Continuing education: When the big schools make tailor-made – La Vie Éco

MBA, masters or certificates, tailor-made training for companies is developing more and more within the Grandes Ecoles and universities. A kind of competition with training firms.

Intra, tailor-made, unique out-of-the-box training,… for several years now, a good number of Grandes Ecoles and universities have been constantly attracting companies to offer them tailor-made training plans, outdoing the training.
For Said Benamar, director of executive training at the International University of Casablanca, “whether MBAs, masters or certificates, tailor-made training has developed over the years for the simple reason that it adapts to the contexts companies. Among the many cases that we were able to develop, that of the training program for around forty executives of the DXC Technology Morocco group (Ex HP CDG IT Services) a few years ago”. With this in mind, the two partners had opted for an executive MBA with the aim of strengthening the thinking and strategic and operational decision-making capacities of the group’s executives.
Still a recent player on the market, ESSEC Africa is already positioning itself in tailor-made continuing education. “A real key to our success was to have at our disposal the experience and the recognized know-how of the ESSEC Group which allow us in particular to mobilize a large address book of professors and experts and to enrich our training high-level learning expeditions to Paris and Singapore,” explains Meryem Chami Khazraji, Executive Education Director, Institutional Relations and Corporate Partnerships at ESSEC Africa.
The Business School can boast of having some major local groups, including Attijariwafa bank, Bank of Africa, Wafa Assurance, CDG Development, but also Masen and Sorec. “Companies are generally very fond of our fields of expertise, which are always at the forefront of innovation”. From this point of view, a wide range of themes is offered to companies ranging from specific professions such as finance, purchasing, human resources, health management or even digital professions.
According to Nassef Hmimda, director of the Continuing Education division at Centrale Casablanca, “for an engineering school, our training programs in specialized master or executive certificate formats naturally revolve around engineering professions but also on operational excellence ( in particular certifying training in lean six sigma), information systems or a good part in leadership and project management”, he underlines.
Ditto for ESSEC Africa, which is developing new tailor-made modules. “We are currently setting up an executive certificate on the supply chain within which we wish to integrate a module on artificial intelligence which is taking an increasingly important place in the thinking of companies in general and in this sector in particular. To do this, we rely on our Metalab, which brings together our professor-researchers and our programs specializing in these issues, including the ESSEC Centrale Supélec master’s degree in Data Science and Business Analytics,” says Ms. Chami Khazraji.

Beware of custom nicknames

The fact remains that tailor-made training must meet very specific criteria. As very often, educational establishments, such as training firms, have “ready-to-wear” catalogs and are willing to seek speakers for training courses that they do not usually offer. This is what many mistakenly call tailor-made. For Mohammed Benouarek, HRD at Promamec, “the training offer should never be the starting point. You have to diagnose your own training needs, link them to the challenges of individuals, departments and the company, both present and future, and then prioritize them to choose the most impactful ones”. Ditto for Nassef Hmimda who emphasizes that “beyond the expression of training needs, a tailor-made program begins with a framework for translation of needs, which naturally leads to moving towards educational engineering work. The most important thing is to co-construct the training program”.
Obviously, the evaluation of training actions remains the most suitable way to ensure the quality of the product. Indeed, the participants’ feedback must be taken into account by the service provider to better adjust the content offered, the practical case studies, the facilitation methodology, etc. Without feedback, it would be difficult to adjust the service to talk about tailor-made.

Watch out for misses

As the end of the year approaches, many companies are rushing to complete the last training actions and prepare their engineering for next year. A strategy that unfortunately and very often leads to some failures.
During annual appraisal interviews, some line managers do not refer to job descriptions, to the requirements of the job held (job reference/skills) and to the objectives of their organizational structures emanating from the company’s strategy, to choose training actions with their employees.
The error can also come from the wrong choice of training organizations. Despite all the precautions taken (specific specifications of needs, transparent calls for tenders, etc.), there can be a big gap between the quality of the program and the quality of the presenter.
Other failures can occur at the level of evaluations of training actions. The evaluation system generally espouses the dominant values ​​of society, which consist in not criticizing when the facilitator wins over the trainees. We can criticize the material conditions (comfort of the room, quality of the menu, etc.), but not the host, because they find him sympathetic.
Finally, a tailor-made training lies in several essential points. For example, it is up to the training managers to ensure that the managers are united by informing them, sufficiently in advance, of the established schedules, by involving them as much as possible in the process so that each training session is not only predictable but prepared and expected!

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Continuing education: When the big schools make tailor-made – La Vie Éco


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