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NSF: Education Is What Remains When Training Has Been Forgotten!

Some startling facts about traditional training:

  • When training activities are confined to a classroom, they usually fail to change behaviour in the workplace. This wastes time and money.
  • PowerPoint training conducted in a classroom will never succeed in changing or improving anything.
  • Most people forget upwards of 90% of what is covered in a PowerPoint-based session within 24 hours. Their old habits and behaviours remain unchanged.
  • The more the presenter or trainer talks, the less the trainee learns.
  • Unless new behaviours and learning are reinforced immediately after the session they will be forgotten. It takes time and practice for new patterns of behaviour to become established and for the theory to translate into action.

So if traditional training does not work, what does?

To Change Behaviours, Use the 10/20/70 Rule

The 10/20/70 rule of presenting information to change behaviour consists of 10% factual content – the basics, 20% practical exercises and immediate practice using case studies, and 70% practical application, reinforcement and coaching in the workplace. However, most pharmaceutical training consists of 70% factual content (PowerPoints), 20% practical exercises and immediate practice using case studies, and 10% practical application, reinforcement and coaching in the workplace… if any!

If you understand the difference between 10/20/70 and 70/20/10, you understand the difference between education and training. Education (the 10/20/70) succeeds in improving workplace behaviours whereas training rarely does.

Is Your Company 10/20/70 or 70/20/10?

In our experience there are two types of pharmaceutical companies: those who see education as a profit generator (with a 10/20/70 focus) and those who are stuck in the GMP compliance “training” rut where 70% of the time is spent with the trainer talking with virtually no time coaching or consolidating new procedure and practices.

10/20/70 companies focus on educating for the future – interactive two-way education programs cover the why, not just the how. These companies recognize that education is key to its future prosperity and consider education, done right, as a profit generator. Focus is on improving behaviours in the workplace.

However, 70/20/10 companies focus on training that doesn’t improve behaviour, they train for the past, ignoring the skills and knowledge needed to remain competitive in the future. These companies see training as a compliance-driven cost centre; something to be done as quickly as possible, with programs that just cover the how and ignore the why. People know what buttons to press, but not why. The importance of the product, the impact they have and the patient are often ignored.

A 10/20/70 Case Study: Education in Deviation and CAPA

One of NSF international’s clients, concerned by unacceptably high levels of repeat deviations, conducted its own training course on root cause investigations. The result of this 70/20/10 training approach was that nothing improved. Repeat incidents continued to grow. The company called NSF to take a more educated approach. Twelve months after completing our education in deviation and CAPA, repeat incidents have fallen by 35%, providing a solid return on investment. The behaviours of those investigating deviations have dramatically improved, as have teamwork, respect for each other and the delivery of scientifically justifiable rationales for key decisions.

NSF is passionate about providing a return on a company’s education investment. By trying and applying 10/20/70 rules wherever possible to both residential and on-site pharmaceutical training, courses are guaranteed to be interactive, learner-centric and, most importantly, fun.

Whether you’re looking for courses in human error and behavioural GMP, or you want to develop your knowledge in a specific subject such as sterile products manufacturing, process validation or failure investigation techniques, NSF has got you covered. Visit our website ( for a full list of our 2017 residential training courses.

If you would like to transform your traditional training approach to one that educates and improves workplace behaviours, please give us a call at +44 (0) 1751 432 999.

For more information about NSF International’s pharma biotech services, call us on the number above, email or visit our website

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