Refresher training: a complete guide


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German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus spent years researching the memory of people. He concluded that over time, we forget the information we have learned. In fact, we forget about 50% of what we learned within the hour, 80% within 2 days and as much as 90% within a month. He translated his findings into his “forgetting curve”.


What is refresher training?

Refresher training, also known as retraining or recurrent training, is a form of training aimed at updating and refreshing already acquired knowledge and skills. This type of training ensures that employees maintain compliance and follow to safety guidelines in all types of industries. This reduces the risk of accidents, incidents, and legal liabilities and boosts morale, motivation, and self-confidence. The goal is to understand the content better, repeat key principles and improve skills to ensure they are keeping up with the latest developments and best practices.

The importance of repetition

His research additionally showed that by adding several repetitions, forgetting becomes less significant. Repetition at regular intervals can make people remember more in the long run. This is also what we want to achieve among employees in an organization. Some knowledge is so crucial that we cannot afford to have employees forget that information.

We do not want employees to forget cybersecurity rules, causing a data breach, or we do not want an employee to forget personal protective equipment, causing an accident. Therefore, we need to repeat these topics on a regular basis, this through refresher training.

Training refreshment & examples

Such refresher training can take different forms and can also occur in different sectors. In industrial settings, for example, it is necessary to regularly update employees, as well as visitors and contractors, on safety protocols, emergency procedures and the proper use of personal protective equipment. Repeated training improves awareness of protocols and safety and reduces the risk of accidents.

Compliance training is also an important example of refresher training: updating employees on the latest changes in laws and regulations, for example for GDPR or anti-money laundering laws. Other examples include regularly refreshing first aid skills and training employees in the use of software that undergoes regular updates.

Advantages of refresher training

This type of training aims to refresh and reinforce employees’ knowledge and skills in specific areas, providing opportunities for continuous development beyond initial onboarding. Here are some of the most important advantages of refresher training:

Improved performance

Refresher training helps employees strengthen their skills and stay up to date on industry trends and best practises. When employees are better aware of the newest skills and regulations, the work process becomes better and more effective.

Boost employee motivation

Offering opportunities for ongoing learning and skill development shows an organization’s dedication to its employees. This improves the overall work environment, boosts employee morale, and increases productivity.

Adaptation to industry changes

Dynamic changes, such as new regulations or market trends, impact industries. Employees who receive refresher training have a greater ability to adapt quickly, keeping the organisation ahead of the competition.

Cost saving

Instead of investing in extensive training for new employees, organisations can optimise resources by investing in existing staff through refresher training. This reduces the need for additional training sessions and lowers training-related costs.

How to create refresher training?

Of course, how you organize your refresher training depends on the target audience, the company and the topic. This can be done through classroom training, online training but also blended training. If you choose online training, keep in mind the following points to make your refresher training truly effective.

Keep your training short

A refresher training is different from training for someone who has no prior knowledge. Identify the specific knowledge or skills that need an update or reinforcement and focus on them.

In FLOWSPARKS, you can use the FASTLANE to make the training as efficient as possible for the user. In fact, an intake test is used in the FASTLANE. Based on that intake test, a user can earn exemptions. Specifically, therefore, the user only must go through the parts that are relevant to him/her and the training time is kept to a minimum. Of course, all information remains available and can be consulted if the user needs it.

Set clear goals

Define what users need to know and what knowledge they need to reinforce. Communicate these goals to the user as well. Give them a clear picture of exactly what needs to be known, what has changed and why it is important to refresh this information.

Available resources

Make sure resources are available and point users to where they can go for more information. This could include an online platform where they can access relevant resources or a contact person within the organization who can help them further with questions.

Communicate the timeline

In case of safety trainings, for example, there is often a period of validity. By communicating this clearly, employees can anticipate and take timely steps to renew their certification. This prevents unpleasant surprises when certificates quietly expire without being aware of it. In the FLOWSPARKS LMS, for example, it is possible to have automatic emails sent when the expiration date is almost reached.

Have a look at how FLOWSPARKS can help with building your refresher training

Do you need help setting up refresher trainings? Are you looking for a tool that automates this for your organization? FLOWSPARKS can help you! Request your FREE demo by filling in the form below and we will contact your immediately!


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