Training Database Introductory Guide

In this document, names of buttons and forms or parts of forms are given in distinctive fonts as follows:

This is the style for buttons

This is the style for forms or parts of forms

The Main Menu

The database functions are accessed through a graphical user interface. The main part of this is called the Main Menu and consists of a number of buttons which you can press depending on what you want to do. For example, to open the Trainee Details Form, simply click once on the picture marked 'Trainees'. Once the Trainees Details Form is open you will see some buttons at the bottom of the screen. To close the form, click on the Close button. Note that you can return to the Main Menu by clicking on Main Menu, but this will leave the Trainee Details Form still open, even though it will be out of sight. The Close button on the other hand will get rid of the form completely before returning to the menu. Most of the forms in the database have this feature - i.e. a close button and a Main Menu button. This means that you can decide whether or not you wnat to have more than one form open at a time. This may be useful to you as you become familiar withthe database, however if you want to keep things simple at first, just always click on close.

Basic Options from the Main Menu

Along the top row of the Main Menu are four green buttons. The first is Trainee Details: click once on it and it should open with some fictitious names and address. Also recorded here are phone numbers and email addresses. In the box Registered Training Categories you can list as many different training interests as you wish for each trainee. The button with the w motif will automatically generate a letter to the trainee (using MS Word). The sender's details can be altered by clicking on the Change Active User button. Click on Close to return to the Main Menu.

The next option is Instructors. Here you can register details of the instructors used to deliver various courses. The button with the w motif will automatically generate a letter to the instructor (using MS Word). The sender's details can be altered by clicking on the Change Active User button. Once you have had a look at this form, click on close once again to return to the Main Menu.

Clicking on Courses will open the form which you can use to maintain details of the courses on offer to your trainees. You will see that each course can have a name, a LANTRA code, duration and so on. In addition you will see Registered Course Categories. This is optional and allows you to group courses together under category headings. For example a course on dog grooming and a course on canine disease may fit into a category called 'Animal Welfare'. You can register a course into as many categories as you wish (with the current example, these courses could also be registered under a category called 'Veterinary'. Click the close button to leave the Courses form just now. For more information on categories, see below.

The last of the green buttons is called Categories. If you open the form up you will see two tabbed sheets one titled Courses, the other titled Trainees. Clicking on these titles will allow you to flick between looking at categories for trainees and categories for courses. Use this form to add or change any categories. You could for example create a new trainee category called 'Inspector', or a new course category called 'Marketing'. This form is a little different from the others in that it only has a Back button. Click on this button to go back, in this case to the Main Menu. The Back button will also close the Categories form.

In summary, these four green buttons allow you to access the basic information which the database holds. The remaining five buttons, generally orange in colour form the backbone of the database. Their purpose is explained later in this document. The next section will explain how training information is organised in this database and how to use the five orange coloured buttons

Organisation of the Database

  1. Essentially, the database works with what are called training events (or simply events from here on). This idea of an event is exactly the same as in real life: The training event will take place at a particular location, with particular start and end dates. An instructor will deliver a course (or possibly more than one course) to a range of trainees
  2. At a particular event there may be (e.g.) six trainees present, receiving a course in dyking for example. Each of these six trainees will have a record entered into the training event. You will see that each record 'belongs' to a particular event. For example, say a Ms. Smith did a course on dyking at a training event on 24th July at Boddam. In this case, Ms.Smith doing dyking forms the record and the event it belongs to is specified by '24th July and Boddam'.

Advanced Options from the Main Menu

These last five buttons are generally coloured orange. Here is a brief explanation for each.

Trainee Fees Due

This provides a simple list of trainees with any outstanding debts to your training organisation. Where multiple entries appear, each entry corresponds to a particular event. You can click on Instructors here to switch to bills for instructors which your organisation has not yet settled, or you can click on Main Menu.

Instructor Fees Due

This provides a simple list of instructors with invoices which your organisation has not yet settled. You can click on Trainees to view outstanding trainee fees or you can click on Main Menu.

Target Trainees

This can be used to find trainees who have taken a particular course. When first you click on this button a form opens with all trainees names listed (possibly more than once). By choosing a course from the combo box, you can narrow the list down appropriately. If you then click on any one of the listed names, you can press the tiny button (with pencil and paper graphic, just under combo box). This button will take you straight to the Trainee Details form.

Statistics Form

This form is automatically generated based on the contents of the database. It provides a convenient summary of income and expenditure for trainees and instructors. The date and time are included at the top of the form, so that if you decide to take a print out of it, you have a dated record. Note that you can not change anything on this form

Training Records

The Training Records button opens up another menu called the Training Records Menu. There are three options here: Training Search, Instructor History and Data Entry.

Training Search

This is the most comprehensive search facility in the database. The best way to learn how to use it is to play with it. You can enter as much or as little information in the search boxes as you wish. If you select a particular trainee name (under Select), you will see that the list of records changes immediately. For example, with the test data, 'Janet Leverling' has three records. You can then make a further selection of a course from the course combo box and the list will change again.

Note that the list of trainees may become completely empty. If this happens it means that no records meet your search criteria. The Start and End date boxes will also cause immediate changes to the list. Note that the Restrict Categories boxes (one for trainee category and one for course category) will not change the list of records. They are a little more subtle in that they change the available trainee names and course names in the Select combo boxes.

There are also a few miscellaneous buttons: Press Big or Peerie to change the amount of detail shown for each record - in BIG view, you can make a few changes to the record. Press the toilet button to remove your selection criteria and show all records. Type in a trainee or course ID number in the pink Fast Select boxes at the top of the screen and press Go to immediately select particular records. In the white box, where the selected records are shown, clicking on the binoculars will take you immediately to the Training Events Register (see below).

Instructor History

This form allows you to study the information in the database, organised based on the instructors who have delivered courses. The two red arrow buttons allow you to step through all the instructors. A message box will appear on screen if you try to go beyond the last instructor. As you go through each instructor, you will see the form contents change.

Here is an example, using the test data: Whilst Doris Jeltsin has no training events, you will find that Steady Murphy has two (event 50 and event 53). If you click on event 53, you will see that list of trainees present at the selected event automatically changes. You can change the paid status here if you wish, but to make further changes to the event, press Edit Event.

Data Entry - The Training Events Register

This form allows you to study and amend information, this time organised by event. Use this form to add new events or to add new records to existing events. You can step through the events by using the left and right buttons at the bottom of the form. To add a new event, click on the pink Add Event button . Type in a location, or choose one from the list (be careful with spelling here as the database has been designed to allow you to type anything here). Choose an instructor (the two buttons at right will allow you to edit or add instructors), choose start and end dates, enter a fee and then start entering trainee records in the training records (white box) area of the form. Note that the database will not allow you to enter details of records into an event until you specify both an instructor and location. If you forget, the database will remind you with a message box. This reminder message box will also appear if you leave the cursor in the training records part of the form and try to add a new event.

In the training records area you will notice three additional buttons. The first will open the trainee details form for the selected trainee. The second will allow you to record a comment about the selected record (for example if the trainee found the course too easy). The last button will take you to detailed information about the selected course. Depending on how you start up this form, sometimes it will only show a subset of the training database for your convenience. If this is the case and you wish to review all events, you can press the button just above the training records area (marked with a filter and a cross). This will allow you to view and edit all the events in the database

For information on working with individual records (eg adding, saving and deleting records) or for MS Access keyboard shortcuts see the document 'Mouse and Menu Quick Reference' or 'Keystroke' Quick Reference'.

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