In the first of a three article series, Etienne Hirsch, Head of PwC’s Academy, shared our take on key trends around vocational training in today’s New Normal. A diversified training offering delivered by best-in-class professionals enables us to advise clients with a fit-for-purpose pedagogic solution.In a more and more complex and challenging business environment, vocational training has become a critical success factor for all organisations. This means that training (skill deepening, cross-skilling, upskilling, reskilling…) is now considered an investment rather than an expense. PwC’s Academy is ideally positioned to consider the learning needs of both the employer and the employees. As such, it is the partner of choice to advise on learning & development initiatives and to craft the related pedagogic solution.Achieving this dual endeavour can only be done provided the following questions are duly answered:Who is the audience?"One solution fits all" is no longer relevant. A pedagogic solution is adequate only if it addresses the specific needs of a given audience. These specifics include:Seniority: junior staff, experienced staff and executives have naturally differentiated expectations and needs.A foundation level type training targets more junior staff or generalists;An advanced level type training with a deep dive technical approach is ideally fitted to meet the requirements of specialists;An executive level type training targets the C-suite, Board members, executives as well as authorised managers, given their respective agendas and perspectives. These trainings focus on more specific dimensions (e.g. governance, regulations, risks, roles and responsibilities, disruptive market trends, etc…).Size of the group: the level of interactivity between the participants and the trainer is naturally influenced by the size of the group. The greater the size, the greater the challenge to achieve an optimal interactivity during a training session.Format of the training: formats (e-learning, virtual classroom - live webinar, classroom - face to face and also hybrid solutions) stand from pedagogic objectives and not the contrary. The optimal solution will depend on the training subject, audience, and objectives. What is the pedagogic objective of the training?A training module for skill deepening, cross-skilling, upskilling, or reskilling can be:Either a building block within a broader curriculum or a standalone block;In relation with the need to fulfil a regulatory requirement (periodic or not);The answer to a specific business / technical needs to enhance the employees competences; and/orThe answer to a prescribed requirement related to executives’ roles.Bearing a modular and audience-based approach is essential to effectively capturing needs and designing an effective learning solution. But this is only a part of the equation: another major challenge is the seamless delivery of these solutions. This topic will be addressed in the next article in our series by Sonia Guerder.