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What makes a great trainer?

By Rich Streeter, Trainer at Alpha Safety Training Solutions

If you are considering pursuing a career as a trainer you may be asking yourself whether you are ‘cut out’ for the job, and what skills are needed to be a great trainer. Being a trainer can be an extremely fulfilling and rewarding role with diverse groups to train and different training venues and environments.

Above all is a genuine passion and belief in what you are teaching, alongside an understanding and interest in people and learning styles.

Technical knowledge/formal qualifications

To work as a trainer, you will need as a minimum, a Level 3 Education and Training qualification (or equivalent), as well as extensive practical experience in a particular area is usually a pre-requisite. Knowing your subject inside out is key, as is being able to draw on examples from your own work experience to support the more theoretical learning points.

Ongoing research of the topic you are teaching including changes in legislation, best practice and industry news ensures that delegates are taught the most recent and relevant content.

It’s also helpful to be aware of different learning styles and techniques so the delivery of the content can be tweaked to suit each group.

Soft skills

From my experience, there are a few personality traits that all great trainers have in common. These enable them to deliver effective, relevant and interesting training courses.

  • Adaptable and engaging personality: No two groups are the same so being able to engage with and adapt training styles to different groups is essential. And a good sense of humour is always helpful!
  • Good organisational skills: You need to be prepared, on time and able to manage your own admin and time
  • Excellent communication skills: as you will be dealing with internal and external stakeholders, communication is key. You might know in your head what you’re trying to say, but if you can’t convey this to the delegates, the learning outcomes won’t be achieved
  • Considerate, thoughtful and accepting of other views and beliefs

This is by no means an exhaustive list - from my own personal view the most important thing is learning how people work, as you get different ‘people’ dynamics on a day to day basis. It is my firmly held belief that as a trainer you have to be ‘in the moment’ and develop and adapt your learning style accordingly.

It’s extremely rewarding being a trainer and contributing not only to my own CPD, but also the delegates I train from a multitude of companies across the UK and in previous roles from around the world.


Rich Streeter has been training in one form or another since 1999, initially at British Airways as a Cabin Crew and Flight Crew Safety Trainer as well as ‘on the job’ training through many different disciplines during this time. He has been with Alpha Training Safety Solutions for over four years, part of this time as an associate trainer and now as a full time trainer for over a year. 

If you’re considering a career as a trainer, contact Emily on 01903 871381 or send your CV to  info@alphahealthandsafety.com

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