OPINION – The 4 fundamental qualities of training * | To advise

Write short and you will be read.

Write clearly and you will be understood.

Write pictorial and you will stay in memory.

Joseph Pulitzer (1917, creation of the Pulitzer Prize)

But what are these four qualities that I am telling you about?

When preparing for training, we make sure to strictly adhere to the following four fundamental characteristics:

Are the texts and illustrations

Has the content been composed by a professionally competent and experienced person?

Has the content been verified by a professionally competent and experienced third party?

Warning: regulatory or past elements may be exact or inaccurate, true or false. The elements concerning the future (asset allocation) will be probable or improbable; they will be opinions, sometimes very diverse.

Are the concepts clearly expressed and correctly structured?

Is the language good?

Is French (or English) correct in its construction, grammar and spelling?

Are the sentences well constructed?

If repetition is the art of teaching, isn’t there “too much” redundancy?

Clarity is a point that deserves to be studied further. Indeed, if a text or a speech is not clear, it will be impossible to understand. If we don’t have the art of writing and expressing ourselves clearly, let’s get help with this.

Oral course: does the speaker articulate clearly? Does the student easily understand the speech?

Written course: does the student easily understand the texts?

In both cases, has a person almost ignorant of the subject revised the texts and understood ?

In 2015 and 2016, we prepared a training course (± 120 pages) entitled “Understanding and explaining investment” which was accredited for 10 PDUs at the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF) and at the Institut québécois de planning financier ( IQPF).

To read the first article in this series, click here.

We had set up a “review committee” made up of five volunteers: three personal finance professionals responsible for proofreading my texts and checking their accuracy; two “ignorant of the field” who gave me hours of work in exchange for learning how to invest. Their mission was to check the clarity of my written speech: Were we clear and understandable? Did they understand everything easily?

One of the “ignorant of the field” really didn’t know anything about it, but did a remarkable job: he made us do a mountain of corrections and clarifications. We had to completely rewrite half of Module 2 and make a lot of other corrections. Thanks to him, our speech became clear from start to finish.

  • Colorful and alive? (A picture is worth a thousand words)

Does the language of the trainer spontaneously keep the student awake?

Does he use images that will easily be engraved in the memory of the advisor and his client?

Is there something surprising a few times to keep the student awake?


Would it not be useful and efficient for the training of the student and the information of the trainer if these four characteristics were clearly stipulated in the policy and the accreditation form of the Authorities?

Small parenthesis: the objective of all of our columns relating to continuing education is to improve it. Our style and the criticisms leveled at the Authorities are only the tool which, we hope, will bring them out of their torpor. We will address ourselves mainly and globally to all “Authorities”; this will avoid creating small jealousies.

Of course, said Authorities and their staff will have to make an effort to coordinate with each other and adapt. Maybe this is too much to ask of them? Let’s be optimistic; in fact, we have heard that the beginning of an effort had been made in terms of staff competence.


The CSF and IQPF joint accreditation application form contains hundreds of detailed questions that we believe are only useful to the brave person who will have to process the application. At the CSF, the full text of the training is not even requested.

We recently introduced a package of new prescriptions of folkloric utility, such as the requirement of 10 MCQs per PDU in the final exam, whereas, depending on the subject taught, 7 MCQs would be sufficient and 12 MCQs would be appropriate. So let the trainer formulate the appropriate number of questions needed to cover all of the material. There is only the administrative procedure!

Suggestion: Authorities accrediting training should put the fundamental characteristics of quality training first and therefore before mountains of folkloric characteristics or details.

To read the other articles in this series, click here.

* The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Advisor.

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OPINION – The 4 fundamental qualities of training * | To advise