TRAIN-THE-TRAINER: The CAP Philosophy

In Melbourne, Australia in 1970, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson designed the generic Career Acceleration Program (CAP). He used principles distilled from his leadership training experience in the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force.

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From 1967 through 1974 in Australia and South Viet Nam, Dr. Hewitt-Gleeson studied, as part of his military training and service, world-class Australian Army officer training in leadership, survival, confidence training, methods of instruction and military arts. He conducted further experiments while serving as a Chief Instructor in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Reserve Officer.

Hewitt-Gleeson discovered the value of Instructor Training in the military. The way military schools used coaching and mentoring to train young soldiers and officers. The military say that “the school of experience may be a good teacher but the tuition is prohibitive. It costs too much time to learn that way”. In 1970 he distilled his insights into the CAP Philosophy:

Whatever it is that you are doing, someone, somewhere is already doing it a "much better way".

Shrink your doing time to 80% and spend the spare 20% researching for that "much better way".

When you find the "much better way" you can leap straight to it, by-passing experience, which is too slow and too costly.

In 1976 at HBO Studios in New York he produced a 3-part video version of his train-the-trainer program (CAP I, II and II) which became the first nationwide video training program in the USA. The program was first used by Equitable Life Assurance in 185 of their branches across the US and also by the Ford Motor Company.

Since then, continuous, focused development of the training technology in the marketing, business, and public training applications has brought its evolution to its current stage of development.

CAP is a train-the-trainer technology, for converting knowledge into skill. In training CAP instructors, six principles are emphasised:

1. Learning By Teaching:

Learning by teaching means that if you have to explain something to someone else, then you must have already learned to explain it to yourself. So people are encouraged to teach their skills to each other, to their families, to friends online and offline.

2. Knowledge into Skill:

In academic education, lessons are often designed using SLOs (Student Learning Objectives). The evaluating question is asked: What will the student know? In military education, lessons are often designed using SPOs (Student Performance Objectives). The question is asked: What will the student do? There is a BIG difference in outcomes between these two methods of instruction. This important principle is about developing a thorough understanding and conviction of the difference between merely having knowledge on a matter and owning a skill of performance in it. The virtue of virtuosity. Understanding the strategy of practice and repetition.

3. Measurement:

Unless one was deliberately willing to trade off the necessary time and energy needed to acquire a new skill – that is, logging the hours of practice and repetition – the trainee could never expect to go beyond the knowing stage and reach a level of operating skill. This means focusing on the process and measuring it in hours of practice and key performance indicators (KPIs).

4. Commitment to Action:

The skills must be useful in daily life. To assist the transfer of skills acquired in training to real life situations, trainees designed specific “action commitments” on special planners including times, dates, places, etc.

5. Effective Follow-up:

The monitoring of feedback and measuring results were an important part of CAP. Checking to see if what happened was what the trainee really wanted. This became a continuous part of the process.

6. Reinforcement:

Noticing increments of progress in acquiring new skills and then recognising them in an appropriate way by feeding back information–cybernetically–for positive reinforcement were fundamental principles of CAP.

 

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192 thoughts on “TRAIN-THE-TRAINER: The CAP Philosophy

  1. Taking together these six principles will significantly improve my chance of acquiring both cognitive and practical skills..
    By using CAP, I can imagine how people’s skills will be changed and become different in both quality and use.
    CAP can help people to upgrade or maybe rebuild their learning capabilities.

  2. The CAP process ensure that the knowledge is converted into actionable skill ; it is improved and shared with more brains to further improve. This approach at work if implemented can create an open, sharing environment with feedback loops. Also important for a leader to nurture such environment where you are not just sitting in an ivory tower but also participating in uplifting the team’s performance.

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