The Road to Becoming a Trainer

Where passion meets industry knowledge, with a dash of impeccable communication skills. Columnist Gregory Francis shares his challenges and reflections in this insightful piece for the next trainer hopeful.

Psst! Want to be a Trainer?

From columnist Gregory Francis

A good question to ask! Do you have passion, good industry knowledge and communication skills? These are the minimum requirements to perhaps consider a second career as a Trainer.

To be a certified trainer in Singapore, one must first attain the Advanced Certificate in Learning and Performance (ACLP). This course is conducted by the Institute of Adult Learning.
This course is recognised by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) as meeting with SSG’s Adult Education (AE) qualifications requirements for the training and assessment of SSG-funded certifiable courses. 

I am a certified associate trainer with APRO Training Centre for the past three and a half years. It is an established and well-recognised training centre that provides professional training for the security industry. It offers various Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) certified programmes from Operations to Management level.

My experience in training has been fulfilling. I have trained candidates from a variety of backgrounds. From housewives who seek to enter the workforce, to bankers who have been retrenched to rank and file security officers who seek to upgrade themselves to earn better remuneration and to ex-gangsters. The landscape has been filled with colourful characters out of an action storybook!

It is often said that “the mediocre trainer tells, the good trainer explains, the skilled trainer demonstrates, and an exceptional trainer inspires”. Training is not only about delivering content. Relying on content while sacrificing process is a sure way to be boring, one-sided, and out of touch. It requires much more. Be a good listener, be understanding and show empathy to the different subsets of your audience in critical ways that affect their engagement, learning, retention, and motivation to apply what they are learning effectively.

As a trainer, I am also a learner. An equation that requires balancing between unknown variables. Each trainee brings to the class his or her history that we must unravel to understand them better. In a short period of time, we must engage them constructively to impart knowledge. I strategise each lesson to help all the different types of learners absorb information in a way that fits their individual needs.

In simple theory, trainers are aware that learners are either visual, auditory, like to read or write or have kinesthetic tendencies. I would use PowerPoint presentations, read out key points, have them take notes or let them demonstrate role-plays as a way of encapsulating the lesson plan.

It may seem a lot of work but believe me, the satisfaction of knowing that each candidate that sits for an assessment is competent or has passed his test, is great. Not many are aware that a security officer in Singapore is required to sit for a series of assessments to be granted a licence to work and in the process acquire further competencies to earn a higher salary. The smile on their faces, their warm handshakes or even hugs I receive is beyond words. I can gladly say that my learning journey has been rewarding on a road well-travelled so far.

About Institute for Adult Learning

The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) is an autonomous institute of the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

IAL works closely and supports Adult Education professionals, businesses, human resource developers and policymakers through its comprehensive suite of programmes and services on raising capabilities and catalysing innovations in Continuing Education and Training (CET). IAL also champions research in sustaining economic performance through skills, shaping employment as well as CET decisions, and develops innovations through learning technology and pedagogy to heighten adult learning. For more information, visit

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