Are you reinventing the wheel?

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caveman-159359_1280A number of years ago I worked for the NHS up here in Scotland.  About 4 months into my employment I was asked to develop a course on appraisal skills aimed at hospital consultants. I duly went away and started the process.  A few weeks later I happened to meet up with a few other NHS Trainers and we got talking about the various projects we were working on. I mentioned the Appraisal Skills course I was working on and almost before I could finish speaking my colleagues were telling me about the various appraisal courses that they had written over the years. Sessions aimed at Dentists, Ward Managers, GP’s, Phsyios and Office based staff. Delivered in all manner of formats and timescales.


Obviously I had known that some sort of appraisal skills training would have been provided in the past, but it had never occurred to me that I would be asked to create something “new” when other courses on the same topic (albeit that they were targeting a different audience) had been designed as recently as 3 months previously!

I very much felt like I was re-inventing the wheel. I had already spent at least 10 hours on the needs analysis for the course, trying to work out exactly what was needed, but this 10 hours could have been more effectively spent reviewing the materials which already existed and determining how the content needed to be adapted and tailored to my target group. I could have been much further down the design/development road if only the NHS had conducted a recent content audit or had a content curation strategy in place.

When was the last time you performed a content audit?  either of your own materials that you have gathered over the years or the materials that your company holds?  If you haven’t done one recently, I would highly recommend that you do!  You never know what little gems you have hidden away.  And once you have don’t an audit, make sure you put in place an easy process to keep the record of files up to date, that way you’ll never have to do it again!

Share how you got on in the comments below.



Founder of Zostera Ltd and The Trainers CPD Club. I've worked in L&D for over 16 years across both the public and private sectors.

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