Area Learning and Development Manager (Kinesiology, BA)

Anita Gouveia

By: Trisha Sharma, Outreach and Support Peer

Anita Gouveia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education in 1996. She also minored in biology, as she was initially intent on becoming a physiotherapist. After graduation, Anita instead pursued a Recreation and Leisure Services Diploma through Humber College, which ultimately lead her to working at a children’s hospital as a recreational therapist. Following this experience Anita was offered the opportunity to be a teacher at a time when there were not enough qualified Bachelor of Education (BEd) graduates. It was during her time as a teacher that Anita identified her passion for training and developing others. To become a successful facilitator, Anita pursued and later attained the designation of Certified Training and Development Professional through the Institute for Performance and Learning. To achieve the designation, Anita completed relevant course work, professional experience, examinations and a live skill demonstration. For someone looking to pursue a career in learning and development, Anita highly recommends attaining the CTDP. For those looking to enter human resources as a generalist and potentially move into a training role later, the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation may be more suitable.

In her role as an area learning and development manager, Anita’s work strongly resembles that of a human capital consultant. Anita aids the business in implementing strategic initiatives like modern technologies and programs. Developing learning solutions that drive measureable results keeps alignment with business objectives, which help build a case for return on investment. A key role over the last few years has been to facilitate change management and reduce resistance to organizational change. Anita’s work in change management allowed her company to create a global standard for which she is the head trainer. The designation most relevant to those looking to enter work in the field of change management is the Prosci Change Management certification. In addition to the emphasis on change management, Anita ensures compliance with legislation and aids in the design and delivery of training programs. A few examples of training programs that Anita works on include AODA, mental health, employee engagement, leadership development and many core skill competencies of employees.

The role allows Anita to have a direct influence on company culture and ensure that employees enjoy coming to work each morning. Anita has gained a lot of knowledge and advice from the capable and motivated colleagues and consultants around her. These mentors ranged from facilitators to program designers and Anita says their combined expertise provided her with a variety of perspectives to pull from during the course of her work. Anita believes that to be successful in her role, one should be a self-starter and take initiative, be motivated by challenges and be able to think critically.

In the future, Anita sees her role being impacted by the increasing use of technology in training and development, especially advancements in things like virtual and augmented reality. The role of humans will change from implementing learning to more facilitating learning. Some examples of these changes are the use of chat bots, micro-learning and video to deliver training. Implications of these advancements are the effects they have on the ability to build trust in the classroom between learners and instructors, as well as the obvious lack of human contact that comes with video and automation. Anita suggests the best way to leverage both the strength of technology and the effectiveness of classroom learning is to combine the two into what is known as “blended learning.”

Anita’s advice to anyone looking to enter training and development or any other field really, is to try everything; utilize and capitalize on every opportunity that presents itself to you and take the time to explore different avenues of interest. Join associations such as Canadian Community of Corporate Educators (CCCE), Institute for Performance and Learning (I4PL) or Toronto Organization and Development Network (TODN). These will help to keep you up to date and relevant as well as connect you with others in the field with whom you can leverage strengths, solutions and ideas. Her own career has been quite varied, and she hopes to encourage others to pursue whatever interests them, while at the same time being resilient and flexible with change.