Organization has the capacity to maintain a functional information system on its training program

An organization's ability to use its information system to track its training activity

"Organization" refers to a ministry of health, nongovernmental organization, or other institutions responsible for training at the national/regional/institutional level. "Capacity" refers to the personnel, software, and other mechanisms required for an information system. "Information system" refers to a database with information (preferably computerized) that allows easy retrieval of key information.

Evidence of the existence of a functioning system and its use for training-related decision-making

Assessment by an external expert

One measure of institutionalization of training capacity is the ability within the local system to document the numerous national/regional/institutional level indicators of the training activity. These include number of trainees, characteristics of the trainers and of the trainees, content of the courses, number of events/methods used, number of contact hours, standards of competence used for different categories, percent achieving those standards, and cost of the training.

In the past, training programs tended to track their "performance" by reporting the volume of activity performed: number and type of people trained, number of courses conducted, number of contact hours achieved, and so forth. This type of "bean counting" may serve certain purposes for local institutions, but the more sophisticated training environment, places less emphasis on these measures of activity and greater emphasis on results achieved.

A training information system (TIS) is designed:

  • To track who was trained in what (for the purpose of identifying gaps that remain);
  • To assess how organizations selected trainers and which trainees these organizations should select;
  • To link with other data sources to measure the effect of training on service delivery; and
  • To maximize the cost-effectiveness of the training.

The criteria used by one training organization as benchmarks of progress on establishing a TIS are as follows:

  • Criteria are developed/revised to select appropriate participants for specific RH clinical training;
  • A TIS has been established at the national/regional/ institutional level to document the number of RH professionals trained, in terms of method and cadre (out of the number eligible for or needing training);
  • The TIS links training statistics with service delivery information to enable service delivery gaps to be identified; and
  • A mechanism exists for monitoring whether adequate numbers of providers are available/being trained for RH service provision, in terms of method and cadre to meet ongoing/changing service delivery needs.

A good TIS allows an institution to: avoid redundancy; match training plans with needs; replace lost capacity due to high turn-over with new personnel; and improve training inputs (e.g., better trainers, improved curricula, best training practices applied).