Throughout the training development process, the goal is the development and implementation of a course that facilitates learning. Since that process is built on humans, we know that it can never be perfect. It’s the role of the quality control coordinator to shepherd the course through the process and ensure the highest practical levels of quality.
What Is a Quality Control Coordinator?
During the development of the course materials, the quality control coordinator ensures that proper reviews are happening to maintain the accuracy of the materials, and they work with the authors to ensure that their message is as easy as possible for students to learn.
This role is challenging because, unlike manufacturing, where there’s a predictable failure model, it’s possible for authors to be strong in one area of the content and weak in another area. That means they must be vigilant against the possibility that there will be weaknesses in the course.
What Is Expected of the Quality Control Coordinator?
Quality control coordinators are expected to ensure that the right verifications are done by the right people at the right time. They have the role of balancing the need for a quality course with the need to maintain cost control over the project. They necessarily walk a hard line between too good – and too expensive to be sustainable – and too poor, causing students to turn away.
Quality control coordinators must frequently deliver bad news to authors, who may be very passionate about their work. As a result, they need strong emotional intelligence and communication skills. They also need to be able to engender these skills in the authors and SMEs they work with.
Frequently, but not always, quality control coordinators are expected to receive consumer complaints so that they can determine whether or not the course needs to be updated or reworked.
What Is not Expected of the Quality Control Coordinator?
Quality control coordinators aren’t expected to be perfect. Neither are they expected to hold others to the standard of perfection. Quality control coordinators aren’t expected to know everything for every course; they’re expected to rely on SMEs to support them in ensuring that the course is teaching the right things.
Where’s the Role Going?
There’s an oscillation in this role between the desire for high quality and the need to manage cost. There are times when organizations will emphasize this position to maintain quality and other times when they work without this essential caretaker for the process. The result is that the position has a degree of volatility as organizations change their focus on quality.
The good news is that the role is essential to the process over the long term. While the position may need to learn new techniques for crowdsourcing the actual verification work, the coordinator will still be needed to process this verification work.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Stuck between the release of the content and the need for quality, there are aspects of the quality control coordinator role that are good, some that are bad and some that are ugly:
- Good: Finishing touches can make the difference, and that’s what this role does.
- Good: Everyone in the process wants a quality result; the coordinator just needs to coordinate these activities for success.
- Bad: There are plenty of difficult conversations with a variety of actors about how to balance the need for quality with the need for the training to be finished.
- Ugly: Things slip by. There will always be the defects in the materials that aren’t found until they’re in the hands of the student.