Design and prepare training, select and train trainers

This section sets out all the steps needed to develop the training plan, select and prepare trainers, and develop the materials used for training including curricula and lesson plans. Training is a process in which a learner masters a set of skills and practices that enable him or her to apply them. For TREE programmes, training enables women and men to pursue a number of potential options:
  • Securing formal wage employment at an enterprise
  • Becoming self-employed in producing and selling a product or service
  • Establishing or joining a small enterprise or cooperative to produce and sell a product or service
The Training Needs Analysis [webpage 3.5] will have identified a range of skills required for beneficiaries to be successful at the economic activity the TREE programme is supporting. Turning that set of skills into a coherent training programme involves three elements:
  • The training plan summarizes what skills will be taught, by what methods, where and when.
  • Trainer selection and training sets out what trainers need to be able to do, and how they are trained for that.
  • Developing the required training approach, usually as distinct modules, developed and delivered in ways that maximize student learning.

Training Plan

The training plan for TREE translates the lists of skills required and the assessment of the current skills and needs of the beneficiaries into a coherent plan. This may describe a single comprehensive course, delivered in one location over one continuous time period by the same trainers, or a series of training sessions, workshops and courses delivered in a variety of ways. The plan should describe the following elements in detail for each distinct course or workshop:

Element Description Notes
Total amount of training Number of hours or days required to complete, over what period of time Adjustments to the time taken to complete training may be required to accommodate needs of persons with disabilities or other barriers. The focus is on reaching the learning objective, not on number of hours.

Typical duration ranges from 2 weeks to 3 months
Admission/entry requirements Any skills, knowledge or ability the trainee must have to be able to benefit from the training Ensure that any requirements are relevant to the content of the training, not arbitrary. For example, functional literacy, determined by a test, rather than a requirement to have reached a certain education standard. It may be appropriate to develop a "pre-admission" course to ensure beneficiaries can meet the entry requirement.
Proficiency This is a detailed list of the knowledge and skills the trainee will have at the end of the training This should be described in concrete, measurable terms such as “correct selection and use of tools to perform maintenance” “accurate calculations of income and expenditure” etc.
Training methodology This describes the training techniques that will be used. Training methods should reflect the needs of adult learners in general and the specific needs of beneficiaries, particularly to ensure that women, persons with disabilities and others can fully participate and benefit. Additional detailed information on training methods are provided at click here
Training materials This lists all materials and equipment required for the training Note that everything required should be considered, including students' note taking and protective equipment, classroom teaching aids, demonstration and practice equipment and materials, etc. The plan should anticipate what materials may be provided by the trainees and what might have to be provided by the training course. Adapted materials including equipment may be required for persons with disabilities. Beneficiaries may not have clothing or footwear suitable for the activity.
Training location This describes where the training will take place. Depending on the type of training (continuous course at an institution or a standalone workshop session) the location may also include residential facilities, or require secure transportation to and from beneficiaries’ homes.
The location may also be adapted to enable beneficiaries to access training at or near their homes
Training schedule When the training will be offered There may be multiple intakes or a single opportunity.

Training may be scheduled over a longer period of time or at times of day to enable access
Syllabus This is a detailed description of the training that divides the skills to be learned into separate blocks, defining the tasks, skills and knowledge, materials required for teaching, methods and timing for each. A detailed format for completing the syllabus is at click here
Training provider/partner selection This specifies who is responsible for delivering the training This may be a formal training institution, NGO or other providers.
Training evaluation This describes how the training results will be measured See more information at click here

Where there is a relevant national or industry-based skill certificate, the course plan should reference it and ensure that trainees are able to complete examinations and other requirements to gain the qualification.
Cost This specifies the cost to deliver the training, considering all elements (wages for trainers, cost of materials, cost for location and utilities, costs associated with trainees, etc. Sources for the costs should be specified. Consider if trainees are able to contribute towards costs, potentially in kind (raw materials) or cash. Consider multiple sources of funding to cover the costs: national training or development funds, micro-financing facilities, donor contributions, industry investments, etc.

Costs such as transportation and the cost of foregone income can be a barrier to participation for many potential beneficiaries. Consider how this will be addressed.

An example of a training course plan developed for an auto mechanics course is provided. click here

Trainer selection and training

Good trainers are essential for an effective TREE programme. They must be familiar with the overall objectives and orientation of TREE and its community-based, participatory approach and be prepared to integrate this into their way of working.

Trainers should have:
  • Competence in the subject being taught. This means both relevant education and training and practical experience applying the skills in the world of work.
  • Excellent skills in instructional techniques. They should be able to prepare lessons to ensure that students learn the required materials effectively, adapting as needed to meet individual needs. They should understand and be able to apply all of the TREE training methods. [link]
  • Resourcefulness and creativity to be able to adapt to individual needs and changing circumstances and opportunities.
  • Knowledge of the beneficiary group. Before starting training, the trainers should become familiar with the trainees and their social and economic contexts to ensure they are aware of and can accommodate any specific needs.
Selecting trainers should be on the basis of their abilities in the above areas.

TREE programmes may use trainers in a number of different contexts:
  • Formal or non-formal training centres
  • Community organizations
  • Cooperatives, industry, traders or craft associations
  • Business service providers including financial service providers
For example, a TREE programme may include providing specific skills training including literacy and industrial processes and technologies in a learning centre; financial literacy training provided by a microcredit organization, and business/self-employment skills training through a market vendors' association. Identifying training partners and those individuals who will serve as trainers can be more complex than 'traditional' training, and much more effective by engaging more of the community.

Whatever the training location or aim, trainers will need to have a good understanding of the TREE methodology and be able to use effective tools and techniques to support student learning and provide post-training support as required.

The TREE Training of Trainers courses typically last 2-3 days and cover the following points:
  • Introduction, purpose of the course, orientation to TREE methodology and the role of trainers
  • Setting instructional objectives
  • Incorporating gender, disability and inclusivity objectives
  • Preparation of lesson plans
  • Non-formal teaching methods
  • Preparation of training materials
  • Checking trainee progress
  • Group management
  • Post-training support including business management and on the job training
  • Training budgets and reporting.
A description of the characteristics of a TREE trainer is found in the general staff descriptions at LINK

Training Approach

In formal educational language, a "curriculum" generally means the overall content of a course of study, while a "syllabus" refers to specific items taught. Hence a TREE programme may have an overall curriculum that describes the main issues to be covered and areas for learning. These would be further detailed in individual learning modules: sets of interrelated elements focused on a learning objective. A learning module is defined through a syllabus that describes in detail what will be taught and by what methods.

In general, TREE programmes use training approaches which are:
  • Flexible and adaptable to best serve the needs of trainees.
  • Trainee-centred, focusing on ensuring trainees are able to master the skills being taught
  • Oriented to equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Responsive to the training needs identified before and during programme delivery
  • Able to deliver skills of the type and quality required for the market
  • Focused on hands-on training and practical application of theoretical knowledge
A syllabus for a TREE training module will detail all elements of the training to be delivered. It defines the skills to be learned in the context of producing a product or service that has been identified in the TREE process. Starting with the tasks (for example, all the steps to be taken to bake a cake), the syllabus will identify the skill requirements (how to select materials, how to measure, how to use tools to mix and bake the cake) and related knowledge (safe food handling and preparation practices); the teaching aids required (ingredients, equipment, oven, power source, note-taking tools for students, etc.); suitable methods (demonstration, hands-on practice, etc.) and the schedule. A template and guide for preparing a syllabus is at LINK and LINK

TREE training methodologies include highly participatory and hands-on approaches such as discussion, role-play, group work and experience sharing. These are discussed in detail, with guidelines, at [LINK]. General information on teaching and the adult learner is at [LINK]

Because many TREE projects aim at developing new economic activities (micro-enterprises, cooperatives, etc.) it is critical to incorporate skills relevant to these in the overall training plan, and to use appropriate examples in practical exercises, role plays etc. Webpage 5 [LINK] on post-training supports provides more detail on the skills and services needed. These can be anticipated and integrated into skills training. Issues such as financial education, OSH, entrepreneurship, labour rights, social protection, and transitions to formality should be considered in skills training design.