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Introduction to Buying Training Services

The writing of the articles on TrainerBase has come about because of a growing knowledge that many managers who have staff development responsibilities and budgets, could do with some support in making the most of those budgets.

The articles provide basic knowledge, ideas and concepts. The articles are not expected to increase skill or change behaviour; though they might. If readers want to build skills to improve their current performance; TrainerBase can provide a bespoke two day training procurement course (minimum of three participants) and other bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) run a number of courses including the procurement of services.

With a view to structuring what is a complex topic, the articles are divided into two Article's sections:

Buying training services (the basics)
this is a collection of articles that can be read as autonomous; they are not part of an ordered series

Buying training services (the process)
this is a series of articles that are read in order and provide a journey through the process

The articles have been written to:

  1. suggest why training often doesn't work
  2. identifie the tasks that need to be undertaken prior to writing a requirement opportunity
  3. help a commissioning manager select the best possible solution provider


Does training work?

The question “does training work” is one that will need to be asked by any manager looking to buy staff development initiatives.

The first section of the book and the next articles investigates some of the basic principles in justifying development spend.

The first thing to consider is the category of training being undertaken. Is it:

  • Mandatory
  • Discretionary

If training is mandatory then a manager has no option but to engage. Unfortunately, whether the training is of any use may become irrelevant and the purchase of the training merely a transaction. In its most basic form Mandatory training is a tick box exercise and potentially very little staff development will take place. There are many organisations that routinely send staff on regulatory training such as Health and Safety and may legitimately comply with statutory requirement. Whether any of the staff can demonstrate competence does not necessarily need to be provided. The minimum and acceptable requirement therefore is to find the cheapest provider that can deliver the course. This sadly is the premise upon which Discretionary training sought, which runs the high risk of the training being a waste of time, effort and money.

The articles that follow therefore are written to consider the remit of Discretionary training.

Contributor Profile

Peter Mayes

Peter Mayes. Peter Mayes is the founder and editor of TrainerBase; dedicated to helping business and other organisations find trainers and trainers find business. Contact details: Tel 07970 746077

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Contributor: Peter J Mayes

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