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Practical Support for your Role

Practical Support for your Role

Putting together a Personal Learning Plan

The Personal Learning Plan is the key to the Adult Training Scheme, so it is important that the plan produced is appropriate. The learner and the Training Adviser should work together to produce a plan that meets the learner’s needs and details how the required training will be completed.

The learner may already have received a copy of an Adult’s Personal File appropriate to their role when their provisional appointment was issued. If they have not yet received a copy, you should ensure that they are given one. Take a look at the Adult's Personal Files. The file is designed to give the learner all the information they need as they progress through the scheme and can be used as a workbook to create their Personal Learning

The Adult’s Personal File will help the learner to identify which modules are relevant to their role, and what learning and validation they need to complete. The Adult’s Personal File outlines the five steps to creating a personal learning plan:

1. Identify the training relevant to the learner’s role

2. Assess what learning they will need to complete

3. Decide the validation methods that will be used to demonstrate their ability to put learning into practice in their role and the timeframe in which they expect to complete each criteria

4. Meet and agree a plan with their Training Adviser

5. Complete and review

Learners may complete steps one, two and three themselves and bring the initial work to their first meeting with you to complete step four. Others may prefer to complete these steps alongside their Training Adviser or another volunteer. In either case, you should ensure that the initial meeting (step four) is arranged as quickly as possible so that the learner is not held up in progressing through the scheme.

Agreeing the Personal Learning Plan

Depending on whether the learner has worked through the steps one, two and three to think about their Personal Learning Plan before agreeing it with you or not the guidance that you give will be slightly different. In both cases though it is important that the process of agreeing the plan is about discussing the needs of the learner and mutually agreeing the plan, which is then recorded.

Step 1: Identifying and agreeing the modules

At this stage you should ensure that the learner has identified all the modules appropriate to their role.

The following resources will be useful:

  • The Minimum Training Requirements and the Module Matrix in Part 4 of this document can be used to identify which modules they are required to complete for their role.
  • The learner’s role description will be useful to identify any extra modules that may be relevant to their role, or that they would find interesting to complete
  • If they are changing roles from another role in Scouting, the Change of Role section can be used to identify the modules that may require revalidating. If they have completed their training under the current Adult Training Scheme, it may not be necessary to revalidate certain modules or certain validation criteria if they have completed them previously.

It's worth discussing with the learner their role and the training they require for it and advising them on any gaps you believe are in their proposed plan. There may be some modules which you believe would be helpful to them that they haven’t thought of. They may also wish to complete modules which are not required for their role but which they are interested in. If they are taking on an appointment which requires a Wood Badge, ensure that all the required modules for that Wood Badge have been included on their plan.

Remember that the basis for this discussion must always be the role description the learner has agreed with their line manager. Without an agreed role description, and therefore a detailed understanding of their role, you can’t be sure that the advice you are offering them is accurate. It is worth confirming with the learner before the meeting that they have a role description and that they are going to bring it with them. This will ensure that for both of you the time is used effectively.

Step 2 – Assessing their learning needs

Once the training requirements have been identified, you will need to discuss each one in turn to ensure both you and the learner understand what each requires.

It's likely that the learner will already have skills and knowledge that they have acquired in another role within Scouting or externally that can be used to validate some of their training. This means that
for some modules they may not need to do any extra learning or may only have learning to do for certain topics.

You will both need to agree whether the learner can already do what is required, or whether they need further learning or support to achieve it. It is important to spend time discussing what the module requires and helping them to identify which skills they have and which they may need to gain. Both you and the learner need to have a clear understanding of what is required at this stage in order to prevent issues occurring later.

Step 3: Agreeing the validation methods

Validation is the process where learners show that they can put their knowledge and skills about the topics covered in a module into practice in their role in Scouting.

Learners need to validate all the criteria required for their role regardless of whether they have gained their skills through learning or through prior experience. Validation should not be seen as an exam – it must be a positive experience in which the learner receives supportive feedback. You should be unobtrusive and allow the learner to carry out the task.

Step 4: Meeting and agreeing a plan

During the initial meeting you need to discuss the learner’s training requirements, learning methods and validation methods to create a Personal Learning Plan with them. Some learners may have already thought about steps one, two and three above before the initial meeting whereas others may choose to work through the first three steps with you.

At the initial meeting, you should ensure that the learner has a full understanding of:

  • The principles of the Adult Training Scheme
  • The scheme itself and the processes involved
  • The purpose of validation
  • The learning and validation method options that are available to them
  • The timescales to which they are working
  • Any other local information that may be relevant

In a single meeting you should not aim to agree a learning method, validation and a timescale for every module. Try to prioritise the modules and create a plan for those that the learner is going to work on in the next 6 to 12 months. At the first meeting with an adult new to Scouting, you may just want to agree the learning and validation methods for the Getting Started modules. These must be completed within five months.

By the end of the initial meeting the following key things should have been achieved:

  • Agree the modules the learner must complete
  • Identify whether the learner has any prior learning or what additional learning they need to do in order to validate their training.
  • If learning is required, agree the method they will use such as a course of piece of e-learning to gain the relevant skills for their role
  • Determine whether the learner wishes to work towards the external award option
  • Identify the validation methods for the modules
  • Agree a timescale for all the above

The Personal Learning Plan is recorded on the membership database called Compass, where it's stored and updated as the learner works through their training. As a Training Adviser you can update the Personal Learning Plan directly onto Compass when you agree their plan.

Step 5: Complete and Review

As the Training Adviser, you will want to know that the learner is working to the plan and that the learning is enjoyable and useful. At the same time, the learner will want to know that they have your support. As frequently as you choose, and certainly no less than every six months, you should meet with each learner to review their progress. You should then agree the next criteria they might tackle and the validation methods they will use. Although you will meet each learner in between to carry out validations, it is useful to clearly identify these review and planning meetings at regular points.

As the maximum timescale for the completion of Getting Started is five months, it may be useful to have a four-month review with the learner so that you can take action before the provisional appointment expires. If an adult’s provisional appointment expires and they have not completed Getting Started, then the adult’s line manager will be informed (through a locally defined route).

Resolving Challenges

Support and resources

Your County Training Manager is responsible for the management of all aspects of the training process. Depending on the local situation, they may delegate some responsibilities to Local Training Managers. Therefore, your line manager will either be the County Training Manager or a Local Training Manager. In Scotland the Assistant District Commissioner (Adult Training) Scotland is line manager for Training Advisers in a District. The Assistant Regional Commissioner (Adult Training) Scotland is line manager for Training Advisers required for Regional volunteer roles.

You should receive support from a network of other Training Advisers, and they will need your support in return. You will also work with the learner’s line managers to ensure that the learners receive the appropriate training and support for their role.

Administration and records

Administration and recording practices will differ between areas, but the following will be common to

A learner’s Personal Learning Plan should be updated regularly and is something that they should keep and feel responsible for. You also need to keep copies for your own records and your Local and/or County Training Administrator will need to be kept up to date on progress. Your County Training Manager may also ask for a copy of the Personal Learning Plan to help them plan which learning methods they need to be offering in the County and ensure the quality of validation decisions.

Local arrangements will determine how the administration is carried out and by whom. You should check with your Training Manager to make sure you know what you need to do. You can record the learning methods, validation criteria and validation methods for each of the training modules via the national online membership database, Compass. Once a learner has completed all the required elements of the Wood Badge the County/Area Training Manager/Assistant Regional Commissioner (Adult Training) will need to be informed to complete the recommendation on the membership database.