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How to Structure a Training Organization

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Organizational structure is the framework upon which roles, decision making and responsibilities are arranged. Like a graph or pyramid, it provides you with a reference overview of your training organization, and its lines of reporting. Structuring your training organization is dependent on factors such as how many employees are involved, whether power is decentralized and what sort of training is offered. Training organizations range from federal government departments to small private businesses. In a small training organization with frequent face-to-face interaction, a highly developed structure may not be necessary. In a government department, however, it is essential.

Determine who is responsible for the overall operation of the training organization. In the case of a large operations, it will be the board and the CEO. For smaller businesses, it will be whoever owns the company.

Sketch out a chart indicating the structure of your training organization. In most cases, it will be a pyramid shape, but in some instances it might be a diamond, where there is senior administration, a large number of trainers and a small support staff, or a circle, where there is a collective of trainers.

Develop job descriptions of who is responsible for what in your training organization. Identify the specific skills required for each position, goals, expectations and evaluation procedures. Also identify who the person reports to, as outlined in your training organizational chart.

Review the structural plans for your training organization with a senior colleague or mentor. Second and third opinions are helpful when looking at important plans.

Invite stakeholders to a meeting about how to structure the training organization. Solicit opinions from trainers and support staff about what they think of the structure and where there might be room for improvement. Participation encourages “ownership.”


Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.