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At this year's CBAA Awards, Plenty Valley FM took home the Excellence in Training award, recognising the significant impact training had at their station in 2018. We spoke to CMTO trainer and Plenty Valley broadcaster Denise Kuchmar about how she and the rest of PVFM used training to their benefit in 2018. Read closely and maybe your station could take out the trophy at next year's awards! 

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What has Plenty Valley achieved in regards to training over the past year?
Plenty Valley FM provided the community with a 10-week Introduction to Broadcasting Course that covers all facets of preparing, presenting and developing a radio program. Usually, PVFM runs two of these courses a year but this year we concentrated on running some podcasting, outside broadcasting and another Certificate III in Screen and Media. Podcasting has become pretty popular so I have run podcasting courses on demand. We also conducted a CMTO Outside Broadcasting Pathways Program earlier in the year. Certificate III students have recently articulated into the Certificate IV in Screen and Media which I have recently commenced.
 
What effect has this had on the station as a whole?
I think this training has had an extremely positive influence on the students. Feedback has been positive and graduates have expressed a better understanding of radio and how they have been able to improve their programming. They have also gained friendships working with other presenters they may not run into from week to week. PVFM also have a great deal more presenters taking part in outside broadcasts and podcasting is growing. As far as station culture goes, I believe we are creating the broadcasting leaders of the future.
 
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The PVFM Outside Broadcast Caravan

How have volunteers and staff at your station been impacted by training in 2018?
 — Presenters have been more interested in taking part in OBs and moving towards leadership roles.
 — Presenters have gained a Nationally Recognised Qualification and now use what they have learned during Certificate III to improve aspects of their programs.
 — Further interest in learning more about radio.
 — An increase in podcasting.
 — Overall, I think presenters who have taken part in training gain more confidence in programming and other aspects of radio. 
 
What suggestions would you give other stations as they prepare to train their staff and volunteers in 2019?
 — Set up a training calendar and promote it.
 — Course Preparation is the key to success. If you are not organised with your material, how can you expect your students to be organised?
 — Course Structure: set up the parameters to guide students in the right direction for success.
 — Facilitate: Don't spoon feed or lecture. Use lots of Q&A. Let your students take part in finding the answers for themselves. Recognise previous experience and qualifications.
 — Assess to make sure your students have understood the material (even with your internal training).
 — Collect feedback and post-course evaluation: This is important for continuous improvement in training and organisational development.
 — Support: Leave the door open - if presenters contact you wanting to clarify things, provide answers as soon as possible. 

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Start thinking about the training plan for your station in 2019: look through our CMTO courses page and fill in our 2019 Training Needs Survey before the 2019 Application Round opens in Autumn 2019.