Training the users: Recommendations

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Training is very important. It should include all aspects relevant for the user, e.g. overview of the whole procedure, theoretical aspects, good scientific practice, experimental design, sample preparation, controls, techniques, protocols, instruments usage, raw data acquisition, data analysis, limitations, safety, using SOPs, rules to follow.

It can be delivered in person (one-to-one or in groups), in writing (handbooks) or virtually (videos). Hands-on training is very important as it is the only way to transmit tacit knowledge.

Keep training records for all users. Booking and billing of training can be integrated in the management software.

Regarding the pricing, there are 3 possibilities to consider:

  • price per training or
  • flat-rate or
  • price included in the experiment price.

Price per training may seem fairer but groups could be saving on it and therefore not receive the training needed to guarantee optimal experimental quality. A flat rate might seem unfair because not all experiments may require the same amount of training. Including the training cost in the experimental cost might be a fair solution and prevent PI saving on it.