Teachable moments in a healthcare security program

The importance of training to the success of a security program cannot be understated. Training provides the foundation for how Officers will respond to various situations they encounter. As I discussed in a previous blog titled The Strategic Security Officer, good training prepares Officers to make decisions that positively impact the strategic outcomes of situations for their organizations. In our fast-paced organizations, it is often a balancing act to keep ongoing training information and exercises fresh and relevant.  One effective tool is to supplement your training program with micro-learning.

When I was a Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) in the Army, we had a type of training commonly called hip-pocket training. This was training you could pull out of your hip-pocket at any time, and in any environment. This hip pocket training was brief and relevant and could be taught in a relatively short time block.  Now that I am in the corporate world, I see this very same idea repackaged as teachable moments. Teachable moments are essentially opportunities for effective microlearning.

Trowbridge, Waterbury and Sudbury describe microlearning as “learning in bursts” (2017). Talentcards.com identifies microlearning as single topic learning completed in 3-10 minutes (2020). Both groups focus on the application of microlearning across various media platforms and digital content. However, microlearning is just as easily applied in practical scenarios. For example, taking five minutes at the beginning of a shift to review handcuffing procedures, or taking ten minutes to get your team together to review contact and cover tactics. Each of these are excellent examples of training that can be completed with little to no resources apart from the officers themselves.

No matter what you call it… microlearning, hip-pocket training, or a teachable moment; this type of training supplements scheduled training with relevant and effective learning opportunities for officers.  A training program that uses some form of microlearning for ten minutes a shift (five shifts a week) can create forty-three hours of training for participants over the course of a year. Even if the training is taking only ten minutes to ask questions about policy or identify all the ingress and egress points on a floor plan of the facility, each teachable moment builds confidence and thus the overall success of the security program.

Do you use some form of microlearning? Can you see benefits of microlearning? Join the conversation in the comments below, and don’t forget to like, follow and share to support the Proactive Security Blog.


Trowbridge, S, Watrebury, C., & Sudbury, L. (2017). Learning in Bursts: Microlearning with Social Media. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/4/learning-in-bursts-microlearning-with-social-media.

Talencards.com. (2020). Microlearning: The Ultimate Guide. Retrieved from https://www.talentcards.com/microlearning-definition-benefits-examples.

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