97% of the participants found that Norec’s preparatory training made them more open-minded and helped them understand different cultures, a new evaluation shows.

– We are particularly pleased that the participants believe the trainings were relevant for their exchange experience, says Øystein Garfors, Head of Section – Training.

According to the evaluation, 93% of the participants agree that the preparatory training was useful for their exchange.

Because of the corona pandemic, it has not been possible for Norec to arrange in-person trainings this autumn. Among other things, Norec has spent the autumn evaluating its trainings.

– There are always steps to take to improve. Now, we will use this evaluation to make our trainings even more valuable, Garfors continues.

In Norec’s exchange model, an important component is that the whole organisation should learn from the exchange, not just the person that travels. The evaluation shows that Norec has room for improvement in this area.

– It seems as if we have a “missing link” when it comes to transferring knowledge from the participant to their home organisation after the exchange, Garfors explains.

– The handover of knowledge doesn’t happen by itself. The homecoming training plays an important role in achieving what we call institutional learning. We have to work more on how Norec can help our partners to transfer this knowledge.

Wants to cut CO2-emissions, but not stop flying

Norec expects all partners to work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but also has to find ways to support the exchange projects in a sustainable way.

– It is not enough to just ask our partners to work on sustainability, Norec must of course also cast a critical glance at our own operations, Garfors points out.

The evaluation clearly states that the physical encounters on the trainings are important for the participants’ cultural understanding.

– To host exclusively digital trainings after the pandemic is not an option. The participants will travel to their exchange anyway, so we must rather adapt the itinerary and select training locations in the best way possible, says Garfors.

The training evaluation is executed by the advisory company KPMG. Part of the commission description was to investigate how Norec can reduce its CO2-emissions.

– We have gotten suggestions on where Norec can arrange future trainings so that the participants will fly as little as possible. However, the calculation is complicated, as we also have to take financial costs and visa restrictions into consideration.

Combining in-person trainings and e-learning

One of the recommendations from the evaluation is to combine in-person trainings with digital components.

The corona pandemic made sure Norec got a flying start with digital trainings in 2020. These trainings were fully digital. In the future however, Garfors rather plans to offer in-person trainings in combination with different forms of e-learnings.

– Even though the trainings will not be fully replaced with digital versions, we can do a lot of preparations and follow-up work online. Maybe this can make sure the time the participants meet in-person is spent more efficiently, says Garfors.

– We are already well on our way in developing e-learning modules, and we will put a lot of work into this the year ahead.

Clearer division of responsibility between partners and Norec

Norec manages part of the trainings for the exchange participants, while the partners do the rest. This distribution works well, in Garfors’ opinion:

– The trainings by the partners are a very important part. They are the experts on the technical content of the job.

One of the recommendations is that the division of responsibility should be clearer. Now it sometimes happens that participants receive double training or that some information slips.

– I am sure Norec can give better guidance and instructions to our partners. We can get better at clearly stating what exactly we expect from the trainings the partners arrange, says Garfors.

Norec does not offer the same trainings for all exchange participants. Today, only those who go on what is called professional exchanges are offered homecoming training by Norec.

– It can be at least as hard to return from exchange as leaving. The homecoming trainings are therefore very important. Norec has been recommended to take more responsibility for the content in these trainings.


You can read the whole evaluation here.