When a training or workshop has taken place, it is important to write a report about it to communicate the results to the participants, to reflect the outcomes and to include the results in future training. Also, the report might need to be handed in to funding organisations, partners or employers. Here, you will find out how to write a report of the training or workshop you carried out before.
(Adapted from BARNES 2000)
The production of a good report of a training/workshop is as much a part of the training/workshop as the course itself (see also planning a training). However excellent and original a piece of work the training may be, unless the results can be communicated to other people it may as well not have been done! Communicating results of an investigation in a clear and useful way is a key part of the training follow up and is the reason for devoting a lot of effort to this aspect. If there are formal recommendations for your report, make sure you follow them.
(Adapted from BARNES 2000)
It is not necessary or even desirable to describe every minute detail of what was done in the training/workshop. One of the most important aspects of good report writing is to be concise, yet remain informative. The ability to select what is essential, and to omit what is merely incidental detail, is a skill you need to develop. In view of this, the main part of your report must be within the word limit(s) specified in the applicable module description, if this exists for your training course/workshop. Make sure you check the particular requirements for the subject before you start writing the report. In general, a report of a training/workshop should have the following arrangement (adapted from TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTRE n.y.):
2. Abstract: Usually 100 to 200 words, including the following:
Be specific and precise so that the reader can get a good understanding of the main points without having to read the whole report. It is usually written in a single paragraph.
3. Table of Contents: Helps the reader to find specific information and indicates how the information has been organised and what topics are covered. It should also include a list of figures and a list of tables if any are used in the report.
4. Introduction: The Introduction has three main components.
5. Body: Basically, the body answers the questions — Who? Why? Where? When? What? How? All information must be presented in a systematic way. It is important to include the training evaluation in the report with the participants’ assessment. Also, don’t forget to write down the main problems of the training/workshop to consider them in future courses.
Ideas what to include:
These are just some ideas, but there are sure a lot more things you might include in your report. Make sure you stick to important points.
6. Conclusion: Should be as brief as possible and presented in descending order of importance. Conclusions should be free from speculation (i.e. ideas for which you have presented no evidence), have no new thoughts or references introduced and contain no further discussion of points raised.
7. Recommendations: Should follow naturally from the conclusions. They should be offered in descending order of importance and may be in point form when several recommendations are being made.
8. References: Accurate listing, in strict alphabetical order, of all the sources referred to.
9. Appendix/Appendices: Contains/contain important data, explanatory and illustrative material not included in the text, such as e.g., if required, the questionnaires from the evaluation.
(Adapted from TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTRE n.y.):
Tables, graphics and photos make a report more interesting and often visualise key findings best. Also, they can lead to a better remembering on the side of the participants if they refer to specific parts of the course, e.g. the coloured card technique (see also managing coloured cards). The tables, graphics and photos are placed immediately after where they are first referred to in the text. Photos can add a lot more content to your report, especially if they visualise results (and are not mere group photos). The reader should also be referred (by number) to the diagrams at the appropriate time in the text and the most important features pointed out to them. Tables, graphics and photos (called figures), should be sequentially numbered. In large reports with many chapters, they are sequentially numbered in each chapter (i.e. for Chapter 2 you will begin from Table 2.1, Figure 2.1). Titles for tables are centred above the table. Titles for figures are centred below the graphic.
The source of the table or figure should also be included. The source is usually in a smaller font (e.g. 8 point) and aligned on the left hand margin under a table, and under the title of a figure.
When training or a workshop has taken place you should always report its outcomes and results, including the participants’ evaluation/assessment. It helps you to reflect the training and to get new ideas for future trainings. Also, the participants have a report of what they have done during the training. Sometimes, a report is even a must for financing reasons or for partners.
This document is a very detailed guideline about how to write a report.
This document briefly describes what to consider when writing a report.
WHO (Editor) (2009): Ecosan Expert Training Course for the Introduction of Ecological Sanitation in Bhutan. Geneva: World Health Organisation. URL [Accessed: 12.01.2011]. PDF
This is a report about an ecosan expert course carried out by seecon international gmbh, WHO and UNICEF in 2009. It was published by WHO to make others aware of the outcomes of the training course, and contains detailed information on the course contents, its methodology, and outcomes.
ABUBAKARI, Z.; KUNIMOTO, S.; NEILL, R.; SUTCLIFFE, A.; ZETEK, U. (2013): Approaches and Practices in Monitoring and Evaluation of Capacity Building within the WASH Sector. Group Project Report. Cranfield: Cranfield University and Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). PDF
This report of a group project by the University of Cranfield assesses the effectiveness of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in measuring progress along the results chain. The assessment is conducted by analysing different Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) approaches in the WASH sector and leads to recommendations for the Centre of Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) to incorporate into their M&E approach.
This document provides a guideline to report writing, and more generally to writing a scientific article.
This report on report writing is a good example for reporting training.
http://www.scn.org/ [Accessed: 18.03.2011]
The Community Empowerment Collective offers a lot of material about report writing.