Cascade Training

Cascade Training

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Process of providing training for a group of participants that will train another group that will become trainer for another one and so on.

Cascade Training allows increasing the ownership of the training, and helps to embed the content in the organization’s culture. First-level participants are asked to communicate what they learned, and the whole process can be scaled up to a very large group, by simply increasing the number of participants to the initial training. Cascade Training might also have pitfalls, as there is often some dilution of the training materials: research shows that even when training is well communicated, the target audience gets only 75% of the original content. This means that, if there are three levels of communication (that is, three different groups of people receiving the training), third-level participants will only get less than half of the original message. To avoid these pitfalls, it is necessary to design the process carefully from the beginning, and to do it in the light of a cascade delivery. Therefore, original trainer's work should also consist in preparing tools that the second-level trainers will employ. Another important means to reduce the dilution of the original message is to minimise the levels of communication. Ideally, there should be only two: the first group receiving the training and the second one, trained by the first group. In addition, the training message should be as simple as possible, since complex contents are most likely to get lost or corrupted during the transmission. It is also crucial to choose the right people to deliver the initial as well as the secondary training. Attendees of the first-level must have training skills, which they can further improve during the program. Trainers can give support and coach them to communicate the original message effectively. There should be an audit element as well, to evaluate the training delivery to secondary attendees and to minimise the dilution factor. Concerning the second-level attendees, having enthusiasm in learning and capacity to analyze a large number of information is probably more important than possessing technical knowledge. [1]

Toolkit.png Conducting a Cascade Training

Step by Step

  1. Choose a group of participants with good communication and training skills.
  2. Make clear that they will have to train another group of people on the same subject.
  3. Provide them with support and coach to communicate what they learned to others.
  4. Keep the main message as simple as possible, to avoid its dilution or corruption during the “cascade training” process.
  5. Make sure that the training levels won’t be too much. Ideally, they should be only two, corresponding to the group receiving the initial training and a second group trained by this one. [2]

Job Aid

Pdf.png Conducting a Cascade Training


  1. (8 December 2009), (8 December 2009)
  2. (8 December 2009), (8 December 2009)