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Sciencewise training well received in HM Treasury, Defra and Department of Health, plus new training sessions agreed with the Food Standards Agency and Research Councils UK

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Sciencewise ran training sessions with HM Treasury (14th September), Defra (15th September) and the first extended (half day) training session was run with Department of Health (23rd September). All sessions were received positively, especially the extended session.

The short training events, one to 1.5 hours long, allow for an introduction to public dialogue and a brief case study, followed by brief Q & A and discussion if there is time. The two sessions in September were well received:
•    The HM Treasury session attracted 15 participants. Although a challenge in ensuring the training was relevant to Treasury interests, the feedback was positive - with approval ratings of 4/5 from 4 participants and 3/5 from 9 participants.

•    The Defra session was even more popular with participants, with ratings of 5/5 from 2 participants, 4/5 from 4 participants and 3/5 from 1.

The first extended training session at Department of Health attracted 10 participants, and gained very positive feedback from participants. These longer sessions comprise a half day workshop (3-4 hours) which allow for an introduction to public dialogue and the case study, then Q & A and discussion. After a short break, participants are invited to chose a case study from their own area of work, develop a scenario for a dialogue to apply the principles shared in the first session, present that back to the group and get feedback from everyone. This approach proved very successful in this first event using this extended approach - 7 participants gave the session 5/5, 2 gave it 4/5 and 1 gave 3/5.

Further half-day sessions are already being discussed with Department of Health and it is planned to use this approach with other departments and public bodies. Two training sessions have been agreed with Research Councils UK (in association with Sciencewise DES Alison Crowther, who has run training for Sciencewise with the Research Councils in the past), and a training session with the Food Standards Agency has also been confirmed.