5 things to consider when purchasing training

The new year is often a time when companies take stock of their business: analysing where they are in the marketplace, planning where they want to be in 12 months’ time and working out how to get there.

Training staff, and equipping them the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their role, is vital in helping businesses to move forward and be more successful.

Yet with so many training companies out there, how do you know that you’re choosing the right provider, and that the course will meet your company’s needs?

If you’re part of a large organisation, the chances are you’ll have a list of approved suppliers to choose from. But if you’re a smaller company, or if you’re seeking specialist training for your team, selecting the most appropriate training provider can be tricky.

We’ve put together 5 top tips to help you make a more informed decision when purchasing training for your team.

5 top tips to help you choose the right provider

1.       What training do you and/or your team require?

Before you start thinking about training, you need to work out exactly what training you require. A quick and effective way to do this is to create a simple chart. Down the left hand side list your staff members and, along the top, list the skills they need to perform their role effectively.

These might range from specific process skills: eg. spreadsheet training, to management skills, such as leadership and team building, or even legal requirements such as first aid training.

Next meet with your team to determine which skills they possess (colour the box green) and which skills they require or need to work on (colour the box red). Any skills not relevant to a particular team member can be coloured grey.

This shows you, at a glance, the training you need to purchase.

2.       What is the most appropriate type of training required for your needs?

Online courses can be a cheap and effective way to address process-based training needs, such as ‘how to use Excel’, ‘how to complete timesheets’….. An advantage of online courses is that they can be completed in the workplace at your convenience.

If you want to change behaviours however, and require management training such as leadership or teamwork, then experiential training is the most effect approach. This places the individual in a controlled situation allowing them to learn, practice and reflect on their actions (see our article on experiential training). While this type of training usually occurs off-site and is more expensive, research shows that it also offers a better return on investment.

3.       Choosing a provider you can trust

A good place to start is by looking at the training provider’s accreditations. While accreditations can’t offer a complete picture, they show that the provider has met the industry standards for training in that particular area. Some trainers will have several accreditations depending on the services they offer.

In today’s world of social media it’s relatively easy to check a company’s online profile. Sites including Facebook allow users to leave independent reviews, which will give you a better idea of what clients really think. Remember to read a selection of reviews to get a true picture.

Word of mouth recommendations are always useful. If you know someone who has undertaken similar training, ask them to recommend a provider.

NOTE: When choosing a provider always remember that the cheapest providers don’t always offer the best value for money.

4.       Check the content

Make sure you have a clear idea of the training you need and what you want to get from the training course. A good training course should be relevant, high quality and deliver specific learning outcomes.

The course should also be pitched at the right level. It should be sufficiently challenging to build on a learner’s existing knowledge.

A good training course should also be tailored to your team’s needs. Make sure that the provider understands your aims and objectives and customises their course accordingly.

5.        Shop around

If you’ve always used the same training provider it might be worthwhile taking another look at the market. Ask other training companies to tender for your business – you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find!

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Experiential training at Lakeside

Here at Lakeside we offer experiential professional development courses to develop young managers, graduates, and apprentices among others. If you’re looking for quality, experiential training then ask how we can help. Call 01539 539000 or email lakesideenq@fyldecoastymca.org for more information.

Download our professional development brochure to learn about all our programmes

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