How do you train at a better price?

6 modules + 6 textbooks + 12 weeks of training
All for R3 500!



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you can greatly improve your staff’s performance, effectiveness and efficiency, just by using this online learning tool.

Cut back on wasted repeated training times, endless toing and froing, money spent over and over at seminars and workshops, misunderstandings, poor performance, frustrations, missed deadlines, incomplete work, upset clients, angry top-level management, bad delegation, follow-up and feedback. Basically, poor performing departments as a whole.

Remember that your department is only as strong as your weakest link.




Lawrence Lincoln | Training Fundamentals (TFND)
Cell: 083 284 3363 | Email:
Facebook: @TFNDonlinelearning | LinkedIn: larry-lincoln-a07aab14
37 Lindley Way | Edgemead | Cape Town | 7441

The 2018 Workplace Linked in Learning Report has been published and should be compulsory reading for all CEO’s and learning and Development specialists.  The full report is available from the LinkedIn website, but I want to highlight a few of the key elements that I believe are critical factors in our learning environments in South African, especially given the needs to transform workplaces and build new skills.

These are highlighted here in no specific order of priority and I present them principally because I have find them relevant, not because any of them are ground-breakingly new, but in my 25 years of experience of nurturing and developing people from cleaners to senior executives, they are still relevant – nothing has changed.

So here they are:


What are the 3 things most expected and most valued by employees that people managers should do?




2  Talent developers are depending more on online learning solutions to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse, multi-generational workforce—and there’s no turning back! Our survey shows that talent developers depend more on online learning solutions than ever before.


3  In the LinkedIn Survey, 4000 professionals (1, 200 L&D professionals, 200 executives, 2,200 employees and 400 people managers) were asked?

What do you believe are the most important focus areas for L&D in 2018?

  1. Leadership
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Role-specific skills


Making time for workplace learning was identified as the number one 1 challenge facing L&D specialists in 2018SoftSkills3


5  Talent development is top of mind for organisations

“Talent developers, executives, and people managers agree that providing resources to enable talent is crucial to the business. There is the consensus that learning and development programs are a necessary benefit to employees and that overall, employees are engaged with those programs.”

Now here is an observation of the local scene that may be quite controversial and I would appreciate some feedback from local L&D professionals about their feelings on this point:

Right or Wrong? What’s your opinion?

As a consultant for 10 years to a range of large, medium and small organisations, I have come across only a few organisations where learning and skills acquisition is truly a strategic issue, in practice. Secondly, I have found very few L&D professionals that are directly involved at a strategic level with their organisation’s people management at the policy-making level. 

I’d like to know what you think.



6  Training for soft skills is the #1 priority for talent development in 2018

“Talent developers say that training for soft skills is their key focus for 2018. While maintaining technical fluency will be important, demand for soft skills will continue to accelerate. Industry experts and organizational partners agree that this should be the top focus for talent development in 2018.”

7  As companies grow, they dedicate more budget to scalable online learning solutions

Getting employees to make time for learning has moved up to the #1 challenge facing talent development. This makes sense. If employees are not taking the time to learn, then L&D programs cannot be successful.

Our data shows that the #2 challenge facing talent development, “getting managers to take an active role in employee learning”, is a viable solution to overcoming the #1 challenge. 

8  Employees are motivated to learn by manager relationships and opportunities for upward mobility.


9  People Managers 

“People Managers are the coaches and the mentors of the organisation. Managers are one of the biggest drivers of employee engagement. They can help to create an environment for continuous learning and guide employees to learning resources in order to develop their careers.” 

10  Like executives, people managers agree that the most important skills training that talent developers can provide for employees are soft skills.

The final word on what all managers should adopt as their personal philosophy on how to engage with their team members: 

Managers are inspired by the potential for learning 

to impact employee career development. Inspire
them by surfacing stories of employees within your
organisation who have utilized learning resources
to grow in their careers.  


Managers are motivated to encourage learning when

it effects employee career growth and they can easily
recommend learning opportunities. Tie learning
to career paths within your organization, and offer
solutions that help managers easily recommend
learning to their teams. 


Managers know it is hard for employees to make

time for learning. Partner with managers to identify
moments when it makes sense to incorporate
learning into existing routines with employees,
such as 1:1s or performance review discussions.


I hope you enjoyed this small selection from the LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Survey.

I have been privileged to have been involved with the Retail Store Manager Qualification NQF 6 (RSM) since its inception at the Cape Peninsula of Technology (CPUT) 3 years ago. It all started when Training Fundamentals was awarded the tender to develop the material for the 3-year programme and afterwards as facilitator and mentor.

We are now in the third year and the remaining 27 students, from an initial 49, are going strong down the final run to the finish line. This year they complete the remaining subjects: Financial management, Risk and asset management and supply chain and logistics; at the same time, they are working on their work experience logbook, in all an awesome task ahead for full-time retailers and part-time university students! In November, they write the final exams but, it’s not all over, because, in order to obtain the QCTO qualification, they have to sit for a four-hour external examination at an independent assessment centre.

All praise must go to the participating employers who have allowed the participating students to attend lectures 3 days a month and time off to study. Hear the sound of massive applause for Spar, Food Lovers Market, Shoprite, Woolworths and Steinbuild.

The RSM is the first NQF level 6 qualification and the first QCTO (Qualifications Council for Trades and Occupations) retail qualification to be accredited.[1] Others have since been accepted. The credit value currently is 507. There are 9 subjects spread over 3 years.

CPUT was accredited as the first provider by the WRSETA and QCTO to conduct this qualification as a pilot. Lessons have been learned and a recent evaluation has been conducted based on the pilot and certain revisions are being made to decrease the credit value, provide better integration of learning curriculum outcomes and streamline the facilitation processes. Edutel has also been accredited as an additional provider for the RSM.

Although other tertiary institutions have shown an interest, none has so far taken any steps to offer this qualification, besides CPUT through the Retail and Wholesale Leadership Academy. This is a pity, as currently in South Africa, retail education is fragmented and seldom ending in full qualifications. We have a plethora of abbreviations: MDP’s. RDP, DDP’s MRP’s RMDP’s and on it goes. In Europe, especially Germany, Retail studies are driven by universities and colleges and these are at the forefront of developing retail talent. Sadly, in this country, the picture is very different.

CPUT is the only South African University with a dedicated Retail Business department and fully supports the Retail Store Manager qualification.

The Retail Store Manager Qualification: Occupational Certificate (Qual. ID 91789) is, I believe, The best retail qualification available in this country. It provides the most comprehensive foundation and training available. Big chain, mid-sized retailers and national franchisors should be lining up to place their talented current managers, buyers, merchandisers, planners, supply chain managers and others on to this programme. Here they will learn about strategy and implementation from qualified lecturers with industry experience in a university environment using top-level learning technologies and provided with professional support and mentoring for the full three years of the programme.

However, the RSM Qualification is currently poorly marketed and mostly unknown. I wonder if there are any CEO’s who are even aware of the RSM? Those who direct the learning and development space in retail organisations should be better informed and be willing to request the funding from the W&R for this qualification, or self-fund if the need for upskilling and empowering is as critical as it is said to be.

It’s time for Retail Learning and Development Managers to become innovative and ambitious and think big in terms of their goals for their organisations. The RSM needs to continue and is waiting for other retailers to pick up the baton and lead with empowering and growing our retail talent.

I have seen the most amazing potential unfold amongst our small cadre of current students. I have asked a small sample to send me their experiences. Read about these below.

If you are keen to find out more, contact Robyn at CPUT: 021 464 7260 or your local W&R regional office, or you can even contact me.

Student feedback:

Picture24Hi Larry

My experience on this RSM course has been one huge eye-opener. I’m privileged enough to be in a store environment where I have now been exposed to a lot more than a simple admin clerk would ordinarily be exposed to. This is the first time I have been able to get into company financials and shareholder meetings which I have found very interesting.

Working and studying has been one crazy mission to find a balance between work and life. As hard as an adjustment it has been, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Kind regards
Simone Kempshall 







I believe it takes a special kind of person to be a retailer, driven, dedicated and passionate. It involves hard work and in most cases, you set the pace.

In 2016 I was one a few retail staff that were enrolled to study at CPUT, a National RSM Diploma (Retail Store Manager).

The first two years has been hard, juggling between work, family and studies has been a rollercoaster. At times I felt like throwing in the towel. Thank God for my family, my manager & facilitators support, without them I surely would have kicked the bucket.

Where to from here I asked myself. Being exposed to various elements of the retail sector, one thing the RSM course helped me with, is finding myself in this craze.

My aim God willing is to challenge myself and specialise in supply chain and risk management. I have come this far, it will just be foolish to not press on to the finish line.

Reginald Wenn


Picture25In today’s world, being part of the retail industry is inevitable. Whether you find yourself in the consumer or the retailers’ hemisphere, you have part and influence on retail.  The past 50 years the retail industry went through an enormous growth spurt, which affected the everyday life of human beings.

Being part of and pioneering a retail course forever changed the way that I see retail. It creates a space where younger retailers from all major companies can interact and understand the industry from all angles.  However, understanding the principles of retail will always be important.  The understanding of the ever-changing trends and awareness of the footprint that retail leaves in the world, is integral to the complete understanding of this industry today.
CPUT RSM course is the full package.  Therefore, I would recommend this course to those enthusiastic people that want to be part of the fastest growing industry in the world.

Thank You
Gerhard Uys




Picture23Good Morning Larry

As a store manager in 2016, when I was approached to attend the RSM programme, I couldn’t understand my employers reason for wanting me to attend, as I thought I knew all there was to know about retail, after all, I started as a casual in retail and worked my way up to Store Manager, acquiring a vast amount of experience in the field.

Over the past 2 and a half years of having attended lectures, I was clearly proven wrong, I certainly didn’t know all there was to know about retail. It only dawned on me then that as a store manager, I was merely an implementation manager, not understanding the reasons behind big business decisions, or how my decisions as a store manager impacted my workforce.  But now I have a better understanding of the detail that goes into retail. And as simple as Retail may sound, sell an item to make a profit, there’s so much more to that simple statement that this course has enlightened me on.

A year and a half into the programme, having applied the knowledge I gained and having made better business decisions, I was promoted to regional manager, and at that, of the biggest region my company has and nothing compares to knowing that I’m now making strategic decisions that affect the broader business.

Having to work and study is not easy as it requires a lot of juggling, self-discipline, dedication and sacrifices. The workload is extensive, the exams are nerve wrecking and the POE is enough to make you want to run but break it all down and tackle it one problem at a time and at the end lies success.

In retrospect, I have no regrets of having accepted the invite to study, and the biggest learning aside from the content of the course is, that no matter how high up we are in our respective fields, we don’t always know all that there is about a job that occupies most of our time. It is only through programmes like this, that our gaps are identified and bridged.

Junaid Baccus




[1] NQF level 6 is equivalent to a national diploma or an advanced certificate.

A monthly feature in which we examine the mundane and the everyday objects that surround us.  

The Price Tag








Price tags or labels are taken for granted in modern day shopping. They are, well, just there. Well they weren’t always – just there on every product, from motor cars, clothing, cheese, to whatever. The price tag is one of the most ubiquitous of things that we as consumers come across when shopping or browsing. Imagine shopping for groceries or jeans or anything else for that matter, and every product you come across has no selling price attached to it. You will first have to find a salesperson, and then in the absence of fixed prices, you will have to negotiate a selling price you are willing to pay for the jeans and the retailer is willing to accept, then you start ball over again for the meatloaf, then the bottle of wine and so on. So, when they talk about the good old days, I don’t think they were so good when it came to shopping.

We can thank the Quakers for the “invention” of fixed prices and price tags. Before the late 1800’s retail store did not set prices for their products and each customer had to bargain for an affordable price. The Quakers, many of whom who owned retail stores themselves, saw the unfairness of this practice and regarded it as immoral that different customers were charged different prices for the same goods, often resulting in obscene profits for the business. The first two American retailers of note to start placing price labels on their products in the 1870s, was Wannamaker’s in Philadelphia and Macy’s in New York.

The humble price tag! Maybe it deserves a little more respect? Unless of course your retail outlet is a stall in your local flea market and your customers love to haggle on a Saturday morning.

Below is a link for a short video (3 min.) on the Quakers and the price tag produced by NPR.

Read more


News just in!

Inside Asia Retail Report

April 6, 2018

According to a news report from Forrester Research, Online Retail sales in China are predicted to surpass $1trillion this year. This equates to one in every four dollars spent on retail will be spent online in the Asia-Pacific market, mainly from China and South Korea.

Read more