24 Replies
Bob S

Hi C,

Our approach to the Training Request Form is a bit different....

We view it as just a starting point for the conversation between the Training PM and the Stakeholder, as opposed to trying to capture all the info we might need. And we want to keep the entry barrier low and non-initmidationg. Think of a salesperson and a customer.... we are the experts so we don't want or expect the customer to know everything they need.

So we do a simple  "1-pager" that starts the stakeholder thinking about the kinds of discussions we are going to have. For example, in addition to just a few standard questions like project name and expected rollout date, we ask questions like:

  • "Which of the companies three main 2012 initiatives doesyour project support and how" (3 sentences or less)
  • "What is your initial feeling for what the top three goals for the training should be, not your overall project" (list, 1 sentence each)
  • "What other stakeholders do you feel should be involved in the process" (list)

Where we do get a bit more detailed is the Training Proposal that we send back to the stakeholder(s) after the discovery phase.  IMHO, the Request is a great thing to have, but you really want to have the Proposal to go with it.

Hope this helps and good luck,


Bruce Graham


A few things that seem to be missing for me. Granted, they may come out in discussions, however, they need to be in there right at the start IMHO, (not in any particular order...)

1> Is there any reason why this needs new "training" per se - have you checked the existing resources?

2> Why are they getting it wrong? (This is slightly different from "Why do they need it?", and aims to try and tease out, for example, that they do not need more training, they just need the existing Induction training to be amended...)

3> Who is the ultimate sign-off for this training? (Often the ultimate signatory eventually gets contacted, and does not sign it off, leaving a budgetary sh1*storm. Best to warn them upfront of your intentions!). **NOTE - this person may not be the same as "Approval Authorisation". You need to be sure of the FINANCIAL chain of command rather than just the Chain of Command. Just because there is a "Training Budget" does not mean that the person in control necessarily wants it used for this...

4> Need much stronger measures of success in my opinion. Link it to increased revenue, reduced loss, reduced business risk $s etc. All training has a financial measure (or should have), it;s not about "...what they can do differently...", that's a given. It's about "What positive $ difference will this investment make to our business?" - and how can I prove that it has happened.

Just some thoughts.


David Doerrier

My experiance has been similar to Heidi, training "professionals" coming up with solutions before understanding the problem or cause.  During a few years at a previous employer I came to see that the terms Objective and Solution were not understood and most times thought to be the same.  It got to the point were the word Objective was looked at as a four letter word and a joke.  Now you know why I refer to them as previous employer. 

We must know the reason for the pain first and only then can we design a solution to fix the pain or problem.

Great topic.  Thanks.

Christelle .

@ Heidi.

 In addition to Zara's great ideas, I also added a few more ideas to my list.

Similar to yours Heidi:

What method of training do you want?

Who will be delivering the training (if it is ILT)? Will it be the training department or someone else? If it is someone else, training may need to take time to train the trainer.

 Also, another question may be what materials are required? Participant guide, job aid(s), etc.

I do not want the request form to be too long, but it would be great to gather as much information up front as possible.

@Zara thanks again for sharing!

James Brown


Are you trying to make a document that users fill out to request training or are you referring to a document that someone would fill out to request an e-learning training module? Zara''s document is looking at the actual training materials request but if we are talking about training in general, that is a different subject matter and the document would also be different. I.e. you would be asking questions such as where the training will be held, number of participants, equipment on hand, room to be used, etc.

You may also look at Cathy Moore's Action Mapping tutorial that may help you develop your document.

Hope that helps..

Mike Taylor

I agree that this is more about the opportunity for starting the conversation with the stake holders.That conversation should serve the purpose of either confirming that training is appropriate and sufficient. (It's often not, at least not by itself.)

A couple of the best thing documents that I've found for having these types of conversations are:

"21 Questions to Ask Before Designing Any Training Program" by The Training Doctor http://tmiket.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/21-questions-to-ask-before-designing-any-training-program/

The Performance Flow Diagram from Mager &PIpes's "Analyzing Performance Problems

We owe it to our stakeholders and ourselves ensure we're sending the appropriate solution to do the job. Nothing worse that sending a training course off to do a job that will never be successful in changing anyone's performance no matter how good it is.

I think we need to be much more consultative than being like an 'order taker'. It's definitely not always easy but I think it's worth it in the long run. What do you think?

Bruce Graham

Spot-on Mike.

Be an "order-taker", and you will forever be treated like one.

Be a business-equal, and you will be treated like one, and share in their success. They will come to you to help them create it. It's a whole lot easier having people come to you than fighting for every new piece of business.


Zara Ogden

I find that a lot of my SME's think they know what they want going into a session. But like everyone I am sure agrees what they want and need are 2 very different things. The questions and info i request is an opportunity for them to tell me what they want. From there we meet to discuss it and then determine what they need.

I get quite a few difficult SME's. I also have some that are eager to have material made and this doc creates a got form to rekindle convo.

Bruce Graham

Zara King said:

I find that a lot of my SME's think they know what they want going into a session. But like everyone I am sure agrees what they want and need are 2 very different things. The questions and info i request is an opportunity for them to tell me what they want. From there we meet to discuss it and then determine what they need.

I get quite a few difficult SME's. I also have some that are eager to have material made and this doc creates a got form to rekindle convo.

Earlier today one of my clients commissioned me to produce "So you want some eLearning created? What the business REALLY needs you to do...".

There will be nothing ground-breaking to people here, but it might be quite fun for him to hand to them and see the reactions! 


Bob S


You were wondering how extensive the matching document to the Request, the Training Proposal, is.

The answer we all hate is.... it depends.

For internal projects with a department and stakeholder we have an established history with - Fairly short

For first-time partners - It can be fairly extensive. Can get into what we will do and won't, change order details and CYA details.

But in any case, there a couple of things we ALWAYS have:

  • The true goals of the TRAINING (not project) - "They will be able to X"
  • The topics (not questions) to be assessed (sometimes method is detailed, sometimes not with established partners)
  • The delivery method/s
  • The SMEs that get an Opinion and the Stakeholders that get a Vote 
  • Costing

Again, we view ourselves as the pros that are here to help you solve a business problem. Part of being a pro is gathering facts then making a reccomendation. Our Proposal is where we do that formally. That's why we don't ask stakeholders what kind of training they want or the like in the Request.  And to Bruce's point, sometimes our professional opinion is that Training is not the answer; or at least not the sole answer. Our proposal reflects that as well in such cases.

Hope this helps,


Mereki White

The other thing we have recently added to our request form - particularly for e-learning programs - is the contact person for the comms plan being run by the business unit (i.e. whoever will write the stories, brief the managers, etc etc) and the intended target for enrolments... this saves us reaching the end and having them say "we didn't think about that, we just figured you would enrol everyone" and also improves the chance of the end user engaging more effectively with the learning, as they understand where it fits in the scheme of things and often there has been a 'campaign' of emails, meeting advice or other interactions to support their enrolment in the module. 

Bill Candland

I am looking for something similar. We want to have a form to request changes in current training material. Does anyone have this type of request form? In an ever changing industry, we are always having to review our material and would like a process for our SMEs and trainers to submit requests.

Nicole Legault

In addition to everything that was shared here, here's a few more new articles about training requests: 

Handle Training Requests Like a Pro https://community.articulate.com/articles/handle-training-requests 

Training Needs Analysis - When is E-Learning the Solution? https://community.articulate.com/articles/needs-analysis-when-is-e-learning-the-solution