Planning a Training

Compiled by:
Sreevidya Satish (Ecosan Services Foundation)

Executive Summary

Before you conduct training, you need to do a detailed plan for what you will do, why you will be doing it and how to reach your objectives. When creating training programs, trainers need to follow certain guidelines to create an effective package. If you have to design a new course, a lot of preparation work and practice run-throughs are required for a polished final product. This document guides you step-by-step through the planning of a training to make sure that it will be successful.


The design of the training program can be undertaken only when a clear training objective has been produced. The training objective clears what goal has to be achieved by the end of training program i.e. what the trainees are expected to be able to do at the end of their training. Training objectives assist trainers to design the training program (SUDDERUDDIN 2006).

Training Dimensions

(Adapted from NAUKRIHUB 2007)


The trainer: Before starting a training program, the trainer analyses his technical, interpersonal, judgmental skills in order to deliver quality content to trainees.


The trainees: A good training design requires close scrutiny of the trainees and their profiles. Age, experience, needs and expectations of the trainees are some of the important factors that affect training design. This is ideally done before a training in a learning needs analysis.


Training climate: A good training climate is important for the training outcomes. If there’s no good climate, you could try some icebreakers to create a better atmosphere.


Trainees’ learning style: The learning style, age, experience, educational background of trainees must be kept in mind in order to get the right pitch to the design of the program. Knowledge on the basic principles of adult learning can help you to adapt your training to the learning styles of your trainees.


Training strategies: Once the training objective has been identified, the trainer translates it into specific training areas and modules. He prepares a priority list of about what must be included and what could be included.


Training topics: After formulating a strategy, the trainer decides upon the content to be delivered. He needs to put the training topics in a comprehensive structure, which helps him not to forget anything and the trainees to know what they will get.


Logistics: There are virtually hundreds of things needed for a professional training, starting from a training hall to pins necessary for the pin board. Read the logistics factsheet to make sure nothing will be forgotten.


Constraints: The various constraints that lay in the trainers mind are:

  • Time
  • Accommodation, facilities and their availability
  • Furnishings and equipment
  • Budget and design of the training

NAUKRIHUB 2007 Typical Training Design Process

Typical training design process. Source: NAUKRIHUB (2007)

Planning Steps

Creating a course for any learning situation can be done following a simple step-by-step process. It can be as complex or as simple as you need it to be, considering your audience. Follow these steps and your course will be easy to teach and easy to learn from (adapted from GWA 2003):


Step 1: FOR WHOM? Decide for whom the course is designed. Specify their levels of seniority, likely ages, gender, expertise etc. How many people will come? Think about their likely current level of understanding of SSWM issues and their level of motivation to attend the training course.


Step 2: Write a one or two sentence purpose for the course. WHY do these people need training? Think about this in relation to the participants’ job responsibilities or, for community level courses, particular issues/problems the community is facing. Is there a particular reason to have the training at this time like new policies or guidelines, particular problems that have arisen, new issues arising from SSWM, or follow-up to previous training?


Step 3: WHAT FOR? What do you hope the participants/organisation/community will gain from the training? This is similar to the above question, but slightly different in emphasis. A training course is short, so it is important to be realistic about what one training course can achieve. What, realistically, do you hope the training itself will achieve? What do you hope will change as a result of the training? Review the description and the purpose and decide on one to three objectives. To help write the objectives, think of an action verb and connect it to something that the learner will be able to do once the course is completed.


Step 4: WHEN will the training be conducted? Think about this in relation to participants’ commitments. Would a block of time be most appropriate, or a series of individual sessions? How long is the course going to be? Divide the course into learning sessions - you can do this by looking at the objectives and create a session for each objective or pair of related objectives. Determine how long each session will last. You decide how much time you need to teach the objective and measure the outcome in each session.


Step 5: WHAT will the course cover? Bearing in mind the above – the participants, the needs of the institution, and the constraints of time – brainstorm a list of SSWM topics/issues you want the course to address. For each session you will need content. Do you want to focus only on specific implementation tools? Do you want to get the concept of Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management across and/or do you want to focus on HOW to proceed in SSWM? You can find the contents in the respective sections of the toolbox, including further reading material that you may want to recommend for your learners to read.


Step 6: Design activities that will utilise the reading material. These activities can be discussions, reports, or projects. They can be individual assignments or group assignments. They can be graded or not. These activities can be used as assessments to determine if the learner has met the objectives through the measurement standards listed.


Step 7: The final step in each learning session is to review the material covered, the activities completed, and the assessments done to ensure that the objective and measures have been met.


Each training course needs individual planning, depending on the training participants, objectives, timeframe, etc. The step-by-step guide in this document can be used when planning any training, offering helpful tips what to consider.


  • Can create a learning environment
  • Training logistics can be done efficiently
  • Course schedule can be modified
  • Session plan for each session
  • Course evaluation can be easier
  • Makes training more effective


  • Can be undertaken only with clear training objective

References Library

GWA (Editor) (2003): Gender Mainstreaming: Practical Skills and Critical Analysis ODG. Dieren: Gender and Water Alliance.

NAUKRIHUB (Editor) (2007): Training and Development. Training Design. URL [Accessed: 13.03.2011].

SUDDERUDDIN, K. I. (2006): Designing a Training Program. Afghanistan: Singapore International Foundation. URL [Accessed: 07.05.2012].

Further Readings Library

Reference icon

GWA (Editor) (2003): Gender Mainstreaming: Practical Skills and Critical Analysis ODG. Dieren: Gender and Water Alliance.

This module is a guide to developing and implementing Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops. The overall objective of the module is to equip the participants with the knowledge and skills required to design and conduct practical training courses in mainstreaming gender in IWRM. The module is supposed to be used as a manual to be able to deliver culturally specific training of trainers.

Reference icon

SUDDERUDDIN, K. I. (2006): Designing a Training Program. Afghanistan: Singapore International Foundation. URL [Accessed: 07.05.2012].

A presentation which was held in Kabul during a workshop. It presents a way to make a training program and is divided in eight steps which help to improve a training program.

Reference icon

WSP (Editor) (2007): Training of Trainers’ Manual on Community-driven Total Sanitation. Module 1: Guidance Note. Washington, DC: Water and Sanitation Program. URL [Accessed: 20.08.2010].

This manual is made for resource agencies engaged in training potential master trainers to facilitate and scale up community-driven total sanitation. This document facilitates the understanding of key concepts of community-driven total sanitation.

Reference icon

CAWST (2015): Delivering Effective WASH Training. Alberta: Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology CAWST. URL [Accessed: 19.08.2015].

This Trainer Manual is to support people who facilitate Delivering Effective WASH Training (DEWT). It is based on the practical experience of the CAWST, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology.

Important Weblinks [Accessed: 11.02.2010]

A guide which helps to design a training course. The guide contains 8 general steps which accompany you during the process of creating a training course. [Accessed: 11.02.2010]

This link describes the various components of training and important points which have to be considered if a training course is planned.