Golden Rules for Training Purchasers
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Be Clear about your Goals and Expectations

  1. Be clear about what you expect the training to accomplish. If appropriate, involve all the stakeholders in this process, for example, allow technical staff input on the type of technical training needed.
  2. Discuss the possible format(s) of the training program: Do you want students to have gain practical hands-on experience during the class?
  3. How will you know that the training has been worthwhile?
    • Attendee feedback?
    • Real-world results?
  4. Understand your budget constraints

When Selecting a Training Provider

  1. Communicate your goals and expectations clearly with the training providers you are considering
  2. Does the provider have a stock course which meets your needs or would it be a custom made course? Understand that if you want a custom training course or the provider wants to provide you with a custom course, the cost will be higher
  3. Ensure that the training program is congruent with the direction your company is taking or is willing to
  4. Try to meet (talk at a minimum) with the instructor(s) before the training is purchased. This can be difficult with companies using many trainers but if you have a tentative date for the training it should be possible for the provider to identify who will be your instructor and then facilitate a conference call
  5. If you have a tight budget ;) Ensure that you know how much the whole package will cost you, get clarity on issues like instructor expenses and any additional costs per student, for materials or facilities.
  6. Negotiate costs if you have many students, you may be able to get a better deal and consider the cost benefits or sending your staff out to training vs. bringing the instructor in house vs. training your own in-house trainer.
  7. Consider creating a shortlist of 3 providers and compare their objectives, approaches, methodologies
  8. If you have many students, a provider may allow a single student attend a class for free or at a discount to evaluate the program

When Scheduling a Training Session

  1. Ensure that all your people (attendees) meet all the pre-requisites of the training
  2. Try to get a copy of the training materials before the training. Sometimes the materials are developed or updated just before class and this can be a good thing, but you should be aware of this if it is the case. You should nearly always be able to get an overview of what will be taught. Review it and make sure it's what you ordered.
  3. If appropriate, provide the instructor with the names and e-mail addresses of participants well in advance so they can be contacted before the training
  4. Ensure that the instructor has planned for the diversity of the attendees, providing additional optional tasks for those who work/learn quickly

Getting Maximum Value from the Training (Before)

Things do go wrong: Take the time to ensure that things will go smoothly and that you are ready for common problems:

  1. Ensure that the training facility does not impede learning
    • Fresh air
    • Good lighting
    • Sufficient functional equipment
    • Access to bathrooms
    • Enough 'card keys' for the students
    • Enough space for training materials
    • Access to appropriate break facilities
    • If necessary, appropriate keys/security access for the instructor
    • Enough chairs
  2. Ensure that your people know that they have high level mandate to be in the training
  3. Let managers know not to disturb attendees
  4. Provide contact information for the instructor to contact someone who can help deal with problems
  5. Make sure that audio-visual equipment, if you are providing it, is in good working order and that the instructor knows who to contact if something fails.
  6. Consider having the following available
    • a spare multi-outlet power cord
    • batteries for any remote controls / microphones
    • projector cable
    • LCD projector lamp bulb
    • spare cat-5 network cable

Getting Maximum Value from the Training (After)

  1. Collect feedback on the training
  2. Engage your group in discussions on the training in the weeks after the class


This document was provided by: training - classes .com, with free tools for qualified training providers

Thanks to Ann Busby of the PBGC and John McDermott of J-K International, Ltd. for their suggestions and contributions

copyright Stuart Jones 2003