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In Training, what does "Train the Trainer" Mean?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The term "train the trainer" is used to refer to the need to provide people who offer training and instruction with training of their own so that they can provide suitable education to their students. People often learn more from trainers who are experienced and who have pursued education to learn to become better at their jobs. This, in turn, translates to more success for a person offering training, allowing them to build up businesses on their reputations as skilled, helpful, and competent trainers.

Some forms of training are institutionalized and closely regulated. Teachers, for example, must complete college programs in education and pass certification exams to demonstrate that they are not only competent in their subjects, but skilled at teaching it. Other train the trainer programs provide education and certification for people who may not be required to be certified to teach, but who can benefit from acquiring skills at such a course.

A typical train the trainer program introduces people to basic pedagogical or teaching concepts so that they understand how people learn and how to facilitate learning. These courses also teach people about working in groups, providing one-on-one instruction, and facilitating a pleasant time for all people involved in a training. They also often offer tips and suggestions for activities, homework, and other aspects of a training program that will help people train more successfully. Such programs may also offer education in professional ethics.

These programs often offer assistance with marketing and public relations. Graduates are provided with a toolkit of things they can use to promote themselves and their programs. Some offer packets at the end of the program with mockups of brochures, promotional videos, and other materials that can be used for promotions to get trainers off on the right foot.

The length and quality of a train the trainer program can be quite variable. Some are aimed at people who are just starting out as trainers and instructors, while other are for experienced practitioners who want to hone their skills. Trainers who are considering furthering their education should ask people currently working in the profession about where they received their training, if they have any advice or recommendations, and how to get the most out of a training program. People who are already working may also be willing to act as mentors and advisers to help people get started once they are certified.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By nextcorrea — On Dec 22, 2011

Just 20 or 30 years ago it was hard to find a reliable personal trainer. The industry was dominated by amateurs who had tons of their own crack pot ideas about the best ways to train. A lot of people got hurt, or at the very least saw no results from their training program.

Luckily things have changed. There are now a number of widespread programs to train skilled trainers and there are reliable certification programs to confirm people's credentials. You can find a highly qualified and educated personal trainer at a reasonable price. Working with someone who knows what they are doing will ensure your safety and success.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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