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Before you engage a training provider, consider ....

I and other members of the learning and development community are aware of doubts into the efficacy of and reasons why training doesn’t work. Much if this is because insufficient preparation was done on a variety of individual, team and organisational considerations prior to buying training. By outlining a number of the reasons that staff development, particularly training doesn’t work, I hope to spark an interest in knowing more about how to specify, justify and then implement a training, development and learning project.

Here I offer a brief outline of what a manager with staff development responsibilities and budgets should be considering before going anywhere near posting an opportunity or ringing up a training company (unless the requirement is to help with this important preliminary stage).

Mind the gap; identification of a need to develop
So you think you have a training need; based on what premise? How rigorous a learning and development needs analysis has been conducted; and by whom? Training; to be effective has to deal with the cause of an issue not any symptom.

Outsourcing rational; why buy in
To many managers; seeing a £500+ per day charge for a freelance trainers seems excessive. But if a manager were to do an in depth cost analysis they will likely come to the conclusion that outsourcing training is a worthwhile option and perhaps there are a few other non core functions they could outsource.

What type of practitioner; purchaser expectations
There are thousands of trainers in the marketplace and a commissioning manager would be wise to know what type of trainer they are engaging, in order to manage expectations. Does the manager know the difference between and pro’s or con’s of engaging with the following providers:

  • Jobbing
  • Hobby
  • Associate
  • Super Associate
  • Consulting/Independent
  • Company

I will explain the difference in a future article.

Practitioner rates
As a full time employee, a commissioning manager will work around 250 days per year. An equivalent rate of £200 per day for every day worked will provide a very reasonable income. The same cannot be said for a freelance practitioner. So is it reasonable for a trainer to quoting £500 per day? When might £300 per day be too much or £1,000 per day a bargain? This is a dilemma that I explain in the article on Practitioner Rates in both this section; Buying Training Services but also in the section on Learning and Development Practice.

Practitioner accreditation and qualification
There are a large number of Learning and Development courses, qualifications and accreditations in the market. Few provide any level of guarantee of practitioner competence. A commissioning manager needs some rigorous and robust mechanism that ‘evidences the application of knowledge’. Only then can a manager be sure that a practitioner does what they say they can do.

The above is just scratching the surface of aspects to do with setting up a learning and development project that will not be a waste of time and money. If you would like to know more or need help and assistance please feel free to get in touch.

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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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