Up To Speed Training | How do you choose your training provider?
When looking to make an important purchase, we are lucky to be in an era with access to lots of information to help us make our decision.
Take your holiday for example – you can research the location, the hotel, as well as local amenities. You can read reviews, blogs and customers feedback and do a price comparison on a number of sites. Only then might you look to make the final purchase. You might even stretch your budget a bit further to upgrade your room or get extra legroom on the flight.
But, when choosing a training provider, people are not always so diligent or vigilant.
Here, we explain why you should be.
“Choosing a training provider may seem like a relatively easy decision.“ says Adrian Pulham, Director of Up To Speed Training.
“You search for the course you require, gather information about the course and make sure the content is aligned with your needs. You check to ensure its within budget, and the dates and times suit your availability.
“You may possibly even have a glance at feedback and reviews of the provider. If everything looks good, you make the booking. “
So, why is choosing a training provider a little more complex than that?
The training provider market is getting busier, and you will no doubt find many different providers seemingly offering the same thing.
However, it is essential to choose a training provider that not only is going to offer you the correct training, but also provide great service and provide the best value.
“Value is the real key.” Adrian continued.
“People are often focused on price alone, but value cannot be solely defined in monetary terms. What use is a low price if the course you attend does not help you?
“You should expect to receive a high-quality service from your training provider from beginning to end, as well as good value for money.
With more providers out there, how do you ensure you choose the correct one?
Here are some important considerations and key indicators that can help you make an informed decision:
Accreditation – Accreditation is essentially the industry’s ‘stamp of approval’.
In the Highways industry, one of the most recognised awarding organisations is Lantra Awards. Training providers must go through a rigorous process to gain the accreditation. Only when the awarding organisation is satisfied with the quality and ability to deliver, will the accreditation be awarded.
When selecting your provider, make sure to view the awarding organisation i.e. Lantra Awards website to check the authenticity of the training provider – as displaying the Lantra logo on a website does not necessarily mean they are officially a provider that has been approved.
Independently from the awarding organisation is the internationally recognised quality standard, ISO 9001. The standard recognises businesses in all industries that are able to consistently demonstrate that the provision of quality is at the heart of their organisation, whether service or product focused.
Quality of delivery – The is something that is often overlooked. You should leave a course feeling like you gained the knowledge that you needed from it and be in a position to implement what you have learned in a practical way.
You should have the opportunity to showcase your skills, demonstrate your competence to the assessor and show that you have gained the required knowledge, experience and skills to earn the qualification. An assessment event that is not completed properly, rushed, or perhaps not an event at all, is doing you an injustice.
Trainers – How the course is delivered to you can have a considerable impact on how much you learn. As well as professional qualifications, do the trainers also have industry experience? Do they have a good, solid working background within that industry?
If so, do they then have the required presentation and personable skills to translate that into the delivery, enabling them to draw upon their experiences to answer questions and ultimately enhance the experience for the learner?
A good trainer will know their subject material inside out and back to front, and they will not depend on presentation slides. A good trainer will be lively, dynamic and interactive. And most importantly, they will communicate clearly.
Administration team – Does the provider have a good track record with their administration? Do they keep accurate and concise records of training they have delivered? Do they have a dedicated admin team?
The administration for any training provider is paramount. Those that do not hold it in high regard and give it the attention it requires, do so at their peril.
Service and communication – How the training provider communicates with you is very important. Are they professional in their manner and approach? Is their marketing information clear, friendly and professional? Do they have a professional website with all the relevant course information? Or are they intent on their course dates and nothing else?
Do they respond to enquiries in a helpful manner and have the ability to answer questions about your needs, demonstrating that they are up to date with current industry requirements/standards?
If they get these things right, chances are they get their product right too.
Reputation and customer satisfaction – A good training provider will have a good track record, a sound reputation within the industry, good credentials and positive reviews and testimonials from genuine clients.
Don’t be afraid to ask them for details of customer feedback from past events. A good provider will be confident in what they do and most likely proud of its reviews.
Established business and premises – Are they an established concern that has been trading for a reasonable period, thus demonstrating longevity and dedication to the industry and to their products/services? Do they have suitable premises that creates a comfortable learning environment that will help enhance the whole experience for the learner?
Price – Price is undoubtedly important, and of course something to consider and explore, but we’ve purposely left it until last on the list because quality, service and value are far more important.
Always do your research! Your choice of training provider should be one who meets an array of criteria such as those above. If they do, this should be a good indicator that they are professional, reliable and will ultimately deliver the product and service to support you with the required training solutions both now and in the future.