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The five pillars of an effective training cycle

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Preparing a successful training session is easy so long as the trainer has an organized mindset and is able to follow the five pillars of the training cycle.

This blog will explain what the five pillars are and will help guide you as a trainer in delivering valuable training in a healthy learning environment.

1. Stage one Planning

The first stage of the cycle is planning. Planning is your gateway to leading a group of learners effectively. It is the act of "Thinking in Advance" to implement the setting of objectives with the available resources. Planning helps you define the full scope of a project but it also helps you stay focused, set goals and objectives, meet deadlines, measure success and debrief the entire project.

2. Stage two TNA

TNA (Training Needs Analysis) is key to understanding a range of learners' needs such as being social, intellectual thought, emotional wellbeing and challenging beliefs. It is the second key stage in the training cycle. In understanding these, the trainer can tailor their syllabus and delivery of the content in order to meet the learning objectives in a way that is suitable for learners.

TNA could be done through interviewing learners before the course starts or during the course's application process.

3. Stage three Delivery

Delivery is the third stage in the learning cycle. During this stage trainers should aim to satisfy the different types of learners established in stage two, as each individual has their own preferences when it comes to digesting information.

For example, the VARK model determines four types of learners; visual, aural, read/write and kinaesthetic. There are a variety of other models which categorise learners differently.

Due to the individualism of learners, trainers must be well prepared with a sufficient variety of sources and learning to ensure nobody is lost along the training journey.

Trainers should also take care to make sure learners are surrounded with a positive and safe atmosphere as well as a clear overview of the lesson objectives.

4. Stage four Assessment

The assessment strategy is the fourth stage in the training cycle, and it is achieved through both formative and summative.

Formative assessment:

Formative assessment is usually informal; it assesses students' understanding of the curriculum and of their skills in advance.


  • Inventing an informal quiz based on a popular documentary to gain insight into learners' level of knowledge at the end of each theory session.

  • Students can devise questions about the content they learn and then quiz each other or ask students to present to demonstrate their understanding.

Summative assessment:

Summative assessment occurs at the end of an aspect of learning, it provides evidence of achievement after a period of instruction to judge and evaluate learners absorption, it is fundamental for accredited course and is often prescribed by the awarding bodies.


  • Assignments and workplace observation provided by awarding organization particularly if the learner will earn a qualification.

5. Stage five Evaluation

The final stage in the training cycle is evaluation, which could be carried out verbally, through an evaluation form or through an evaluation activity to review the course effectiveness.

The aim of the evaluation process is reviewing and checking continuously what needs to be improved in the course and what needs to be changed, in order to improve and consolidate the course with the latest updates and techniques including the content, delivery methods, learners satisfaction and assessment strategies.

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