Developing people through training
A Forestry Commission case study

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Page 3: The importance of training

Training provides the opportunity to gain or improve relevant skills or knowledge.

The Forestry Commission invests heavily in a range of training essential for the organisation's growth and development:

  • health and safety training, for example, in the safe use of equipment and pesticides. Regular refresher training is required under health and safety laws
  • technical skills, such as how to handle and work safely with powerful machines
  • other skills such as communication and leadership. These are required, for example, by employees in both logging areas and tourism roles
  • customer care skills necessary for working with the public, other organisations and internal customers.                                                                                                         

The Forestry Commission has a culture of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This is supported by a system of regular appraisals. An appraisal involves employees reviewing performance with their line managers to identify areas where they want or need to learn more. They then develop a training plan to fill the gaps. Part of the appraisal involves setting SMART objectives so the trainee knows what to expect.

The Forestry Commission is proud of its status as an Investor in People (IiP). This award is given to organisations that show a high commitment to looking after the needs of all their people. It sees training as an investment that helps the organisation to meet its aims and objectives.

Training allows staff like Julie McMorran to engage in learning that has clear links to their current or future roles. Julie wants to take more responsibility for her work so she is now studying for a Masters Degree in timber engineering.

Training can motivate employees and help them to work their way up through the organisation. They can develop their skills and knowledge to allow them to take their next career step. Becoming office manager might be the next step for an administrative support worker. A forest craft worker might move up to become a works supervisor.

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Forestry Commission | Developing people through training