Trainer criteria went into effect in January 2017. The history of it’s evolution is outlined below.
- EARLY CHILDHOOD TRAINER – Trainer Qualification and Approval Criteria
- TOPIC TRAINER – Trainer Qualification and Approval Criteria
Trainer Criteria Workgroup/History
Creating and implementing criteria for trainers was a rather large undertaking that has been an important and ongoing discussion at The Nevada Registry and among the Registry Advisory Committee for many years. In December 2005, the Registry Advisory Committee began examining national trends related to trainer criteria, reviewed many states’ systems, participated in ongoing dialogue with members of the National Workforce Registry Alliance and formed a specialized workgroup, The Trainer Criteria Workgroup. The conversation was put on hold during the phase-in period of mandatory participation, but was reinitiated during the 2016 calendar year, with roll-out of a new and improved training approval system in 2017.
Much has changed since those early discussions in 2005. Training approval systems across the nation have evolved tremendously. As a result, trainers and ECE professionals alike are now increasingly advocating for, and expecting, a higher standard of training/trainer approval in Nevada. This, coupled with aligning approval criteria and policies with the best practices of registry systems across the nation, prompted The Nevada Registry to:
Once again research the trainer and training approval systems of other states;
Gather formal and anecdotal data from registered trainers;
Explore the key components of high-quality professional development/training delivery.
These efforts helped to determine the best way to create a new and improved training approval system in Nevada.
Guiding Principles for Trainer Criteria
Two guiding principles served as the roadmap for the development of trainer criteria and an improved training approval system in Nevada:
- There is a correlation between the education level of the trainer and the quality of training. Fiend, Ph.D., Richard (2002). 13 Indicators of Quality Child Care: Research Update. Pennsylvania State University, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care, University of Colorado.
- ECE professionals who receive higher quality training will provide better quality care and education to young children. Barnett, W. Steven (December 2004). Better Teachers, Better Preschools: Student Achievement Linked to Teacher Qualifications. Rutgers State University of New Jersey, National Institute for Early Education Research: www.nieer.org.
Purpose of Creating Trainer Criteria
The purpose of implementing criteria for trainers was two-fold and was based on the premise that consistent standards for trainers promote high quality training and guide early childhood professionals in choosing training opportunities.
From a Trainer’s Perspective:
Approval criteria holds trainers to higher standards, helps to highlight a trainer’s specialization and unique skills, supports the professional growth of trainers, and increases the number of qualified trainers in Nevada.
From an Early Childhood (ECE) Professional’s Perspective:
Approval criteria helps to support higher quality in trainings, consistency in trainings, helps ECE professionals make more informed decisions about the training/trainers they select, and increases the quality of care and education for all young children in Nevada.
An improved system will not only increase the standards for training approval but will ultimately lead to a better prepared and knowledgeable ECE workforce in Nevada. It is through the approval and delivery of higher quality professional development to ECE professionals, that children will be positively impacted, which is the most important outcome of all.
All components of the trainer approval system are based on current research, knowledge and best practice recognized by the Early Childhood profession. The original Trainer Criteria Workgroup identified several national trends that were relevant to the development of trainer criteria and were important considerations as our state proceeded with this process:
Many states across the country have trainer approval systems which are based on tiers or levels within their systems. Levels are designed to capture an individual’s experience as a trainer, experience in the early childhood field, and education in ECE.
Training approval systems across the nation are heavily embedded in Adult Learning Principles. There is a great deal of agreement about what constitutes good practice in the education and training of adults. The use of sound practices of adult learning encourages participants to seek and use knowledge. Training is most effective when adults are involved in the planning of the training and when there is a basic understanding of the following:
Adults learn best when new information validates and builds on their prior knowledge and experience.
Adults are more motivated to learn if they are active participants in the learning process and viewed as a partner with the trainer in the learning experience.
Adults are concerned with actual practice and want to apply their learning to present/personal situations where opportunities for learning are rooted in a problem-solving context.
Adults benefit from training designed to contribute to their self-esteem and personal, as well as professional growth.
Proposed Stages of Development
Back in 2005, The Nevada Registry developed a careful and conservative approach to the implementation of trainer criteria. At that time, the four specific steps outlined below were created to serve as a roadmap for this work. Several of the original steps have already been completed and others are in process. The draft plan remains dependent on Registry resources and overall statewide objectives and directives. The strategy can change at the discretion of The Nevada Registry, the Registry Advisory Committee and/or the Training Approval System (TAS) Advisory Workgroup (which replaced the Trainer Criteria Workgroup in 2017).
Step 1: Trainer Survey – Completed April 2009
Through a partnership with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, a survey will be conducted to all ECE trainers in order to create a profile of who currently provides training in Nevada. The survey will collect demographic information, assess a trainer’s familiarity with Adult Learning Principles, identify their current training practices and determine the professional development needs of trainers. Review the survey results:
Step 2: Online Orientation on Adult Learning Principles – Completed June 2013
Highly competent trainers of adult education provide meaningful learning experiences for their training participants based on principles of adult learning. To increase the likelihood that all trainers possess basic knowledge of adult learning principles, all approved trainers with The Nevada Registry are required to complete training in adult learning theories and strategies in order to initially qualify as a trainer.
Step 3: Creation and Implementation of Trainer Criteria – Completed November 2016; Implemented January 2017
In an effort to create a network of approved trainers in Nevada, The Nevada Registry team, with help from an independent research firm, the Trainer Criteria Workgroup, the Registry Advisory Committee and feedback received from registered trainers, created a trainer qualification process and approval criteria for both Early Childhood (ECE) and Topic Trainers. The new requirements were developed with one goal in mind: to create better outcomes for children through the delivery of high-quality training, by highly qualified trainers.
Trainer criteria vary depending on the trainer category; but in general, is based on formal education in ECE, specialized training and certification in topics outside the field of ECE, content expertise, an individual’s experience delivering training to adult learners and direct service experience working with children in an early childhood setting. Trainer categories are determined by The Nevada Registry based on the information verified through the application process.
The development of trainer criteria was guided by a strategic plan that incorporated multiple opportunities to solicit feedback from registered trainers throughout the process and involved a series of carefully executed development and research activities:
The Nevada Registry partnered with KPS3, a research firm based in Reno. In March 2016, KPS3 conducted one-on-one interviews with a small group of trainers to learn more about their thoughts on upcoming changes and enhancements to the training and approval system. Through the interviews, valuable insight was gained about what is working well and what The Nevada Registry can improve upon. The feedback gathered is helping to shape decisions around the development of trainer criteria.
March-August 2016 – Research about the existing trainer pool in Nevada was conducted. Profiles were also created to examine the criteria and approval policies of 35 states ensuring that Nevada’s criteria were reflective of best practices and mirrored national trends for training and trainer approval systems.
- In August 2016, KPS3 administered a survey via Survey Monkey to all currently registered trainers to solicit input. The feedback gathered from the survey helped The Nevada Registry rank priorities and determine the next steps in the development of trainer criteria.
The 2005 Trainer Criteria Workgroup was reconvened in October 2016. The workgroup finalized the criteria framework and presented it to the full Registry Advisory Committee for feedback.
In November 2016, the trainer qualification and approval criteria were unveiled. To ensure that the criteria were clear and to solicit additional questions about the criteria, registered trainers were invited to complete a short survey consisting of three (3) questions.
A second opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification about the new trainer criteria and qualification process occurred on December 7, 2016, in the form of a Q&A session conducted via conference call. All registered trainers were invited to participate.
In August 2017, a new workgroup called the Training Approval System (TAS) Advisory Workgroup was created to help guide the ongoing development of the training approval system.
Step 4: Creation and Implementation of Evaluation and Quality Assurance System – Not Yet Initiated
Evaluation of training quality is an important component of the training approval system. The Nevada Registry plans to have a strong evaluation process and quality assurance system in place in the future. This process could include such components as participant evaluations, periodic observations of and follow-up with trainers, online surveys of training participants, and more.