Things to look for in a new training provider

Whether you are looking for a training provider for the first time or looking to replace an existing supplier with an new one, there are a number of things that are important to keep in mind. We’ve summarised some key thoughts to help you select the perfect relationship that
will deliver great learning experiences for years to come.

1. Does the training provider have a style and culture that fits with your own?

Training companies come in all shapes and sizes, so it is important to consider what it is you are looking for in a future partner. Once you’ve met your potential candidates, try to sum them up with a just a few words. Are they serious and academic or lively and fun? Compare these words with those that you might use to summarise your own organisation. Think too about the style of learning culture that you want to adopt or aspire to within your own organisation. Ask whether the new provider would help to engender that learning culture.

2. Is the new training provider more interested in solutions or outcomes?

Be really careful if your potential new training provider just keeps talking about the courses they run. They are bound to have a standard course catalogue but is that their focus? Would they just be going through the motions. A good supplier will be more interested in asking lots of questions about the change that their training will be expected to deliver. They will then taolir their approach accordingly.

3. Can the provider put me in touch with satisfied clients or offer testimonials?

A really great training company will have a large number of satisfied clients who they can ask to provide you with a reference. Ask for at least three and speak to each of them to guage how satisfied they have been with the training delivered. Ask for exmaples og training delivered in the same sector or in the same areas of your learning objectives.

4. Does the training provider guarantee adoption of new behaviours in any way?

Great training companies know that any learning intervention is a waste of budget unless the learner adopts the new actions and behaviours after the training has finished. Test how confident they are in their ability to engender lasting and  meaningful change in
the group. Would they be willing to give you a money back guarantee based on whether people adopt the learning post-training?

5. Does the training provider measure learning in a structured way?

Look for an training organisation that has methods in place for tracking the impact of the learning experience. Expect this as an integral part of the training delivery. They should be able to suggest and offer you ways of measuring the training adoption however large or small you are.

6. Does the training provider offer blended learning; other learning interventions in addition to classroom based training?

You may be quite happy with a trainer who can deliver classroom based learning but other intervention approaches are growing in popularity and effectiveness. With an increasingly mobile workforce, flexible working and a multitude of possible devices to deliver training on, blended learning delivers whenever, wherever and on whatever learners need. Look for a provider that can support the classroom training with a range of other intervention styles such as e-learning, podcasts, social Media, 'forum theatre' with trained actors etc. Ask them how they will reach out to the learner beyond the classroom, to support them and aid the learning experience.

Spend some time asking your potential suppliers questions around these six themes to ensure you find a company that meets your ongoing organisational learning needs.

iManage Performance is a specialist blended learning provider, designing and delivering effective multi-intervention programmes that engage and deliver every time.