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In the presentation we discussed about the basic workplace competencies and then reviewed some of the types of training programmes used to improve these competencies. There are many ways that skills training programme can be categorized. Our discussion was around technical training; inter personal skills training and professional development and education. Training in all these areas can be of critical importance to organizations.


Competence v/s Competencies:

Competence means a skill and the standard of performance reached, while competency refers to the behaviour by which it is achieved.

Competences refer to the range of skills which are satisfactorily performed, while competencies refer to behaviour adopted in competent performance.

In other words one describes what people can do, while other focuses on how they do it.

What is competency?

Competencies are the characteristics of a manager that lead to the demonstration of skills and abilities, which result in effective performance within an occupational area. Competencies also embodies the capacity to transfer skills and abilities from one area to another. Hogg (1993)

Competencies can be defined as skills areas of knowledge, attitudes and abilities that distinguish high performers.

5 Types of competency characteristics:

Motives: - things a person consistently thinks about or wants and that which causes action. Motives Drive, Direct or select behavior towards certain actions or goals and away from others.

Traits: - physical characteristics and consistent responses to situation and information.

Self-concept:- a persons attitude values or self image

Knowledge:- information a person has in specific content areas.

Skill:- the ability to perform certain physical or mental task

Competencies are components of a job which are reflected in behaviour that are observable in workplace. Common elements most frequently mentioned are knowledge, skills, abilities, aptitudes, personal suitability behaviour and impact on performance at work. There are various definition with little difference in them. However the common denomination is observable behaviour in workplace. Criteria of competencies are:

Superior performance

Effective performance

Only some competencies can predict performance hence competencies can be divided into two categories:

1. Threshold competencies: these are the essential characteristics that everyone in the job needs to be minimally effective, but this does not distinguish superior from average performers.

2. Differentiating competencies: these factors distinguish superior from average performers.


It is a generic term that can encompass a wide range of programs, but we have covered five categories of it. They are:

1. Apprenticeship Training:

In the middle ages it was a way of passing knowledge of individuals working in skilled trades and crafts. The primary purpose of these early programs was preservation of the industrial and craft guilds. Today, it aims at providing trainees the skills needed to meet continually changing job requirements. With the challenges of the global economy and the scarcity of skilled employees, it is imperative that apprenticeship programs be more responsive to these needs. It represents a partnership between employers, labor unions , schools and government agencies.

According to Apprenticeship Act, 1961, section-2(aaa), it means a course of training in any industry or established undergone in pursuance of a contract of apprenticeship and under prescribed terms and conditions which may be different for different categories of employees.

Benefits of apprenticeship training system: This kind of training is popular for many types of jobs because it has got some unique benefits, some of which can be enumerated as under:-

1. Attract adequate number of highly qualified applicants.

2. Reduce absenteeism.

3. Reduce turnover.

4. Increase productivity.

5. Reduce cost of training.

6. Facilitate compliance with federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity requirements.

7. Ensure availability of related technical instruction.

8. Enhance problem-solving ability of craft workers.

9. Ensure versatility of craft workers.

10. Address need of training and development programs of an organization.

Problems of apprenticeship training:

But instead of these benefits they cant be utilized in all types of training requirement because there are some problems with the present apprenticeship system which are:-

1. Learning is based on time requirements, rather than competency.

2. Programs are isolated from other education and training institutions.

3. Programs are concentrated in traditional blue-collar occupations.

4. The system has not adjusted to requirements for the period after the initial apprenticeship.

2. Computer Training

Digital Revolution has caused shift from traditional industries formed since the Industrial Revolution to economy based on manipulating information. Employees are now required to work with computer applications to carry out routine tasks in organizations. Hence computer training has gains strong importance. Computer skill is considered to be very important as employers want their workers to have basic computer skills because their company becomes ever more dependent on computers.

Types of Computer Training Programs:

Introductory Programs

Some computer training is more introductory in nature. These programs introduce trainees to computer hardware and software. Such programs focus primarily on mastering basic software application, such as how to navigate the operating system. Manuals and tutorials are used for this training program as these provide hands-on interactive learning. These courses are designed to help trainees overcome their fear of computers and better understanding of how computers work.

Application Training

Application training covers specific software application available within an organization. Unlike introductory courses, application training is typically provided on an as-needed basis. With the availability of online capabilities via an intranet, employees can access online computer training at any time of the day.

3. Technical skills/knowledge training

When organizations introduce new technology (e.g. by modernizing plants or computerizing operations) they need to update the skills of workers who must use it. Organizations often do this through job specific technical skills/knowledge programs. Such training is often specific to job, process, or equipment, but can also be more general. For example a training program used to teach workers how to operate new machinery would be classified as job specific whereas a training program used to train employees on new policies and procedures would be classified as general.

There are different levels of technical skills/knowledge training. At the lowest level, the goal is to prepare entry-level employees to perform basic functional responsibilities. These programs are similar to basic skills program and combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training. Successful trainees are expected to operate new, advanced equipment.

4. Safety Training

According to Director General of the British Council - Every 20 seconds of every working minute of every hour throughout the world, someone dies as a result of an industrial accident. There has been a high safety awareness and consciousness building up lately. The organizations now have dedicated EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) departments to entrust the task of compliance to safety norms. Safety provisions have also been enacted in various labour legislations. Safety is also a very important concern for the Trade Unions as well. As a result safety training has gained much relevance in todays industries. The essence of safety training lies in preventive and preemptive action, and minimizing chances of accidents by educating the workers about the processes and techniques involved in the production and various other functions being carried out in the organization.

Why safety training is so important?

Safety tra