TWI Certification

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              A piece of paper stating a person is a "Certified TWI Trainer" is only as good as the organization issuing the certification.  It must be independent and not sell the training itself.  An organization that sells TWI Training cannot issue an industry certification because it would not certify its competitors.  Currently, there is no independent organization in the United States that certifies TWI Trainers or Institute Conductors (Master Trainers).  A group of people with a strong interest in TWI assembled in September 2006 to discuss this point and could not quickly reach agreement on how to create a certifying body.  A committee was formed and they have not reported back to the original group.  The  main sticking points are that a valid certification requires much work to create, is expensive, and as noted, requires an independent organization to assume the responsibility.  Therefore, at this time the word “certified,” appearing before “TWI Trainer” has no meaning in the US because there is no independent organization that issues a TWI Trainer Certification.

              All of the original TWI material is in the public domain and available at the National Archives in Virginia.  The TWI Report and Training Manuals are generally available in libraries in major cities and universities.  Articles and books based on those materials are also available.  An intriguing part of TWI is that merely reading the manual will not make you a competent trainer.  People really must be shown how to deliver the material.

              There are only a few external TWI Trainers in the US at this time.  The number is unknown to this author because some competitive consultants wish to create the illusion that they are the only qualified and thus certified TWI Trainers.  Most of the TWI Trainers are internal trainers in that they only train employees in their own companies.  However, more and more consultants are saying that they offer the TWI Programs, which increases the need for a valid certification.  The best way to find a qualified trainer is to ask, using the same methods you did to find this article.  Since there is no official certifying body, being “certified” has no meaning.  Therefore, the operative phrase is “let the buyer beware.”  Find out from the trainer’s previous clients the answers to questions such as:

     The requirements for becoming a TWI trainer will vary among those offering the service.  The original manuals are available on line and some companies offer videos with some literature.  When you learn that you can also buy a PhD degree on line, you will realize that the phrase "let the buyer beware" must be emphasized.  As mentioned, the TWI Programs are somewhat unique in that they must be taught 1:1 to be really effective.  The best analogy perhaps is that of playing golf.  Playing golf is conceptually easy yet there are volumes written on how to do it.  Although if one is serious about doing it correctly, one hires a coach.  There are too many nuances involved to determine by yourself why you are not hitting the ball correctly.   In a short amount of time, a golf pro can tell you what you are doing wrong, so you can correct that aspect of your game.  Without the coach, you may believe you are doing someting right or wrong, when it is really the opposite.

     Round Pond Consulting  Services offers two ways to become a trainer: the classic Group Method and the 1:1 Method.   For additional details go to Training Options.  In either case, the Institute Conductor must observe the trainer candidate deliver the material to actual Participants.  Delivering the material to other Trainer Candidates, as is done in the Group Method, is not training.  Thus, the Group Method requires that after the 40+ hour week of Train the Trainer, the Institute Conductor visits the Trainer Candidates facility to observe him or her training.  This incurs an added expense, which some may not be willing to incur.

              Note that it does not make a difference whether you are an external or an internal trainer.  The disadvantage of being an external trainer is that you must find an organization where you can find people to train for your training.

              The process to become an Institute Conductor follows from that of becoming a Trainer.  I would expect a trainer to have delivered at least 10-12 sessions before attempting to become an Institute Conductor.  The requirements for becoming an Institute Conductor will vary with the individual.  Variables include the amount of previous training experience, other assigned duties, number of observations done, among others.  This will be handled on a case by case basis.


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