Outlining the scope of the training


Anne Bradbury, L&D Consultant Last Published  24 March 2014

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Background information
Having conducted the training needs analysis, it is essential to produce an outline of the proposed scope of the training initiative. This is sometimes called a scoping document or a training specification. The scoping document forms the basis against which the training is designed, delivered and evaluated. It is essential to discuss and agree the scope of the training with the sponsor and senior managers before any design or delivery takes place. Failure to create a scoping document can lead to problems later on.
The purpose of a scoping document or training specification
Producing an outline of the proposed scope of the training achieves the following:
  • It provides clarity about what the training will/will not achieve.
  • It also provides the basis for discussion and revisions before it is finally signed off by the business. 
What should be included in a scoping document
Ensure the title clearly identifies what the training is about.

Training aim
Make sure you provide a rationale for the training? i.e. why the training needs to take place. Provide a short statement describing what the training aims to achieve.

Participant profile
Check that you have described the job roles and levels of the target population. Also consider whether there are any selection criteria for attendance.

Learning objectives
Ensure you have stated what performance will be expected from course participants at the end of the overall training period. Write objectives in terms of skills, knowledge and behaviours. Are the learning objectives unambiguous and realistic?

Pre-course preparation
State any pre-course preparations that may be required such as completion of questionnaires or discussions with line managers.

Content overview
Provide an overview of the key areas to be covered. For example, section headings with a brief description of the activities involved.

Post-course follow up
Describe post-course follow up activities will course participants be expected to undertake. Consider what steps they will need to take to apply the learning in the workplace and what support managers may need to provide.

Evaluation methods
Plan how you will evaluate the training and describe each level of evaluation and methods to be used.

Trainer experience
Describe any necessary Trainer experience and skills.

Suitable venue
If relevant, describe what sort of venue may be needed. For example, you may need to hold the course off-site or in the work environment.

Proposed duration
Allocate approximately how much time will be required.
You should specify the following:
  • Pre-course preparation time
  • Course duration
  • Post-course follow up time
Creating a scoping document
Go to the Checklist for outlining the scope of training document available in the Support material section. Print this off and use it whenever you need to create a scoping document. We have also provided a Sample scoping document for a performance management course, as an example.