Dr. David

Doctor David’s clinic for trainers’ afflictions

Frequently asked questions from visitors

Send me your symptoms and I will prescribe possible remedies

(No guarantees – side effects possible – after all it might be a virus!)

Dear Doctor David

“Are all your letters genuine? “Suspicious of Selby

What do you think? – all are genuine questions that trainers have asked me, like yours!!!!

“How can you get all these creative ideas in when you also have to cover a syllabus in 6 hours so they can pass the test” – Troubled of Torbay

That’s just the point – creative training can provide more effective learning opportunities by tapping into the natural learning styles of your trainees. Anyway, do you really believe that “covering” the syllabus always has to take a fixed amount of time? Why not let your students cover the syllabus through a range of activities, and you act as facilitator when they get stuck!! Try it.

“I’m not a very creative person – how do you get your ideas, and how can I be more creative?” Unimaginative from Upminster

I have met many trainers who say this. When they spend a little time with me in conversation or on a seminar they soon realise they have all the creativity they need within them, – it just needs bringing out. Look out for my own seminars, ’99 ways to ….’ which I put on every year or so. They are low priced, and packed full of ideas, and just generally great fun.

“Thank you for an interesting newsletter. I found the article on transactional analysis applied to training particularly interesting but would like to ask for some advice on the use of contracting at the start of the day as this is something I don’t believe I do! Could you give me some tips please?” Hopeful of Horwich.

Sure. Contracting is basically the process of agreeing with the learners the basic ground-rules’ for the learning, how it will be run, the learning and teaching styles, and trying to identify by mutual consent how the learners will interact with the trainer. Usually a quick discussion about your approach, how you will react to and encourage questions and participation, and how they like to learn, take breaks etc. will do. (most groups will not offer much of a contribution -but it is important to at least invite comment so they feel you wish to work with them, not talk at them). You can read more on contracting in the May newsletter.

“How can I make HACCP sexier?” Kinky from Kidderminster

It is not that kind of website!!! But what a great question. I do know what you mean – HACCP is really a business management tool. A technique for saving money and time whilst providing safe food. A type of quality standard which can help to promote your business? Does that help? See more in future newsletters.

“Can I do the Training Skills and Practice course with you?” Enquirer from Eccles

Good question – my courses tend to get snapped up quickly, so I rarely advertise. Sign up for my irregular updates, and you’ll be the first to know when I run one.

“When is your next “99 ways seminar” and why are they so cheap?” Sceptic from Skelmersdale

If you sign up for my blogs you’ll know as soon as they are announced. Why so cheap – I am not out to make profit – just pay for my time! I get a big thrill out of helping trainers to have fun and get creative.

“Can I buy the “99 ways” you issue on CD?” Keen of Kidderminster

Not at the moment – it is reserved for seminar attendees only.

“I am about to teach higher level food hygiene courses for the first time. Have you any ideas for teaching the various topics?” MG

Lots!! Stay interactive as you do with your level 2 courses. Case studies can run to greater effect because you can use them as a running line over a day or more. I have a draft case study you can try if you get back in touch. CIEH have published a book with 7 food poisoning case studies in it for about £26. Give more tasks out for individuals, so you can track progress. Mix groups around each day. Allow for greater discussion opportunity, and prescribe reading homework – blended learning works really well at higher levels. Try allocating quiet reading time during the course based around some questions. Use a good textbook and just a few bullet point notes. Use the syllabus from the beginning and make sure you give each student a copy and show them how to use it for study and revision purposes. Hope this helps.

“I have just downloaded your bacteria crossword, what a great idea. My students loved it – it took them a bit of time at first then of all a sudden they got it. Great consolidation. Have you got any more?” Expectant of Ely

The bacteria crossword is no longer available. Why not send me some clues and answers and I’ll send you your own customised crossword free of charge, if I can keep copyright.

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