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Catch 22 and the TrainerBase business model

An organisation posted a training requirement on their site inviting freelance trainers to attend an introduction day. A number of trainers duly signed up to the opportunity to work for the organisation. On the day, representatives of the organisation indicated the type of skills and behaviour gaps that they had identified and that they were keen to engage with providers who could make a real change. In order to be considered for any potential contract work, interested training providers would be required to develop and undertake a pilot training programme of no more than one day and they would not get paid for this.

Thoughts? (Rhetorical question)

This is not fanciful scenario and I am aware of at least one organisation that has made a request similar to this. Whilst there may be some merit to the premise of the ‘free training’ request, this is a serious and flawed business model for a trainer to entertain on two counts:

  • if the change takes place as a result of free training; why pay,
  • if the change doesn’t take place; why train


And so it is with requests that come into the TrainerBase office for free membership;

  • if the member gets work as a result there is less need for them to pay in the future
  • if the member doesn’t get work then why become a member

TrainerBase is a market place and is not in control of those that sign up. In the past I have reviewed previous members’ profiles and fully understood why they did not get any work as a result of their subscription. If you went to a market and saw an empty stall; would you be tempted to enquire or purchase. And I acknowledge that some of my reviews of members’ profiles have puzzled me as there seemed to be no reason why a members would not be of interest to a purchaser of training. The thing is I generally am not in a position to influence the mindset of the purchaser. I do recommend that purchasers talk to Certified Learning and Development Practitioners (CLP); but it is up to the purchaser to decide who they choose.

It is because of this detached business model that TrainerBase does not as a matter of course provide a free membership that gains access to contract opportunities. That said; if a trainer would like to input to the site and earn a free membership that is of benefit to everyone then I am more than happy to entertain such an arrangement. There are a couple of options already in place that will enable a registered trainer to gain membership to TrainerBase without the need to expend any money. Please take a look atthe AV file on

to learn more. 

TrainerBase doesn’t ask nor expect to get free service from it’s providers therefore the expense involved in running the site needs to be covered by those wishing to benefit from it. Unless of course there is some business model that I am missing; a TrainerBase subscription,

  • that allows access to opportunities within a 14 day restricted period and
  • provide the option for an enhanced and search engine optimised profile for purchasers to review

is the only way that TrainerBase can continue to provide the free service to the purchasers of 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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