What does ADVANCED training mean?

chalkboardblank.L1In my phone interviews and online survey with prospect researchers, you told me you want ADVANCED training. But what does that really mean?

You, the prospect research community, are so generous. Thank you! You shared with me and now I’d like to share back. As many of you know, I was inspired to create a new company, Prospect Research Institute LLC, but I wasn’t clear on what kind of education was wanted or needed.

So in February and March of 2014, I asked prospect research professionals…

  • 117 of you in an online survey in the U.S. and four other countries
  • 56 of you on the phone in 22 states and two other countries

You had a LOT to say! And I might be more confused now than when I began…

In a previous blog post, To Certify or Not To Certify, I described many of the responses to the question of certifying prospect researchers. Pretty much, there are two types of certifications: (1) training new people in the field to a minimum standard, and (2) certifying someone as an advanced practitioner.

Given that 60% of online respondents and 46% of phone surveys were researchers with five or more years of experience (and many 10+ years), it’s not surprising that certification was not top on the minds of most. However, a majority did feel that a certification would help develop respect for the profession.

So what was on your mind? ADVANCED training. Sort of.

Many felt that trainings were either too simple or too complex and did not offer the opportunity to apply the solution to real-world problems – especially their own! So although most people wanted ADVANCED training, the most common words used were “step-by-step”, “nitty-gritty”, and “nuts-and-bolts”.

Bottom line – many of you want advanced training that walks you through solving real-world issues. But what does ADVANCED mean? The question couldn’t come at a better time. Now that APRA has released the results of its Body of Knowledge project we can each reflect on how we might want to fill-in those areas where we have gaps.

Advanced training to me means:

  • Access to an expert – Because I need specific questions answered, not a mass lecture
  • Access to learning materials in multi-media – Because I have mastered the basics and need less hand-holding
  • A focus on projects that let me apply the new learning on my own and in groups – Because I want to be able to create a network I can call upon long after that training is over

What does ADVANCED mean to you?

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