Things to keep in mind when choosing a training provider

Things to keep in mind when choosing a training provider

1. Find a reputable partner
When you’re evaluating training providers, take the time to investigate their reputation in the market. Ask each provider you are considering for some reference sites, and be sure to contact them to find out about their experiences. This will take five minutes of your time, but may save you thousands in training costs.


2. Choose a specialist
Find out which trainers will be responsible for delivering the training on the courses you are considering, and evaluate their expertise and qualifications in the subject matter. Someone with a strong, proven theoretical grounding is good; a trainer with practical experience in the field is even better because he or she will be able to talk about real-life situations.

3. Fulfil specific training needs
Training is expensive, so be sure you know what outcome you expect from your investment in a course or workshop for an employee. Look closely at the course overview and determine beforehand if it will fulfil your need.

If you are choosing training on behalf of your employee, discuss the expected outcome with him or her. Ask the provider for a detailed course outline and discuss how each topic on the list will cover the employee’s training need with him or her before the course commences.

4. Look at the take home value
It’s not enough for the training course to deliver practical skills and knowledge that the employee can apply as soon as he or she returns to the office – it must also offer value in the materials the employee gets to take away from the sessions.

Researchers reckon that you remember less than 20% of what you learn during a training intervention. For that reason, a course’s value is vastly increased when the employee leaves with reference manuals, online support, and other such tools and materials.

5. Assessing the learner
The topic of assessments can be controversial. Some people believe they unsettle the learner, while others believe that they’re essential to the learning process. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, choose a provider that aligns with your needs.

Things to Consider When Selecting A Training Provider

Things to Consider When Selecting A Training Provider

In particular, there are five key questions I recommend anyone selecting a training provider must answer, before deciding who to work with.

1. Do they understand our industry and “day-to-day reality?”

Many training providers are experts in a particular area and/or industry. The best ones know to stay within that industry. Unfortunately, many don’t, meaning they are perfectly happy to work with an automotive manufacturer today, and a telecommunications firm tomorrow. Same material, concepts and stories – only the people in the room are different.

One of participant’s major gripes about training is that “the trainer doesn’t know anything about our industry,” causing them to disengage from the content, and discredit the trainer and their expertise altogether.

2. Do they customize their content?

Unfortunately, I still see training that isn’t customized. Generic, one-size-fits-all case studies, or role plays from an entirely different industry are still common practices in classrooms across the globe.

Customization is key to effective learning unless participants have the ability to connect the learning to their day-to-day, and practice in a safe environment before going out into the real world. How can we expect them to perform any better after training has taken place?

When selecting, insist that any training provider you select customizes core elements of their training program like case studies, role plays, examples and terminology.

3. Do they provide a learning journey?

Learning is not an event. Most of what participants learn in a classroom is forgotten with days, if not weeks.

4. Do they offer multi-channel, hybrid learning options?

Learning doesn’t happen in the classroom alone. Virtually everyone prefers different modes of learning. Effective learning needs to take a multi-channel, multi-modal approach.

Classroom sessions, “live” webinars, post-training reinforcement coaching, online learning modules, Q&A sessions, podcasts/audio and e-mail reinforcement need to be combined into a powerful learning journey.

5. Do they measure progress?

What’s the point of training if not to get better? Would a professional athlete or musician even dream of embarking on a training program without putting in place some kind of measurement process?

Top-ranked training providers don’t simply suggest you measure progress over time, they insist on it. They understand that the true value they deliver isn’t in how great their training is, it’s in how great the results are.

Next time you’re selecting a training provider, feel free to use this short list as a checklist. After all, it took me twenty years to build it, might as well take advantage of it.