How to gain “sign off” for your training request

You’re keen to sign up for an accredited IAM qualification and now need to get “sign off” and support from your Executive.

Here are some considerations:

• When is your training budget released? Think about the timing of your request so it coincides with the beginning of the budget year (or better still when budgets are being decided so your request can be factored in).

• Think about how your Executive likes to communicate.

If they prefer short, succinct and bulleted information present your request in that way. If they prefer visuals, a PowerPoint presentation may be a winning request format. If they love “all the detail” you may want to supplement your training request with the link through to the article “Top 20 benefits of accredited IAM training & qualifications”.

Remember, the most influential and successful proposals and requests are tailored to suit the style of the person you want to persuade.

• Consider your development goals identified from your last appraisal. How will the qualification help you achieve these goals? For example, if you’ve identified a goal to work on your communication skills does the qualification cover this aspect of learning?

• Concentrate on the benefit to your Executive as well as the benefit to you personally. Your Executive wants to know “what’s in it” for them.

Remember, you’re going to be taking time out of the office. Your Executive wants to know that this time is going to be beneficial in the long run. They are interested in ROI (Return on Investment).

• Use the Blog Series “The 5 Undeniable Benefits to Accredited Training & Qualifications” as a resource. Choose the benefits that are going to be the most persuasive for your Executive. For example, if your Executive is a member of a professional body they are more likely to connect with your want to be part of a professional body too.

• Try to pre-empt the questions your Executive will ask when you put forward your request.

Have you got ALL the information you need to hand? What problems is your Executive likely to pose when you put forward your request? For example, your Executive is likely to be concerned that you won’t be in the office for 2 days. Make sure you emphasise that

a) there will be another individual covering for you

b) you’ll run through the diary and do a debrief with your Executive the day before you are due out of the office and

c) Your Excellency work with you to find dates that suit you best for training, so you will put forward dates that create the least impact on your Executive’s schedule

• When your training request is granted, show your appreciation in the form of a “thank you” to prove you are truly dedicated and enthusiastic about your continuous professional development.

• The below text is an email that a Level 4 learner sent to her Executive which resulted in sign-off for training. This document gives guidance on format and content.

Example Request for Training

To:
From:
Date:
Subject: Accredited Training/Qualification Request

Per our discussions last week I have researched training courses and would like to request sign-off for the following qualification delivered by Your Excellency Limited.

IQ/IAM Level 4 in Office & Administration Management
Details and Consideration:
I need to attend 3 X two consecutive day training courses. The first scheduled training delivery is online via their Virtual Academy on 27th & 28th July 2020.

Training is then held every 3-4 months either Virtually or in London. Future training dates are decided based on best availability for me and the other learners – I will obviously check in with you as to the best days for me to be out of the office and which cause the least impact. I suggest we meet the day before the training to run over your schedule and check everything is in order. I will also ensure there is cover from one of the other EAs/PAs during my absence.

I need to submit written assignments following each training attendance. This will not impact on my working day and I will commit to write these in my own time.
Costs:
£2,480 (plus VAT). This equates to £413.33 per day’s training.

Benefits:

• The qualification is accredited by The Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) who are one of the oldest professional bodies for business and administrative managers in the UK and Industry Qualifications (IQ) who are regulated by OfQual. The training meets stringent quality standards in terms of content and relevance to the EA/PA profession.

• Your Excellency have been in business for 13 yeas and are highly regarded in the learning and development and PA communities.

• I have spoken to a Level 4 Graduate who has enthused about her sense of achievement in obtaining this qualification. She says she feels really valued by her employers, she has learned lots of great skills throughout her training and is motivated about putting her learning into practice.

• Per our discussions I believe it is important to keep up to date with skills and learning so I can ensure I’m assisting you to the very best of my ability. My effectiveness and efficiency will have a direct impact on your effectiveness and efficiency and ultimately save you time and money.

• We identified in my appraisal that I could step up to attending the monthly Strategy Meetings, initially with you and then in place of you. During the training there is a specific session on contributing during meetings and how to put forward your ideas, proposals and ideas to communicate with impact. We also cover business jargon and terminology that will help me with a more thorough understanding our business.

• I believe a wider understanding of management and leadership theories will help me appreciate and understand your role better. I will be able to identify other areas of the business that I can step up to covering.

• I will be able to work better with the management team if I understand their communication styles and motivations.

• Upon successful completion of the qualification I can add post nominal letters to my name which demonstrates our organisation’s commitment to valuing the EA/PA profession and adds kudos for me and our company.

• I will be a member of a professional body which reflects both my and our organisation’s commitment to upholding the standards of the EA profession.

I have added a meeting into your diary for 9am on 29th May 2020 to discuss this with you and to agree next steps and thank you for your support.

You’re keen to sign up for an accredited IAM qualification and now you know how to get “sign off” and support from your Executive.

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