The client was undergoing a field team expansion. They were hiring a diverse group of people. There were those with expertise in the therapeutic area but no MSL/industry experience: a clinical care nurse, a PhD coming straight from the bench, and a newly graduated pharmacist. On the flip side, there were the new hires with years of professional experience (all senior MSLs) but no direct experience in the therapeutic area.
How does one training program provide what each learner needs to be field-ready in a reasonable amount of time? A new hire with a doctorate degree in the pertinent scientific area is not going to benefit from the type of introductory (disease state, MOA, epidemiology) courses that someone without a background in that field would need. Likewise, a senior MSL, aside from needing to know company-specific policies, is not going to need hours of training on territory management and KOL relationship building.
We tackled this issue by designing a series of pre-tests. All incoming hires completed these pre-tests (therapeutic, product-specific, MSL-specific, and pharma industry-specific) during the HR onboarding phase, prior to beginning any Medical Affairs training. It allowed the training team to “sort” new hires into several levels of expertise in each area and assign course work accordingly.
The benefits of the pre-test method are that it greatly reduces the amount of time to full proficiency for a new hire by customizing and streamlining their content and it provides a baseline against which a learner can be measured post-training.
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This project required intensive instructional design from the Versant team. We needed to collaborate closely with the client to develop the types of questions that would effectively stratify learners into different levels of expertise. Also, we needed to develop individual learning pathways for each “level” of the learner. This involved reviewing training assets and determining whether a particular level of learner would benefit from training with a specific asset. And finally, we needed to validate the pre-tests on current Medical Affairs employees to be certain that the questions were accurately sorting learners into the various levels.
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If you would like to discuss your training program needs, be it a pre-test, online training course, or curriculum development plan, please contact us.