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OUT OF THE CRISIS July 29, 2010

Posted by ofqt in Evaluation, Improvement, London, Quality.
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OFQT welcomes World Quality Day 2010

Look out for how you want to get involved in World Quality Day this year.

Whilst delivering a content-rich seminar in London yesterday, my audience of learning and training professionals were eager to learn how to measure the impact of learning and improve the quality of learning .  My questions to them throughout the day focused on…

“Do you actually measure the impact of your training?”

“How do your sub contractors quality assure their provision to you?”

“Which of your learning areas would you like to improve and why?”

This generated some superbly vibrant discussions amongst the group.

‘Thought-provoking’ and ‘hard’ were two comments from participants when asked what had been learned.

From a trainers’ perspective, I was absolutely delighted, to see and hear fellow professionals really engaging with this subject and trying to find solutions.

Hope to get more opportunity to do this again.

Post written by Józefa, Managing Director at OFQT



Posted by ofqt in Associate, Learning, Sandy, Supervision.
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Sandy Scerri

Associate at OFQT

This is Sandy Scerri and I am a brand new Associate working with OFQT.  Here is my story about how important I believe Professional Supervision is likely to be for coaches and mentors in the future.

I remember when I started out as a Trainer almost 20 years ago, I was just ‘winging it’ really, based generally on the simple Train the Trainer I had attended and I know that with each training session I ran, I would feel a little less overwhelmed, yet still  fairly terrified at facing a group of expectant delegates.  How I practised and practised the training I was to deliver, but I was always worried that I would be asked ‘The Question of all Questions’ – the one I couldn’t answer.  I learnt very quickly to ad-lib, to pretend or to just bluff my way through the sessions.

Today, it is different – I have quite a number of training sessions under my belt, and I had more help and mentoring in recent years through a company I had worked for.  As a Professional Trainer I take pride in the training I deliver, however, I also know, it is a lonely profession, and that there was not much out there for my own development and it is only in the last few years that Training Networks have sprung up and Trainers actually talk with each other, although they are still reluctant to share their programmes for fear of being plagiarised.

But what if there had been someone out there, when I first started out, who I could have run things by, bounced ideas off of; someone who would review my performance, help me to refine my skills and help me hone my technical competencies?  Someone who could have helped me get even better in a profession I really love, open my eyes and ears to different opportunities, have me believe in myself more and my capabilities as well as just to having someone believe in me?

How I would have loved to have had access to Professional Supervision.  It is so encouraging to know that this is now available and that OFQT are leading the way in making this available to a wider audience – I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is in the Training, Teaching, Facilitating or Coaching profession who just needs to have someone who is there for them!

I look forward to making more posts here on the OFQT blog.

Written by Sandy Scerri, Associate, OFQT

E-mail: sandy@ofqt.com


Posted by ofqt in David bio, Hungary, Quality Training, Speaking engagements.
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Further to my last two posts, the conference is now ended, and while I enjoy my last couple of days here in Pecs, my mind turns to the lasting thoughts about how training and learning approaches need to change in the UK as well as across Europe.

Professor Kuchinke said:

“…development is goal-directed activity and goals are influenced by values.  One of the core dimensions of development is excellence in work”

This certainly encouraged me to think that perhaps, we at OFQT are right to keep promoting quality in training practice and excellence in learning.

Lazlo Szocs, HR Director (Hungarian oil company) said:

“…people will leave an organisation because of a manager, but will stay for a leader – develop your leaders and make a difference”

This quote particularly struck a chord with me, since we have been championing the development of leaders and innovative thinkers for many years, not just to help them increase their positioning, but more importantly to take actions through the willingness and ideas of their staff so that learning really makes a difference.  In fact, our strap line is ‘let your training make a difference’

I come home over the weekend full of new ideas for future research that will ensure that we continue to push people’s thinking about training and learning and how it can and will play a very important part in business recovery over the next 12 months.

Post written by David, Director, Research & Development at OFQT



Posted by ofqt in Comment, David bio, HRD challenges, Hungary, Speaking engagements, Supervision.
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As you saw from yesterday’s blog entry, I am in Hungary at present speaking at an International Conference for HRD professionals.

In addition to my own offering, there was a really interesting key note speaker in Mrs Ildiko Szutz, CEO,  Hungarian Postal Service.  Amongst other things she said that an important response to the many changes today is the need for “lifewide” learning.  Also, Professor Monica Lee, predicted that in the future there will be an increase in outsourcing.

Both of these comments are very much in tune with our direction here at OFQT Ltd, as we are renowned for ever pushing the boundaries and working on issues that are at least 6 – 12 months ahead of current learning and training thinking and future business needs for quality in training and excellence in learning

Our prediction is that businesses, large and small, who have had to remove their training functions or simply cut back dramatically on activity will find it somewhat difficult to ramp up the learning amongst their workforce again, which in many case may also have been depleted.

We know that as the upturn starts (we hope to see something move in this direction from early 2011) many of of these businesses will once again be thinking about training and staff performance.

However, it would be foolhardy to simply do what they have always done before without first taking the opportunity to reflect upon what their previous training actually gave back to the business in terms of improved quality, cost, time or management.

Certainly, for those who want to do this kind of reflection we have an evaluation and ROI consultancy service

However, in addition to looking backwards and measuring impact, there is also a need to learn from this and put in place a new learning and training infrastructure that saves money, is cost efficient and effective in terms of adding value to the business.

To meet this growing need we have introduced:

The Virtual Training Associate UK http://the-vta.co.uk

and its sister site

The Virtual Training Manager in Europe http://the-vtm.eu

I will write more about how this approach can underpin and support business recovery when I return from Hungary.  However, from now, goodbye from Pecs!

Post written by David, Director, Research & Development at OFQT


OFQT IN HUNGARY June 1, 2010

Posted by ofqt in David bio, Hungary, Speaking engagements.
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Once again we are off on our travels around Europe, this time David writes from Pecs, Hungary, where he is speaking at an International Academic Conference, he writes:

Szechenyi Ter, Pecs, Hungary

“…I am travelling over 200kms from Budapest airport to Pecs and crossing the river Danube to the University of Pecs and am in the company of a truly International group of HRD experts.  Looking forward to several days of intellectual stimulation, new friendships and fun in the wine growing centre of Hungary, which this year is the European Capital of Culture”

Post written by David, Director, Research & Development at OFQT



Posted by ofqt in ECLO, Speaking engagements, Turkey.
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Following on from the last post, some pictures and insights from Istanbul and the ECLO conference.

Józefa and Alaa from Dubai

As usual a high quality of attendee and speaker made this one of the most valuable conferences – ever.

We know we are in troubled times and yet the amount of innovation and quality approaches being taken by many of the speakers was evident to all that attended.

Józefa and Hans-Werner from Germany enjoying the start of the conference

Add to this the colourful and very enjoyable social time – where many new contacts and friends were made.

I ran a short session which was voted runner up in the ECLO Award for Highest Impact.  Having won this Award in 2007, it was wonderful to once again be nominated and to almost achieve this accolade again.

Józefa running her session on 'Optimism, Pessimism & Realism' - has learning lost its way?

Evidence of our social enjoyment, shown below…

The team at dinner in Istanbul

What a great time was had by all!

Post written by Józefa, Director, Business & Product Development at OFQT



Posted by ofqt in EFQM, Speaking engagements, Turkey.
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In just over a week we will be back in Turkey, Istanbul this time, speaking at the European Consortium for the Learning Organisation Conference.  Now in its 17th year, this is Europe’s longest serving Community of Practice.

At this conference, the theme is about

“Learning Excellence, a Survival Guide in Troublesome Times”

In keeping with the OFQT mantra, we are going to talk about training and learning and whether it has lost its way.

With the current economic climate forcing many organisations to abandon their training programmes altogether, those who do continue often simply produce a ‘glossy brochure of choices’.  We want to be really controversal and question why organisations do training at all.  More importantly, how does this lead to excellence and improvement in performance and change?

With our current trend towards promoting TWO quality standards for training, this is very much top of our agenda.

More soon, with pictures and some films from Istanbul.

The OFQT Team

“THE COMPANY” website March 28, 2010

Posted by ofqt in Cartoon Series.
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Now that Series 1 is ‘in-the-can’ (got to use the film industry jargon here) we have decided that “The Company” deserves an almost real life of its own – hence its own online space.

This will allow viewers to see all of the previous episodes and keep up-to-date with the developments as and when they please.

To visit go to


Hope you enjoy it and Happy Easter to you all!

The OFQT Team

“The Company” – Episode 8 March 3, 2010

Posted by ofqt in Uncategorized.
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Here is Episode 8 of our series “The Company”.  We are creating quite a following now for the series, hope you are keeping up with things.

If you have missed any episodes you can view them on our archive page

Our latest episode looks at evaluation – click on the picture below to watch the film

Mood swings :-( ;-) February 28, 2010

Posted by ofqt in EU Project, Turkey.
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Józefa from OFQT has just spent four days (18-21 Feb) on the South Turkish coast in Belek, nr. Antalya, with fellow project partners from Turkey, Belgium, Germany and Latvia to further develop the TI-SAETO project.

Behind the scenes of this work, we were treated to an extraordinary experience by our Turkish hosts and their choice of hotel – The Adam & Eve!

Given our business is quality and excellence, we know only too well how people have to be in the ‘right mood’  to undertake the sometimes significant changes that are needed if they are to improve their quality of management systems and work towards excellence.  This ‘mood’ factor was a constant throughout our meeting, given that the environment we were staying in had such a tremendous influence.

This concept hotel was created to adapt to individual ‘moods’ with the dark black and mirrored corridors designed to encourage you to leave your dark moods and negative thoughts at the door and help you to ‘see the light’ as you enter your ‘white’ room.  However, if you needed to change your mood, then you could adjust your room accordingly from red to green to blue to pink or even rotating rainbow colours to music!

The bar was as long as a football pitch and needed waitresses to circumnavigate it on roller blades with drinks balanced on a tray.  With bed-type loungers lining both of the mirror tiled walls, the mood was definitely ‘laid back’.

An amazing time was had by all of the project partners and one that definitely explored each of our senses!  More importantly, with these apparently heightened we produced a superb plan of action to guide the implementation of the project tool.

Who was to say that this wasn’t a quality experience?

For more information about the project see our main website page TI-SAETO

The OFQT Team