NATA Training Spotlight

Name: Alasdair Stark 

Title:  Senior Learning & Development Facilitator 

Q:  How long have you been with NATA? 

A:  I joined NATA in August 2021 as a Senior Learning & Development Facilitator. My main role is the delivery of NATA’s face-to-face and online training courses. I have also been involved in upgrading and re-designing some of our existing courses. 

Q:  What is your previous experience as it relates to accreditation and training? 

A:  My background is in private sector business. As a UK manager in a pharmaceutical corporation, I was involved in preparing for audits in Quality Management (TQM) and Learning & Development Accreditation. As a Sustainable Business Consultant, I worked with local authorities and government to help award-winning businesses prepare for Environmental Management Certification. 

For the last 14 years in Australia, I have worked for numerous Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), designing, and running qualification programs such as the Business Services Training package. This included the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management, of which Quality Management/Continuous Improvement and Risk Management are core units.  

Q:  Tell us the benefits you believe accreditation brings to both business and the community

A:  As part of working with businesses on Sustainability, Environmental Management and Corporate Social Responsibility, I was always interested in companies attaining accreditation to demonstrate to stakeholders they were conforming to health and safety, environmental, and social standards. 

These were organisations that went beyond ‘required’ compliance and created genuine value by reducing risks, increasing efficiency and gaining competitive advantages. 

Q:  Tell us about why you believe Leading the Laboratory Team is a valuable course and who should attend / benefit? 

A:  Leading the Laboratory Team has been specifically designed for laboratory staff to help them learn the foundation skills and confidence to manage and lead a successful laboratory team. 

This course is designed for: 

  • Laboratory team leaders and managers 
  • Those who are aspiring to team leadership or management roles. 

This course is designed to: 

  • Equip participants with the skills, knowledge and practical abilities to be an effective, efficient supervisor or manager 
  • Provide an overview of strategies they can use to deal with the challenges of being a leader. 

Q:  What areas does the course cover and what will attendees learn?  

A:  The course teaches leadership skills, develops new approaches and shapes positive actions through sound decision-making and judgement.  

Topics covered include: 

  • Introduction to supervision and management 
  • Culture and Ethics 
  • Leadership Characteristics and Leadership Style 
  • Emotional Intelligence 
  • Communication 
  • Planning and Running Effective Meetings 
  • Leadership Planning 
  • Time Management 
  • Motivation 

By the end of the course, participants will be able to: 

  • Explain key concepts of leadership and how they apply in an organisational setting 
  • Evaluate different techniques they can use to improve communication 
  • Describe the importance of planning and decision-making in their role 
  • Identify and use strategies to manage their time effectively 
  • Describe different techniques and strategies they can use to motivate laboratory staff 
  • Identify and use strategies for reinforcing behaviour and providing feedback to staff. 

Q:  What other NATA course(s) should participants consider as a natural follow up / progression? 

A: The natural progression for participants from this course would be to attend NATA courses Quality Management in the Laboratory and/or The Art of Internal Auditing

Q: Other thoughts? 

A:  I particularly enjoy running this course as topics covered are specialist subjects of mine and I hold numerous qualifications and have worked with many managers and team leaders to help them develop competency and excellence in these areas.