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Learning While Working: Structuring Your On-the-Job Training

  • Tuesday, December 04, 2018
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Virtual Webinar

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Many job roles now require more “on-the-job” learning than classroom-based learning to gain the knowledge to fulfill the job duties. Yet as important as this window of learning is, too often “on-the-job” training is not treated with the same attention shown to classroom-based learning. Instead, we revert to a sink or swim approach, with very little guidance, minimal uniformity, and even less tracking of learning. Consider if this is good time to throw the standard approaches out the window, ignore all the training clichés, and launch your own Structured On-the-Job Training program. In this session we will address the basic stages in building an SOJT program to: track on-the-job learning, empower the learner to be the driver of their own development, equip mentors to more effectively provide needed experiences, and allow leadership to identify the knowledge levels of team members for advancement. A strong SOJT program should: document experiential skills and the methods for tracking them, train mentors for knowledge transfer, and prepare a readily-accessible library of support materials to benefit the learner, the mentor, and the overall professional development process. Such a program can also help attract and retain talented employees. This session is presented by the author of “Learning While Working", published by ATD Press. Case studies from that book will also be used in this session.

How will you be able to apply this session?

Identify the steps to build their own Structured On-the-Job Training program. While no two programs will ever be identical, the framework to develop one is basic and consistent across industry sectors and job roles. Understand how a Structured approach to On-the-Job Training provides valuable learning and business results. Where standard OJT programs can be ‘trial by fire’ experiential learning, when an OJT program is Structured so that OJT happens in an intentional manner tied to business needs, the learner and the employer both win. Adapt and Apply lessons learned from a variety of case study examples. Attendees will receive electronic copies of tools and resources used in the creation of SOJT programs by multiple entities in various business sectors. Some solutions are fairly standard, but others are more creative and even a bit 'outside the box'. These templates will help provide support for the process of building, launching, and maintaining an SOJT program of their own.

ATD Area of Competency


About Paul Smith

Paul Smith has spent nearly 30 years coordinating the deployment of learning resources to support organizational initiatives and individual improvement. He has designed, implemented and evaluated instruction in public, private and nonprofit sectors; as well as for all career levels, learning styles and age ranges. Paul currently serves as Talent Development Manager for The Waldinger Corporation. Under his guidance, Waldinger has developed industry-leading professional development programs in the areas of structured experiential learning, pre-boarding of interns, efficient acquisition training, microlearning solutions, and built a curated central repository of developmental resources. Paul has become a recognized leader on the topic of structured on-the-job training (SOJT). He presents at confer-ences (including multiple years at ATD’s International Conference & Expo), has written trade articles, and is author of the book Learning While Working: Structuring Your On-the-Job Training, published by ATD Press. Paul is active within the workplace learning and performance profession, including long-standing membership in the Association for Talent Development (ATD) on both the local and national/international levels. He served on the Central Iowa ATD Chapter Board for eight years and has served on several ATD national-level committees including a term as chair of ATD’s Chapter Recognition Committee and as a member of ATD’s National Advisors for Chapters. Currently Paul serves on ATD’s Public Policy Council, he co-facilitates the Central Iowa ATD Chapter’s Leadership Special Inter-est Group, and he continues to have responsibility for selecting winners of both ATD’s Excellence in Practice and the ATD B.E.S.T. awards each year. Paul’s volunteerism also includes 10 years as a selection committee member for the annual Iowan of Character Awards and membership in the Master Builders of Iowa, serving on its Educational Advocacy Committee. Paul was appointed by the Governor of Iowa as a Business Sector Representative on the Central Iowa Workforce Development Board, and he chairs its Planning and Operations Committee. Paul regularly meets with public officials to promote greater awareness of legislation beneficial to the workplace learning and performance profession. For more information about Paul Smith’s background and experience, please visit www.linkedin.com/PaulSmithATD.

Additional Resources

Learning While Working

Learning Insights

Direct Instruction

Taming the Whirlwind


Webinar Cancellation Policy


As soon as you complete the registration process, you will be guaranteed a seat at this event. The completed registration process initiates an invoice from your ATD Buffalo Niagara Chapter to you that may be paid online, or by mail.

Event cancellations received within 48 hours prior to an event may be eligible to receive a full refund. Cancellations will be accepted via e-mail and should be sent to the VP of Programs at programs@atdbuffalo.org. All refund requests must made by the member or credit card holder. Refunds will be credited back to the original method of payment within 30 days from the date the payment was received. Requests for cancellations received after the stated deadline will not be eligible for a refund.

What happens if I register and then cannot attend the event?

If you cancel at least 48 hours prior to the event, you will not be charged. If you’ve already made payment, we will be happy to issue you a refund. If you cannot cancel before 48 hours, please feel free to send someone else in your place. Kindly send an email to programs@atdbuffalo.org so we can have materials prepared for that individual. Our goal is to make sure that person feels as welcomed as possible.

How do I cancel my registration?

To cancel, please send an email to our VP of Programs at programs@atdbuffalo.org.

Thank you for adhering to this policy. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.



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