So you want to become a trainer

June 1, 2001

Pharmaceutical Representative

The Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers is the key organization to help representatives and managers interested in such a career path.

In April, Pharmaceutical Representative published an article in its Training Guide on how sales training positions often lead to other professional opportunities beyond field sales. Several sources in the article credited the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers as the key organization to help representatives and managers interested in such a career path.

The SPBT is the best - and only - professional organization dedicated to trainers and managers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Currently, more than 900 trainers at over 150 companies around the world are members.

"The society has been, and continues to be, totally dedicated to providing the resources trainers need to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to meet their current and future career obligations," says Brian Fagan, executive director of the SPBT. "However, many of these resources are also helpful to representatives who are interested in climbing the corporate ladder, and to managers who want to become better leaders and more effective coaches."

Training seminars

Training seminars are one aspect of the SPBT's programming that may be particularly useful for aspiring trainers or managers who want to build their training and leadership skills. The most popular is Train-the-Trainer, which is conducted throughout the year. Train-the-Trainer seminars teach the importance of learning through trainer interaction, student involvement, and feedback to and from learners. Classes focus on how a trainee learns through discussional methods of instruction. Classes are limited to 20 participants. Groups of four or six people present 10-minute role-plays, which are followed by group discussion. The next Train-the-Trainer seminar will take place on November 6–9, 2001, at Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, VA. In-house Train-the-Trainer programs are continually being conducted as well.

Another valuable seminar for managers is the SPBT's Coaching for Consistency and Enhanced Performance. This two-day seminar is designed for trainers and first-level managers. It covers pertinent issues such as:


• Examining your own strengths and weaknesses as a coach.


• Planning a coaching session.


• Identifying coaching pitfalls.


• And many other relevant topics.

All SPBT training seminars are open to individual trainers in the healthcare industry via open enrollment. Applications are available from the Executive Management Group at (860) 675-1824 or (518) 449-1504. On-site, customized group training is also available at individual companies.

Networking

"The SPBT offers trainers, managers and anyone interested in coaching and training an opportunity to meet important contacts in the industry who may help them advance their own careers," Fagan says. "It also gives people an opportunity to share best practices and learn new ways of solving problems. It's amazing sometimes how much you can learn by talking to people outside of your company."

The Annual Conference offers almost unlimited opportunities for industry professionals at every level to network with their peers. The next Annual Conference will be held on June 16–19, 2002, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. The meeting will feature engaging keynote speakers and dozens of informative workshops.

Career development

The SPBT is committed to advancing the professional development of its members, not only through programming, but also through its annual scholarship program. Each year, three scholarships are awarded to SPBT members enrolled in an accredited graduate program leading to an advanced degree in adult education, training management or instructional design.

The society also provides opportunities for members to investigate other career opportunities in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries through the Career Center on its Web site. Located at www.spbt.org, the Web site allows SPBT members to research a new position or post an open position quickly and easily. Membership also gives individuals unrestricted access to this and other areas of the Web site.

In addition, the Society makes many other resources available to its members, including its biannual benchmarking survey. Members also receive a free subscription to Newspost, the Society's quarterly member magazine. The 60-page magazine offers valuable news and how-to features, as well as member profiles and continuing education.

How to join

If you are interested in becoming a member of the SPBT, you may download an application form at www.spbt.org. A one-year membership is $175, which ensures access to all programs and services at member pricing and includes a free subscription to Newspost. If you have any questions about joining the SPBT, you may call any member of the executive management group: Brian Fagan, (518) 449-1504; Bob Rodman, (860) 675-1824; Jim Sullivan, (804) 794-5563. PR