Planning training – who benefits from training?

Who benefits from training?

Members of the public and researchers at all stages of their journey with public involvement in research may benefit from training.

Those new to involvement may benefit from an initial introduction, such as what involvement or research is, the principles behind it and some practical information about how they might do it. They need to have a clear understanding of their role, what is expected of them and what to expect from the others in a team.

People who are starting to undertake involvement may need training to develop particular knowledge to enable them to be effective in their role. For example, researchers might need more detailed information about practical aspects, such as accessibility or payment, and members of the public might need more detailed background information on the particular research topic or nature of the role they are undertaking. Researchers and members of the public may also need to develop their skills. For example researchers may value training in facilitation skills or chairing group discussions, while members of the public may wish to develop research skills such as conducting interviews.

People who are more experienced may value training to enhance their practice. For example, researchers may wish to find out more about employing service user researchers. Members of the public may need training in taking on roles with greater responsibilities, for example chairing advisory groups.

Anyone in a research team may need some training. For example:

  • researchers may not already have the necessary skills and knowledge for public involvement in research
  • members of the public don’t necessarily lack the skills and knowledge – they may only need help with adapting their existing skills to the research context.

For researchers, it may not be necessary for every member of a research team to be fully equipped with all the skills needed to manage the public involvement so identify the person best placed to lead on this and assess their training needs (see carrying out a needs assessment). Other members of the team, for example a statistician or data manager, will need to understand why the involvement is important and what it contributes to the process, but not necessarily how to manage it.