Why use an external training company?
External training providers are individual trainers or specialist training companies that are external and not linked to your organisation; these trainers will be brought in to educate and develop your workforce and to impart new skills to staff. In contrast, in-house trainers typically tend to take the form of individuals, or groups of individuals, who are placed higher up in an organisation and seek to pass on their expertise to those who are further down the corporate ladder. When seeking to enhance a workforce, most companies are faced with the same decision: do we provide training in-house, or do we use an external training provider? Increasingly, more firms are utilising external training providers, due to the benefits associated with such an approach…
Benefits of external training vs. in-house training
There are a number of benefits gained from using an external training provider compared with using an in-house “expert”. For example, external providers can often offer a greater breadth of experience, as they come from outside a firm, and hence will have experience of other ways of thinking and doing, and so will be better equipped to challenge any entrenched attitudes that are present in your staff. Furthermore, external providers may have a greater depth of knowledge in particular specialisms, thus making them able to offer a more detailed and nuanced training experience compared with an in-house provider. It should also be recognised that external providers are usually more flexible in scaling up or down the volume of delivery, with a variety of training packages available; ranging from short one-off training days aimed at smaller groups, to courses that span multiple sessions that are designed with larger groups in mind.
But perhaps the most important benefit is that using an external training provider will usually ensure that the person(s) delivering the training will possess the relevant set of skills required to train effectively. It’s important to remember that leading a training course requires a special set of skills that in-house staff may not have: just because someone is a great manager or an in-house expert does not mean that they are necessarily a good trainer.
Costs of external training providers
While there can be many benefits to using external training providers, it should be noted that doing so is not always cost effective. External trainers will typically cost more than internal trainers, and while this may be a worthwhile investment due to the factors outlined above, costs will nonetheless factor into any decision regarding training. For example, some external trainers will want their travel expenses and accommodation paid for, particularly if they are travelling from farther away. Additionally, costs can vary depending upon the length of course: typical costs for a one-day intensive short course can be upwards of £500, although certain institutions that provide courses (such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Charted Institute of Personnel & Development) offer discounts to individuals or groups who are members of these institutions.
Examples of training providers
There are a number of respected organisations and institution that provide training to companies. Examples include:
- Reed Learning, which offers courses in a range of areas, including in time management, negotiation skills, leadership, stress management, effective communication and marketing.
- Charted Institute of Marketing (CIM), which is one of the world’s largest organisations of professional marketers, offering a range of courses that aim to raise the standard of marketing around the world.
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is an association for human resource management professionals that offers a wide range of courses designed to develop the skills of personnel.
- Hemsley Fraser, a global organisation committed to innovation that offers robust learning solutions.