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Training for quality assurance analysts: What topics should we cover?

I am a senior quality assurance (QA) compliance and quality specialist in a call center department of a healthcare company that handles calls for small business groups (we deal with health insurance coverage). We review the underwriting and re-certification processes as well as the calls that come in.

I want to start running quarterly training sessions for our QA analyst staff members. I don't want to re-teach them their job, so what other training topics would you recommend?

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It's highly commendable that you recognize the importance of ongoing training for your quality assurance (QA) analysts. Besides being critical for optimizing agent performance, training is also a critical component of agent job satisfaction and motivation. I suggest that you start by speaking to the QA analysts to advise them of the upcoming training sessions and explain what they are intended to achieve. Solicit their input on what they would like included in the training sessions and what they think would be of greatest value in helping them improve their performance. It's likely that they will provide an excellent list of training topics.

Our research has found that all too often, QA analysts are not adequately trained to deliver effective coaching sessions to agents. Since coaching is an essential component of any successful quality monitoring program, all quality analysts would benefit from a course in effective coaching methods and motivation techniques. Training sessions can also be used to review updates to policies and procedures and to give your staff a comprehensive and accurate understanding of new regulations.

Additionally, all QA analysts should be thoroughly trained to complete evaluations consistently, familiarizing them with the standards for QA forms, scoring methodology and the correct areas for scoring each component of an interaction. If you are not already doing so, I highly recommend establishing a monthly calibration session as part of your ongoing training efforts.

For additional suggestions on training requirements for QA analysts, please access DMG Consulting's Training for Call Quality Analysts.

This was first published in February 2008

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