Lack of proper training compounds problems

Lack of proper training compounds problems

Tony Collins and Mike Simons

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CSA staff were not happy with the training they received. Despite the delay in implementing the agency's new system CS2, "a number of staff were not trained before having to work on the new system, and others were not trained in the full range of tasks they were expected to undertake.

"We were told that one team of 16, working entirely on CS2, initially had only one trained member. Some members of this team were not trained for a year after implementation."

Some of those who had been trained told the researchers they were taught things they would never use, and others were left with large knowledge gaps.

"Staff felt the trainers were only just becoming accustomed to the new computer system themselves and were told by some that the trainers had received only the training they were delivering."

One focus group member said, "The training - and this is not to pick on the trainers - was abysmal, absolutely dreadful."

Managers joined frontline staff in expressing frustration. Several managers said the training did not prepare staff for their jobs.

Managers confirmed reports from frontline staff that training took place on "clean" cases, which "did not prepare staff for any real difficulties they may encounter (and soon did)".

One manager told the researchers this that this was "probably a good thing, since staff may have been less keen to get started on real cases if they had been alerted to the problems during training".

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