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Is your training legally defensible?


What is the definition of training? How do I know if my agency is delivering defensible training?


Training Defined: A formal exchange of job-related knowledge and/or skills from someone having it to someone needing it where something is acquired and applied resulting in something of value for the agency. If that exchange is properly planned, implemented anddocumented as training it can be defensible training.

Defensible Training: When all of the following 6 elements are clearly documented you have defensible training.

  1. It is based upon specific objectives. Performance objectives (intent) and lesson plan or the functional equivalent (content).
  2. It must be job-related. Statement of direct relevancy to the job (based upon problem analysis or performance analysisin the case of an existing employee or job task analysis for a new employee).
  3. It must be from an appropriate source. Name of trainer with evidence of credentials, expertise, preparation, or proficiency.
  4. It must be of sufficient duration -- hours. How long did it actually take to learn? Must be reasonably related to the complexity/importance of the topic (can include actual time spent learning, processing/practicing, and being tested).
  5. Where something relevant is learned -- quality. Individual Assessment of Trainee(What the trainee learned? Was it applied? Did the agency see a benefit?)
  6. and, Appropriate staff were in attendance. Attendance documented with roster of names and titles/positions of staff who perform tasks or share problems.


Civil Liabilities and Other Legal Issues for Probation/Parole Officers and Supervisors: 4th Edition

Lyons, Phillip, and Todd Jermstad, National Institute of Corrections (NIC), 2013

Document ID: 027037

ITIP Toolkit: A Guide for Working with Curriculum Developers

Gurnell, Betty, and Renee Bergeron, National Institute of Corrections (NIC), 2011

Document ID: 024773

The Six Moving Parts of Correctional Training Effectiveness

Morton, Gregory R., and Aaron Shepherd, National Institute of Corrections Academy, 2009

Document ID: 025226

Avoiding Your Day in Court--Addressing Training Liability Through Defensible Strategies

National Institute of Corrections Academy, 2005

Document ID: 022318