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After a torrid 2020, National Career Development Month couldn’t have come at a better time. If you’ve suffered a redundancy, want to progress in your career or just enjoy learning, developing yourself by taking a training programme is the answer. And to ensure you take a smooth path to completing a course, choosing to learn with an accountability partner is a proven route to success.

In fact, research found that people are 65%1 more likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success then increase to 95% when they have ongoing meetings with their partners to check in on their progress.

1. Choosing a partner

Getting started is the hardest part when choosing a training course but finding yourself a training provider who gives students all the tools to succeed is a pretty good place to start. At Pitman, we educate students through guided learning because we believe that education with accountability gets the best results. This means we not only provide straightforward courses with excellent support, workbooks and online course material, but we also give access to a learning coach. A learning coach’s role is to ensure a student has the best chance of success, they help motivate, guide and support students to help them achieve their goals. All of this support is backed up by our MyPitman learning management system.

The reasons people take training courses regularly boil down to one goal… to better themselves. Twenty-seven per cent of students said they took part in education to develop themselves, 25% said they did it to get a recognised qualification, and 24% said they did it to do their current job better and improve skills. So, whether someone’s looking for employment, or wants to upskill for their career, assisted learning with an accountability partner gives them the best chance of achieving a diploma or completing a training course. With twice as many people in managerial, professional and associate professional occupations having accessed training (30%) compared to those in intermediate (16%) or routine and manual fields (18%)3, it’s clear people who train have a better chance of career progression. A learning coach guides students through their training, supporting them to manage their time, giving fast feedback and ensuring learners stay one step ahead of deadlines. This kind of assisted education gives students the best chance of success.

2. Taking account of the benefits

Thirty-six per cent of learners who took training courses said that they felt the benefits of their education and that it improved their knowledge, and more than a quarter felt that they had improved the skills required to do their job better. Some other benefits enjoyed by students are that they achieve an increased self-confidence, not only in work but in their personal lives too.

However, 13% of the UK’s adult learners in a 2019 survey stated that they had not yet experienced any changes or benefits from taking an education course. The difficulties these learners reported facing were not having access to a flexible course, not feeling confident enough and having problems with reading and writing. An assisted training course with an accountability partner eliminates these factors by firstly, highlighting struggles at an early stage and secondly, offering students expert advice from a patient and professional learning coach.

3. Online but not alone

During 2020, access to learning has taken on a very different look with more people studying online and this is likely to continue into 2021. Whilst online courses give adults the flexibility to study in the comfort of their own home or from the office, without the right support, the likelihood of actually completing an online course is very low. At Pitman Training, we counteract this by allocating a learning coach to each of our students. So, when a student decides to complete a training course with us and can’t make it into one of centres, their learning coach is always accessible to keep them on the right track.

One of the most significant difficulties facing those studying online is a lack of motivation to learn independently2. Now be honest with yourself, after a long day, if there’s a toss-up between doing an extra hour of learning or watching Netflix, which would you pick? A learning coach gives students the friendly nudge required to make the right choice.

4. The IT word

When it’s out of your hands and your learning is off track because you have technical difficulties and IT is letting you down, you need a partner too. At Pitman Training, our students are taken through a step-by-step guide to set up their online and in-centre learning environments. Our learning coaches are also on hand to ensure any IT difficulties can be solved quickly so your education journey is not disrupted.

A guided learning experience is critical in ensuring students get the feedback, support and motivation they need to complete their training course, especially with online courses featuring more prominently this year. Whether you receive online or face-to-face training or a combination of both, learning in a supported environment with an accountability partner will give you the best chance of success.

  1. The American Society of Training and Development: Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training: 2010.
  2. Learning and Work Institute, 2019, Adult Participation in Learning Survey 2019.
  3. Gov.UK, 2019, Adult skills gap report 2019.