analyze the course information and the conditions of both registration and the person's participation, such as schedules, access to the classroom, responsibilities, if there are some regulation that must be complied with, complementary activities, if applicable, payment schedule, among others, and it is always good to talk with a trainer, to receive better guidance.

For online or distance courses, it is important to know that courses advertised online can be misleading in a number of ways. There are people who intend to swindle you or financially defraud those who want to learn, who act in bad faith and are good at charging but not at teaching. It is said that if you are cheated on the net you cannot defend yourself. However, in Mexico, for example, there is a Federal Consumer Protection Law, and a Consumer Defense Attorney's Office that, as far as I understand, can protect you from this type of fraud. Many countries worldwide have this type of protection elements. If the provider of a course clearly establishes on its website the characteristics of its course, its syllabus, conditions for supplying the service and payment, and from that a person accepts it and complies with the registration process, this is considered as a contract of adhesion and gives legal formality, and you have the right to receive and, where appropriate, demand that service under the announced conditions.

However, the second type of fraud, which is by far the most common and certainly the most costly, which occurs in training courses, and not only in management systems, but in all fields of knowledge, and not only in the network, but in all modalities, it is what I call cognitive fraud. By this I basically mean two situations, one is when providers of training courses offer wonderful or extraordinary learning results, in order to attract clients, knowing that it is not in their capabilities, neither of them as providers, nor of the customer as a participant, to achieve those results, usually accompanied by a powerful certificate. Therefore, whoever gets carried away by this information and participates in one of these courses, obtains a very poor learning in relation to the expectation that was sold to him, even when he/she gets that certificate. In both cases, the result is a real tragedy, because the person invested his money in a course and made a great effort to participate in various activities during a predetermined time, so that his learning was very low in relation to what he expected. The biggest problem that results from this situation is that the participant usually does not realize his low learning until he is casually evaluated by someone else and detects that he is below the expected level of competence. And even so, he doubts if it was his responsibility, before thinking about a supplier deficiency.

You can see these cases in a very common way when courses with a wide content and with a certain degree of complexity are advertised or promoted, and that they offer it to you in courses of four, eight or twelve hours, or one, two or three days, when by common sense you need much more hours or even weeks to analyze, work and understand the necessary information. With all proportions saved, it's like being offered a bachelor's degree in six months.

The second situation of this cognitive fraud occurs when the supplier does not fulfill his / her responsibility well and does a poor job, and prevents the participant from obtaining the knowledge or skills expected as a result of the training course.

In those situations they may provide you with information, but not good training. You must consider that in a training process you must work and make an effort in your learning and training. You are not going to achieve it by osmosis or by a divine miracle, and even less by having your course information on a USB memory. But, just like you, the instructor or trainer must work, either to order, treat and dose the information that you must receive, to propose practical exercises for you to analyze the information and build your learning, as well as to evaluate that learning and provide you with feedback that help you optimize your training.

When occurs that is you who fail in their training, because you did not make the necessary effort and did not fulfill your responsibilities in the training course, is no longer a cognitive fraud. It is you who has boycotted your own learning and training.

If you want to search for a training course on the net, I suggest that you select as first, in order to avoid problems and disappointments, providers that have an active participation in platforms and that use their name, either as individuals or as companies. This, at least, will tell you that they are people who will try to support their name and prestige. And if at any time they deceive a customer, it is easy to point it out in their own publications, and you could access those criticisms, so out of common sense and professional responsibility, they will put their best effort into the services they provide.

Now, a common uncertainty, when you are going to select a course, is regarding how well you will be taught, or trained, by the provider you choose.

If we go to extremes, you can find instructors or trainers, either personally or within organizations that provide these services, who have a great knowledge of the subject that interests you, but who do not know, do not want or do not have the ability to transmit their knowledge, or at the other extreme, trainers who do not know as much about the subject, but who transmit their limited knowledge very well. Obviously, there are many factors that influence a person to reach that ability to teach by transmitting their knowledge, such as personality, patience, empathy, willing to do so, among others. 

 Between these extremes, it is best for you to have a trainer or instructor who has teaching skills. Now, the ideal is that you can find one who has a great knowledge on the subject and also has the ability to teach: that will make your learning much easier.

It will also influence your training, the teaching modality, the information process, the method of study and the time dedicated to it. It is important that you analyze and decide between these alternatives.

Personally, I was an instructor of standardized management systems for ten years in face-to-face mode, until I discovered the possibilities of the distance mode, and since then I have dedicated myself almost exclusively to training under this mode. You can use practically any technological tool in this modality. I am convinced that this well-managed modality maximizes the capabilities of a participant to have a better training. However, there are people who, due to ignorance or having had an adverse experience, do not trust this type of course.

For this reason, it is important that you value the different options available to you and look for one with which you feel comfortable to undertake this adventure for your professional development. I wish you the greatest success.


Ernesto Palomares Hilton