Revised Educational Program

FAQ on the Revitalised Education Programme (REP)

What will the REP look like?
The REP will consist of 5 levels (educational awards) and will combine leadership and communication into a single track (as opposed to the separate communication and leadership tracks we have currently). Each level will comprise prescribed and elective projects. Significant recognition will take place after levels 3 and 5. We do not yet know what the new educational awards will be called, however the highest level of achievement will remain the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). To achieve a DTM under the REP a member will need to work through the programme from level 1 to level 5 more than once(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.

How will the REP work?
When a member engages with the REP they will complete a survey to identify their specific needs and interests in terms of communication and leadership. 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.

When will the REP be launched?
At this stage TI expects the REP to be launched in July 2015. The launch has been delayed as the scope of the project is much greater than originally anticipated by TI. It is also important to note that the dates given are a “best case scenario” – i.e. the launch will be further delayed if the needs of the programme demand extra time. The launch will be followed by a transition period to enable existing members to complete the educational path they are on.

How long will the transition period be, following the launch of the REP?
The transition period will be a minimum of 24 months, but will possibly be even longer.

Will a member be able to move from the existing programme to the REP, retaining credit for the educational awards they have already achieved?
Yes, though no details are yet available as TI is currently working on the details of how this will be done.

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?
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, as usual.

How will the structure of the club meetings change?
The basic structure of a club meeting will not change, although members will need to present a 2 minute presentation on certain leadership tasks they have completed in order to gain credit for that assignment.

What form will the new member needs survey take and who will be responsible for conducting the survey and developing the learning journey from the survey?
The survey will be conducted by the new member online and TI will develop the member’s learning path from the results of the survey. At this stage I do not have answers on how those without internet access will complete the survey.

Will a member be “tied into” their learning path or will they be able to change their path if their needs change?
A member will be able to change their learning path though no details on how and when this will be done are yet available.

What additional areas will the REP focus on?
We do not yet know much of the detail of the assignments, but have been told that the REP will focus on real-world communication and leadership skills. Two important aspects that will be highlighted in the REP are the ability to give effective evaluations and how to implement feedback. A more formal mentorship programme will be put into place. The mentorship programme will include eligibility requirements for mentors, too ensure that mentors are able to give full benefit to those whom they are mentoring – at this stage we do not know what those eligibility requirements will be

Will the existing manuals change?
Yes, the manuals will change, but the new manuals will reflect the same core concepts.

What if I don’t want to access materials online?
Manuals will be available in print as well as online so members can choose the format that best works for them. However, certain materials (video and interactive training) will only be able to be accessed online.

What cost implications will result from the REP?
TI do not envision that the REP will cause an increase in dues. We do not yet know the cost of the new materials.

What are the next steps?
TI hopes to start beta testing the REP in January 2015, with a select group of members trying out the new system. TI also plan for VPs Education to be involved in testing the online system to ensure that the REP will be a valuable tool for VPEs as well as for members.

Why is Toastmasters embarking on this project?
To provide members with greater access to education materials, expanded learning resources and an educational experience with real-world application. In short, the goal of the revitalized program is to meet the evolving needs of our members.

What is the plan for developing the program?
The Education Program Team is developing content and resources, and working closely with two groups of member volunteers: Learning Masters and Ambassadors. Learning Masters provide input on the revitalized program and Ambassadors communicate its benefits to fellow members.

How will I benefit from a revitalized program?
You will benefit from improvements such as:

  • Tailored learning to help members meet personal and professional goals
  • A greater use of technology to boost self-directed learning
  • Communication and leadership skills that are relevant to real-world needs
  • A clearer path for achieving education awards

What technology tools will I be able to use?
At this point, not all of the specifics have been determined. However, the intent is to give you online access to educational materials , video and other learning opportunities, and provide you with the chance to reach around the globe and learn along with members in other countries.

Is everything in the education program going to change?
No. Toastmasters is modernizing and enhancing the existing education program.
The traditional core—and values—of the Toastmasters education program will remain in place. Achievement and recognition will still be vital. However, the way you can access educational content will change in dynamic ways.

Will all education awards I have earned still be valid once the revitalized education program starts?
All education awards you have achieved up to that point will be valid.

What happens if I am working toward an award when the program starts?
There will be a significant period of overlap (for a period to be determined) when the current education program and the revitalized one will be available concurrently. This will allow you to complete current education awards if you wish.

For more information visit http://www.toastmasters.org/Members/RevitalizedEducationProgram.aspx