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With learning and development encompassing such an array of opportunities to…well, learn and develop, it can sometimes be difficult to know which of the options available are actually best suited to your needs and the lines between education and training can often be blurred.

In fact, there is quite a significant difference between the two, perhaps best described by Jay Cross, an e-learning specialist who famously (amongst e-learning specialists) said:

If your sixteen year-old daughter told you that she was going to take a sex education course at high school, you might be pleased. What if she announced she was going to take part in some sex training at school?

So you see, quite significant.

The fundamental difference is that training has a strong skill-based focus. In undertaking training, you are learning how to be proficient at one specific thing. In terms of internal communication, this might mean that, in order to be good at your role, you need to have excellent copy-editing skills. And so you might attend a copy-editing training course to teach you how to do this.

You might then go back to work the next day armed with your new copy-editing knowledge and be the fastest, most meticulous and proficient copy-editor there ever was, and consider your training need sufficiently filled.

What you might not know though, is the theory that underpins copy-editing and the various critiques of different approaches, allowing you to judge when to use one approach versus another. This is the knowledge that would come from copy-editing education and would provide you with a wide perspective on your subject in order to develop your critical thinking, reasoning and judgement.

This is not to say that one method is better or more valid than the other. The debate on education vs training is a long standing one but, ultimately, the decision should come down to your individual needs.

Undertaking some education will broaden your understanding, whereas training will give you a more precise sense of expertise. Whatever you decide, the IoIC has something to offer, from a wide range of training courses to provide you with the exact skills that you need to be able to take back to the office the next day, to a framework of academically accredited qualification to help you become an expert over time.

To talk about which route is right for you and your team, call us on 01908 237 564 or email [email protected].  
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