* How does a Knowledge Consultant differ from a Training Consultant, etc?


What’s in a name? 

Whereas a Training Consultant’s focus is in the art and science of skills development, my focus as Knowledge Consultant is more to the side of knowledge development.  Although the two are very much intertwined in most cases, there are differences.  While training concerns itself more with observable output and tangible results that manifest skill development, I concern myself more with the process by which learners actively develop themselves.   A Training Consultant’s efforts are centered on producing behavioral manifestations of a skill or a set of skills.  A Knowledge Consultant’s efforts are centered on helping learners improve the way they learn.

Q: How do you differ from a Training Consultant? Learning Consultant? Knowledge Management Consultant?

A1: A Training Consultant provides solutions to training and development. Often, this is accomplished via Training Needs Analysis, Instructional Design, and Training Facilitation. (Ideally, the TC’s audience should comprise trainers, instructors, or teachers who would like to optimize learning outcomes in their design or delivery of training programs or lesson plans. However, TCs are often regarded as Training/Instructional Design Specialists and are frequently made to conduct training for non-trainers.)  Although training does necessarily involve knowledge, its main objective is the development of skills.  A Knowledge (Facilitation) Consultant provides solutions to knowledge development as opposed to skills development. While the TCs concern is developing the behavioral aspect of learning, the KFC is more concerned with its cognitive aspects, particularly the higher levels of cognition (analysis, evaluation, and synthesis).

A2: A Learning Consultant, ideally, as the title suggests, should have learners as its audience. LCs are supposed to provide guidance to a set of learners so that they would optimize their learning. LCs serve as mentors to groups or individuals, whether they be trainees, interns, students, researchers, apprentices, or the like. (An LC is the closest thing to a Training Specialist in that they both cater to end-learners. They only differ in one aspect. While the Training Specialist plays a more active role in the facilitation of learning, the Learning Consultant takes on a more passive approach, allowing the learners to direct their own learning. However, in most cases, the lines between Trainers, Training Specialists, Training Consultants, and Learning Consultants seem to blur as all of them are made to do quite similar tasks.). A Knowledge (Facilitation) Consultant’s audience may belong to either group (trainers or learners).  A KFC’s approach may be active or passive, depending on the particular need or context. While the LC may concern itself with developing both the behavioral and cognitive aspects of learning, the KFC’s focus is more on the latter and aimed at developing thinking skills and building human capacity for knowledge.

A3: A Knowledge Management Consultant’s area of specific interest is the intra-organizational and inter-organizational management of existing knowledge (both the explicit and the tacit). A Knowledge Consultant’s area of interest is much wider in scope as it includes, but is not limited to, objectives that are typically associated with knowledge management. It is also more general in its approach. A Knowledge Consultant’s main objective is to provide insight regarding knowledge issues relevant to knowledge management, knowledge facilitation, or knowledge development.


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