AGM: Training Report

Firstly, I'd like to note my appreciation for the efforts of our last training officers (Pam Firth and, before her, Ann Philpott) for their fantastic efforts over several years managing and developing our training program and leaving it in such good shape. But I also like to acknowledge the wonderful support provided by Davina Dadley-Moore in helping me ease into the role, and also note how enjoyable it is working with Steph Heriot and Louise Zedda-Sampson of the professional development subcommittee, and of course with the rest of the Editors Victoria committee.

Our 2016 Training Program

As of 20 September, we have conducted nine courses of our 15-course 2016 program. Two courses were cancelled for lack of bookings (Dance Steps for the Self-Employed Editor and Introduction to Copyediting). The remaining courses have run at a surplus, which totals about $6000 to date. In all, we have had 125 attendees at the nine courses, and numbers boosted very substantially by large numbers of bookings for the References and Bibliographies course and the Getting Ready for the Accreditation Exam course, both run by Susan Keogh.

Looking Toward 2017

When I was appointed to the training officer role, I resolved to spend the first 12 months running basically the same program while getting to know the portfolio, then conducting an end-of-year review of the program for the longer term.

There is much to consider in such a review.

For example, there is a general philosophy around that our training program should be gap training for experienced editors who want highly specialised, in-detail training on specific topics. Despite that, our introductory courses remain popular and many trainees report they are starting out in industry. 

The positioning of our training program within the context of the Australian editing standards, IPEd provision, tertiary provision, industry requirements and international best practice (such as we see from the UK Society for Editors and Proofreaders) is also something we need to look at. 

Crucially, we need to understand what members want, what they expect to pay and can pay, and what it is reasonable is charge them. For example, our general pricing policy is to charge what we understand to be industry rates for one and half-day courses and to cancel courses that fail to cover their costs by several hundred dollars or more. It appears this policy will result in a surplus of some $6000 this year. We need to be clearer about whether generating such surpluses is consistent with what the training program is meant to be about.

Accordingly, we are in the process of designing a questionnaire for members about these issues, which I hope will go live at the end of September. I encourage you to have your say: we need to hear from a broad cross-section of members so we can thoroughly review our training program to ensure it is the best it can be.

Ron Thiele
Training Officer