Survey results: how do trainers review their performance?

118 trainers from 38 countries

During January 2017, we have conducted an online survey among trainers to identify practices, needs and interests of how trainers review their performance and assess their competences.

The survey gathered 118 answers from trainers coming from more than 38 countries. You can download slides which summarise the main findings based on the survey responses.


Based on the analysis of the survey data, the Guild has furthermore proposed a two-year project called “AppRaiser”, aiming at developing a standardized web-based competence and performance appraisal service for trainers, which will include both 360° external reviews as well as self-assessment tools. Apart from conducting the survey, the concept for this appraisal service has been consulted with a wide range of stakeholders in the international youth work training sector and is developed in line with the European Training Strategy’s competence model for trainers.

The overall aspiration of the project is to raise the quality and impact of youth work by improving and supporting the assessment and development of trainer competences, which is one of the Guild’s main missions.

Should you have more questions or ideas, please do not hesitate contacting us:

We are thankful to the international community of youth work trainers for your contribution!

infogrphic summary of survey results



Exploring competences

Ahead of the start of the 360 appraisal process the group began to explore competences and how those relate to trainers and the guild.

What is a competence

The participants split into five groups and were asked to explore competences. Each participant was asked to run a short ice breaker activity for their group and afterwards have a group discussion about what competences were needed to facilitate the activity. They then came back together and were asked to put the competences they had identified into six categories…

  • Skills

  • Knowledge

  • Attitudes

  • Experience

  • Values & principles

  • Behaviours

Jonathan also shared with the group one definition of competences with them, acknowledging that this might not be everyone’s definition…

Competence profile comprises everything which characterises the type and content of our professional action and conduct.

What makes a great trainer?

What makes a great trainer?

What makes a great trainer?

The participants began to think about what competences that three types of stakeholder would expect from a good or a great trainer. Jonathan divided participants into three groups and gave them each a stakeholder to think about. These were…

The participants came back together and shared their findings with the whole group. There were a number of competences that the group felt that all of the stakeholders would expect from a great trainer, but some that were specific to one particular stakeholder. Additionally the group explored which competences they felt would be realistic or not.

The group are keen to hear from you about your views on what competences make a great trainer. Leave your comments below to share what you think is important with the group.

Walking and talking with junior and senior

Before lunch the group headed out for a walk and talk, their topic was the question of junior and senior trainers and what the difference might be in relation to the guild. The participants split into smaller groups to walk and talk about the topic.

On returning to the main group they fed back that maybe the terms ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ trainers were not the best and created a sense of division which isn’t helpful. There were also concerns that ‘junior’ trainers might not be able to achieve membership status as they may not have delivered enough trainings to receive references as part of the process to join.

There was a suggestion that ‘junior’ trainers should be able to become associates of the guild and be supported with development by full members in a circular process but further thought needed to be given to how exactly this would work.

Input, process and output

Input, process and output

Simple systems

Next the group moved on to explore simple systems and the inputs, process and outputs that are expected as part of delivering a training. Jonathan first asked the participants to say what the felt the outcomes from a successful training would be, then the inputs and finally the process that would convert the inputs into outputs.

Finally the group discussed that the process part is where the competences are and that all of the words in this section were verbs – indicating that they are active things that trainers need to do in order to get the outputs they are hoping for.

Creating the guild competences

The participants split into three groups to start exploring what the competences for the guild might be. Jonathan shared with them a variety of other competence lists including ETS and Trace which could be used as a basis for defining their own for the guild.

Competences for guild trainers

Competences for guild trainers

After a period of discussion the group came back together to present what they had found with most agreeing on a set developed by one of the group. During the evening a small group refined this and incorporated feedback in order to agree a draft set of competences. These are…

  1. Ability to facilitate individual and group learning processes.
  2. Promoting the values of learning to learn.
  3. Ability to design educational programmes.
  4. Ability to effectively cooperate with a variety of people related to training.
  5. Ability to purposefully facilitate meaningful communication with and between others.
  6. Ability to embrace and promote diversity, sensitivity, social justice and inclusion.
  7. Experience and/or specialism in working with young people.
  8. Curiosity and ability to understand yourself and a desire to actively pursue your personal/professional development.

It was agreed that these competences should be underpinned by the guild code of ethics which is still to be developed and that within each there may be a series of subsections which would include additional information. You can comment on the proposed competences on the Google document here.

If that is the competence then what is the question?

Finally the group spent some time considering what the most appropriate questions and measure would be for each of the competences. Jonathan asked the participants to suggest a measure for a competence of their choice and then give an example of what the question might be. This exercise was designed to explore what questions might be asked as part of a new 360 appraisal based on the guild trainer competences developed in the previous session.

If that is the competence then what is the question?

If that is the competence then what is the question?

Some of the questions and answers included…

  • Q: How effectively are you aware of people’s personal space?
    A: 1-6 seconds hugging with a partner
  • Q: When was the last time you asked for help from a colleague?
    A: Place yourself on a relative scale, one end is the start of your career and the other end is now
  • Q: How much did [name] seem interested in your life interests?
    A: Open question
  • Q: Could you name two or three moments when [name] has tried to understand you?
    A: Open question
  • Q: To what extend is [name] curious to understand his/herself and what is your evidence to support that?
    A: Open question
  • Q: How authentic is [name] in relation to the guild values?
    A: Open question

Following on from the exercise the group discussed the 360 in more detail thinking about how the learning trios could explore more personal questions and unpack feedback in more detail. It was agreed that this would need to be a safe space where members felt comfortable and that their 360 feedback would only be shared with the recipient unless they chose to share it in the learning trios.

It was also acknowledged that the 360 should be promoted as a benefit and a tool for personal development, not a requirement. It should be an encouraging space which fosters a sense of trust and opens up critical dialogue. It also shouldn’t affect a person’s membership of the guild but rather give direction to their own personal development priorities.

Next the group will pilot the 360 process with the learning trios. Don’t forget to follow the blog to continue on the IYWT journey and leave comments with your views so they can be fed back to the group here.