Crafting a Blueprint: Preparing a Session Plan for Competency-Based Training

A session plan is like a detailed ‘running sheet’ for your training program or course. It covers everything you need to prepare for and deliver your training session. The session plan is the last instrument in the series of training tools that flow from the Training Needs Analysis – following the learning program and delivery plan. You might choose to perform some revision of the instruments and tools before the session plan, as presented in the first portion of this course.

So what exactly goes in to a good session plan?

  1. Details of the learning environment.

So that the trainer can plan ahead and take care of any set-up requirements, such as arranging tables and chairs, this information is essential. If there are any OSH guidelines to follow, they should be listed here.

  1. Resources required.

This section should include any resources and/or supporting materials that the trainer will need throughout the course of the session. As needed, this would contain books and handouts as well as photocopied materials and videotapes, as well as overhead transparencies and supplies for activities.

  1. Identified and potential constraints and/or risks.

There should be a note or section on the session plan that identifies any potential risks or limits that could affect the session. This information should be included in the session plan if there are OHS concerns associated with a practical component of the training.

  1. Special learning needs of learner/s.

In the case of a learner with a disability or with literacy challenges, specific information about their needs would be included in this section.

  1. Overview of the assessment methodology for this training.

For the trainer’s benefit, a brief description of the assessment process (such as whether it is a formal test or demonstration) can be given. The trainer would refer to the assessment plan if additional information was needed.

  1. Detailed breakdown of time allocated to all activities and delivery for the session.

The session plan must demonstrate the trainer exactly what he or she is delivering and the scheduling of all components of the session, whether it is a half-day, a full-day, or a two-hour workshop, for example.

  1. Catering requirements.

Occasionally, the trainer will provide morning/afternoon tea or lunch for the group; if this is the case, any special dietary needs and other relevant facts are listed here so that you can plan catering accordingly.

  1. Details of competency standards.

If the trainer is providing instruction, the session plan will specify the levels of competence that will be met (as well as any requisite qualifications).