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by David Lowe, INA I nstTA

30th October 1970
Page 29
Page 29, 30th October 1970 — by David Lowe, INA I nstTA
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

ONE of the most important aspects of the change to decimalization is ensuring that staff are fully aware of all the implications of the change and that they follow the correct procedure in adopting new systems and methods. This can only be achieved by adequate training carried out in good time.

Training needs to be planned to suit the particular needs of the operator. For the purpose of this series, the requirements may conveniently be divided into three categories:—

(I) General haulage and own-account operators whose staff have little need for handling cash except for wages payment.

(2) Parcels and retail delivery operators whose drivers and office staff handle cash.

(3) Passenger vehicle operators whose administrative and operative staff handle cash. This particular aspect will be discussed in more detail in subsequent articles.

Operators falling into categories one and two will both have two principal grades of staff to train. Managers and office staff will be one grade and drivers or cash-handling operatives the other.

Once the management and office staff grade have become familiar with handling the new coins—this should not take long—they should train and practise converting £sd to ip and calculating in decimals, also writing decimal amounts, especially cheque writing. Accounts and wages staff will need, of course, to familiarize themselves with new forms and, possibly, new machines if these have been introduced. In both these cases, the staff concerned will probably have been consulted or have become, during the planning period, familiar with the new documents to be used. When new accounting machines have been purchased or old ones converted, it is most probable that the supplier will have given or offered training for the staff who are to use them.

The Decimal Currency Board has produced a series of booklets each covering an individual aspect of the change to decimals. These booklets, which are obtainable from HMSO should provide sufficient reading for this grade of staff.

A suitable training programme for the second grade of staff, the cash-handling operatives, will need to have more emphasis placed on the familiarization of the new coins, their values, their relationships to other coins in use, and conversion between £sd and £p and vice versa.

The RTITB has established a training programme which appears to meet these requirements and it is worth describing its programme here.

The Board makes two recommendations to employers in connection with this training programme. First, it suggests that training of operatives should be delayed, until early 1971 if possible. This is because it is important not to waste effort either on 'employees who may leave in the meantime or on training which may be forgotten if continuous practice is not maintained.

The second recommendation applies only if it is the intention to send staff to the Board for training. As it is not practicable for the Board to train every cash handler, it suggests that one person for every group of five should be designated as an instructor for this purpose and these instructors only should be sent on the Board's course.

The course is intensive and lasts one day during which time the instructor is shown two sets of colour slides, one introducing decimal currency, the other showing cash handling and recording in passenger transport, road haulage or garages. He has an opportunity to gain experience of handling decimal coins and then he is shown how to present the Board's training package to his own trainees.

The training package which is given consists of:—

fl An instructor's handbook to guide the instructors on the programme and exercises to be given word for word.

O The two sets of colour slides already mentioned which can be shown on any 35 mm slide projector.

O A sound recording to accompany the slides. This is available in three different forms, to suit either an LP record player, a Philips-type cassette tape player, a recorder or a domestic iin. tape recorder running at 3+ ips. It is thought that one or other of these pieces of equipment is easily obtainable by all employers.

The Board's recommendation on the training of staff by the instructor is for a total of four hours' instruction in two two-hour sessions at intervals, the second one to be ideally near to D-day. A revision period of one hour may also be thought useful and could be arranged at the last minute.

One of the sessions should be spent in cash handling, using set of training coins obtained from a bank, and the ideal system of operating this session would be to work the trainees in pairs and make them carry out many transactions, perhaps 60 to 100, between each other, one stating a price, the other tendering money and receiving the change. Intensive practice of this nature is really the only way to ensure that staff are fully familiar and sufficiently experienced in handling the new coinage to face the general public who are not likely to have had such opportunities of familiarization and, therefore, may be hesitant and unsure of relative value when making the transaction.

The RTITB, m addition to providing the training and the package already mentioned, will also on request provide free to any operator sets of booklets which have been published for the Local Government Training Board but which the RTITB feels are ideally suited for training transport operators' management and office staff.

Four books out of a set are issued, one set for every five people, and these are in the form of self-instruction programmes which if followed will provide excellent training.


Recognising and Expressing Decimal Currency; Conversion from £sd to Decimal; Cash Handling; Calculating in Decimals; —Prepared by Learning Systems Ltd for the LGTB obtainable free from the Road Transport Industry Training Board, Capitol House, Empire Way, Wembley, Middx.

New Money in Your Shop; Expression of Amounts in Printing, Writing and in Speech; Facts and Forecasts; Points for Businessmen; Cash Transactions During the Changeover; Britain's New Coins; Conversion of Accounting Records; Legislation; Banking; Payrolling; More Points for Businessmen; —Published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, for the Decimal Currency Board, Is each, 25 copies for £1 and 100 copies for £3.

Decimal Currency Act 1969, HMSO price 2s 6d. Transport Training, RTITB newspaper April /May 1970 issue.

Next week: some pay aspects.

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