FAQ on the Revitalised Education Programme (REP)
Updated: 29 Dec, 2015
This document lists some of the latest information received from Toastmasters International, in response to questions asked during club visits conducted by the REP Ambassadors.
Q: What will the REP look like?
A: the REP will combine leadership and communication into a single track (as opposed to the separate communication and leadership tracks we have currently). The member will work on a learning path to help him/her achieve what they want from the Toastmasters programmes. Each learning path will comprise around 14 projects and will be a mixture of prescribed and elective projects. We expect the names of the new educational awards to be announced in 2016. The highest level of achievement will remain the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). To achieve a DTM under the REP a member will need to complete more than a single learning path (how many times is not yet known), in order to develop a range of skills encompassing the 5 core competencies of Toastmasters: public speaking, leading and managing, interpersonal communication, leading strategically, and developing self-confidence.
Q: How will the REP work?
A: When a member engages with the REP they will complete a survey to identify their current skill level, as well as their specific communication and leadership development needs and interests. From this survey a personalised learning path will be developed to help each member develop the particular skills they need. The member will receive additional assistance in the form of mentorship and through online resources which will help the member develop the skills they need.
Q: What are the different learning paths?
A: At launch there will be two learning paths in each of the following 5 learning areas:
- Public Speaking and Inter-personal Communication
- Inter-personal Communication and Strategic Leadership
- Public Speaking and Strategic Leadership
- Inter-personal Communication and Management
- Public Speaking and Management The projects in each of these learning areas will help members to develop skills that will be transferrable into real-world situations.
Q: What will a learning path look like?
A: Each learning path will have 5 levels, increasing in complexity.
- Level 1: Mastering Fundamentals (3 required projects)
- Level 2: Learning Your Style (3 required projects)
- Level 3: Increasing Knowledge (1 required project; 2 elective projects)
- Level 4: Building Skills (1 required project; 1 elective project)
- Level 5 Demonstrating Expertise (2 required projects; 1elective project)
Q: When will the REP be launched?
A: At this stage TI hopes the REP will launch in September 2016. TI wants to ensure the REP is as good as it can be before it is launched, to ensure best service to the members. We are currently at a critical stage of the REP development where testing has begun and there are several stages that TI needs to complete before the REP can be launched.
Q: So, what is happening right now?
A: the content pilot will be completed in December 2015. This phase is the first time that select clubs will engage with the REP and give feedback to TI, who will make any required changes to the projects. The next phase is alpha testing, where bugs will be identified and fixed. Then beta testing will take place, to allow certain members (Chief Ambassadors, Ambassadors, District Leaders and some Club Officers) will more broadly test the REP. the next phase is the Programme Pilot, where 3 districts (as yet undecided) will be introduced to the REP. From this point, the REP will be launched to 10 districts each month. The order in which districts will be added has not yet been announced. After all districts are using the REP there will be a transition period of at least 24 months to allow members to complete their current educational levels and convert to the REP.
Q: How long will the transition period be, following the launch of the REP?
A: Once all districts are using the REP, there will be a minimum of 24 month transition period to allow members to complete their current educational levels.
Q: Will a member be able to move from the existing programme to the REP, retaining credit for the educational awards they have already achieved?
A: Members will retain credit for all educational awards completed in the existing programme. Since the REP process will completely change the way the Toastmasters programme is structured, it is not known whether members will be able to use existing credit towards the REP.
Q: Will the addition of the virtual learning environment (VLE) mean that members will no longer need to attend club meetings to gain credit for assignments completed?
A: No, the VLE will provide members with additional information but is not designed to replace club meetings. Members will still present assignments and receive evaluations during club meetings.
Q: How will the structure of the club meetings change?
A: The basic structure of a club meeting will change very little – members will still need to attend meetings, present assignments and receive evaluations.
Q: What form will the new member assessment take and who will be responsible for conducting the assessment and developing the learning path for each member?
A: the assessment will be conducted by the new member online and TI will develop the member’s learning path from the results of the assessment. Members and clubs who do not have internet access will be able to complete the assessment, though details of how this will be done and whose responsibility it will be are yet to be released.
Q: Will a member be “tied into their learning path or will they be able to change their path if it does not work for them?
A: Members will be able to change their learning path at a certain time, though details of this process are not yet known.
Q: What additional areas will the REP focus on?
A: The REP will help members develop communication and leadership skills that will be transferrable into real-world experiences. The REP will also have increased focus on giving and receiving/implementing feedback, and on effective mentoring to help members become the speakers and leaders they want to be.
Q: Will the existing manuals change?
A: Yes, the manuals will change, but the new manuals will reflect the same core concepts.
Q: What if I don’t want to access materials online?
A: TI understand that the virtual learning environment will not work for all members. Materials will still be available in print format. Though certain virtual resources will not be available for those who select the print option they will still receive the core learning for projects. TI is likewise aware of the need to make online processes available for clubs who do not have access to online facilities.
Q: What cost implications will result from the REP?
A: TI does not envision that the REP will cause an increase in member dues. We do not yet know the cost of the new materials.
Q: What are the next steps?
A: We will begin to move quite fast from now as we head towards the REP launch. As described above, the alpha and beta testing are the next steps. Right now, we are completing the content pilot phase, TI is working on the integration of the various components from the business side, and are busy with the manuals/training materials to assist members and clubs to transition to the REP. All of these phases are critical to the successful implementation of the REP.
Q: Who can I contact if I have questions?