Training curriculum specialists should comply with rigorous standards of ethical behavior. These individuals typically select course materials, develop training programs, train instructors, and evaluate training results. Because a training curriculum specialist typically has access to course participant results, she must respect data privacy, maintain discretion and demonstrate integrity.
The American Society for Training and Development created a code of ethics that clarifies the training professional's obligations, sets high standards of behavior and provides guidance for meeting those standards. An ethical training curriculum specialist will provide only those services, recommendations and instruction that reflect her competence and expertise.
A training curriculum specialist should commit to designing learning solutions that meet the needs of her target audience and recognize the dignity of each individual participant. She must comply with copyright laws and regulations. For example, she cannot plagiarize the work of another educator or use materials without the creator’s permission. She must conform to the legal and moral codes established for her company. She must also meet requirements for developing training materials. This typically involves meeting with stakeholders who represent the interests of people being trained and accurately translating their business needs into learning programs and experiences. Additionally, training curriculum specialists should not overstate the benefits of training.
Training curriculum specialists typically provide assessment, evaluation and instruction to a range of different personalities. They must use easily understandable language to convey the purpose of training, particularly when it is mandatory. Discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability or socioeconomic status cannot be tolerated. Additionally, behavior that harasses or demeans employees conflicts with the code of ethics. All communication must be clear, accurate and concise. Misleading directives, missing prerequisites or poorly worded learning objectives typically lead to ineffective training.
Training specialists must respect confidentiality, particularly when developing personalized development plans. Feedback provided on course evaluations should remain anonymous. Managers who reveal an employee's weaknesses to a training curriculum specialist must trust that the specialist will not share that information with anyone. Revealing assessment results or other confidential information represents an ethical breach and may result in a lawsuit. So, the specialist must establish safeguards to protect any records she compiles during the training.
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.