TechRepublic’s focus this week is on professional organizations. Here’s our Web site review of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), one of many associations designed to aid in your personal growth as a trainer.
The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) bills itself as “the leading international association dedicated to improving productivity and performance in the workplace.” The 10,000-member ISPI promotes Human Performance Technology, a systematic approach to improving productivity and competence. What you’ll find at its site is information that will assist you professionally and intellectually.

Member support
Any good organization site provides a wealth of support for its members, which is one thing this site does very well. It’s even great in helping nonmembers get acclimated to the organization and its guiding principles. Some of the most helpful features include:

  • Job Bank
  • Publications
  • Buyer’s Guide

Job Bank
The Job Bank has a fairly active listing of jobs including:

  • Instructional designers
  • Multimedia designers
  • Trainers
  • Training managers

At the time I reviewed this site, five new job offerings had been added in the past week. A search on all opportunities revealed a list of 96 jobs. Not bad! You can search by region, job type, temporary or permanent status, full- or part-time employment, or even for contract opportunities. If you’re looking for people but don’t want to post a job, you can look through resumes, if you want to pay for that privilege. There were 163 resumes in the database at the time of this review. As an ISPI member, if you’re looking for a new opportunity for yourself, you can post your resume on the site for free.

Clicking Publication Information on the home page shows you the various print publications and tools that ISPI produces. Along with two journals, it produces:

  • A membership directory (which you can search online)
  • ISPI Buyer’s Guide
  • A publications catalog

The journals are well supported on the site. The main journal, Performance Improvement, is archived with both tables of contents and article summaries for all issues since January 1998. You can also order article copies there. For more technical content, there’s the Performance Improvement Quarterly. You can view the tables of contents for 1998 and 1999 issues, but there are no summaries.

Buyer’s Guide
If you’re ever in the market for training or performance improvement services, the Buyer’s Guide is worth a visit. You can search for a subject area and refine your search by geographical region. This very helpful service is easy to use.

Kevin’s verdict
Overall, the ISPI Web site is quite helpful. As a member of ISPI, the site provides me with informational support for my efforts with clients. However, nonmembers can gain the same benefits of the site. If some of the concepts are new to you, perhaps this organization can provide even greater benefits.

While it’s done a fine job of transferring its paper products to the Web, I hope the next step is adding even more useful content to the site. The look and feel is good, and while it has frames, there is a clear way to turn them off. (I didn’t find that the frames added much to my experience on the site.) This is a site worth visiting—and membership in ISPI might be worth a spot in your 2000 budget.

Kevin Eikenberry is president of The Discian Group , a learning consulting company in Indianapolis. If you have found a helpful Web site, please let us know by posting a comment below. If you have a Web site you’d like for us to review or suggestions for future articles in the TrainingRepublic, please write toKevin .