How to Select the Best Training Provider?
Use our 24 Pro Tips: Who is The Best Training Provider?
First Evaluate a Training Provider
It can be hard to select the best training provider when they all seem so similar, right? This is particularly true in South Africa. Many providers are accredited for the same programs and have purchased learning content from the same content developers.
In addition, many content developers simply imitate others without bothering to innovate. The training sector therefore lacks competition in South Africa as many are the mirror image of each other! From one training provider website to another, they repetitively state the same stuff. So how the hell do you tell them apart?!
Selecting the Best Training Provider
Training is no small item in your organization’s budget and strategic plan. So choosing the right training provider can often be an extremely stressful and confusing task.
From the hundreds of training providers available in the market, how can you be sure to pick the best option to meet your organization’s training needs? You’re going to need to investigate and engage. But what are the features and benefits that you need to find and interrogate them on?
24 Tips to Select a Training Provider is Quite a Detailed List!
I’ve put together a list of 24 factors you could consider. They look at the big picture and the minutia. My name’s Leonie and I combine the schools of education and economics. But considering that I’ve also studied Fine Art, human resource management, and a bit of music, I like to apply divergent thinking. 🙂 So yes, 24 tips is detailed and may grow over time as I return with more thoughts! Let me know what stood out or add to it!
How can you make sure a training provider will deliver great training and offer the best value?
I hope this list of 24 tips will help you in this challenging task! Value is complex after all!
24 Tips: Choose the Best Training Provider
Real Tips for Your Training Provider Consideration
Foundation Factors: Tips to Select the Best Training Provider
1. Training Provider Accreditation:
Without accreditation from the QCTO for example, or another recognised industry body, the training provider has probably never been vetted. Ensure that the training provider holds accreditation from relevant authorities or industry bodies. This also ensures you can claim tax benefits. Also, remember that a training provider must be accredited to facilitate learnerships.
2. What Qualifications are they Accredited for?
Check that the provider’s courses you want to do are accredited because then learners can get formal recognition of qualifications for future education and training. Also, how many qualifications is the training provider accredited for? The more they offer, the greater the potential for ongoing synergy.
3. Check Training Provider Reputation:
Do this by assessing reviews and testimonials to gauge the reputation of a potential training provider. Accreditation isn’t always enough to establish credibility, you want to know what their reviews are like too. Besides, I’ve already pointed out the lack of competition between accredited training providers.
4. Industry Recognition:
Look for training providers with courses recognized by employers in your industry. You specifically want training that is associated with NQF registered qualifications. That takes you back to the first tip, accreditation!
5. Cost and Tax Benefits:
Consider the cost as a factor, but prioritize value over price, ensuring the provider offers comprehensive services.
Research the overall program cost and if it is accredited so that you can claim rebates, refunds or BEE Points. Compare the course curriculum and determine if different pricing is because of an innovation or inflation. Innovation means the training provider does something meaningful, differently. Inflation means it’s the same product, but more expensive.
6. Website Evaluation
Examine the training provider’s website for professionalism, ease of navigation, clear course information, and transparent pricing.
7. Customer Satisfaction
Check for a positive history and seek feedback from past clients to ensure satisfaction with the provider’s services.
Evaluate how the training provider communicates, focusing on clear and professional marketing messages, dedicated websites, and timely responses to inquiries.
Best Training Provider Course Comparisons
9. Course Content and Curriculum:
Evaluate the content and curriculum to ensure alignment with your organization’s learning objectives.
10. Course Structure
Select a provider with a well-structured course that flows logically, preventing confusion and ensuring effective learning.
11. Flexibility of Schedule:
Check if the training program offers a flexible schedule that suits your organization’s availability. Let’s say you want to roll out a full qualification, for example, a learnership. Perhaps the training occurs over 10 months with 1 month set aside for external assessment, moderation and certification. The learners are managers with Matric and 2-4 years of management experience. They will do the NQF Level 4 Generic Management qualification but you want the course restructured and completed within 9 months.
The training provider should ideally restructure the course to integrate the learning material efficiently and streamline similar or overlapping content. They would reduce the number of activities to replace them with ones that achieve multiple outcomes simultaneously. This customization could come with a fee.
If the training company has a high fee, counter by saying that this is an opportunity for them to innovate their product. Your learners will be their pilot group and you will send a winning review that they can publish on their website. They have a new product version to market. Why would they charge you?!
12. Technology and Learning Resources:
Does the training provider offer up-to-date technology and adequate learning resources? Is there e-learning, remote learning etc. How do they support the learning experience and are there further learning opportunities to be explored?
13. Learner Support Services:
Evaluate the availability and quality of student support services, for example, coaching and mentoring.
14. Job Placement Assistance:
If you want to hire a training company to facilitate a learnership for unemployed youth (18.2), then check if the training provider offers assistance with job placement.
The Best Training Provider Relates to Your Industry Dynamics
15. Can the Training Provider Customize Content for Your Industry
You want your learners to read relevant case studies and complete industry or job-related activities. The best training provider customizes core elements like case studies, role-plays, examples, and terminology to make the training relevant to your organization.
16. Understand Your Industry
Select a provider that displays a deep understanding of your industry, business model, challenges, strategy, and day-to-day operations.
17. The Best Training Provider Cares About Your Training Needs
Choose a training provider that asks questions to understand your goals. See if they are any good at providing tailored solutions. A good training provider is also a good learning organization. So if they want your gig, they must be willing to learn about you.
18. The Best Training Provider uses Innovative Learning Methodologies
Opt for providers that offer innovative or immersive learning methods. They will ensure a more cooperative and engaging learning experience.
19. Practical Training
Prioritize providers offering practical internships and experiences related to the sector chosen, certifying graduates’ safety and ability.
The Best Training Provider Has a Qualified Team
20. Training Manager
I don’t like it when a sales team runs the show. To drive a quality-based learning system, the training provider needs a qualified education expert. There are many pathways to becoming an education expert. Various NQF qualification options exist, from occupational qualifications to academic degrees.
In addition, facilitators are an extension of a brand and represent a particular implementation model. I once stopped a training session when I saw everyone seated in rows, silently sitting through a slide presentation of around 100 slides! You may not think the exclamation is warranted, but in an outcomes-based setting, passive listening is taboo!!! There! Multiple emphases!
I cut for a break and while I rearranged the room, the facilitator had to reduce his presentation to 20 slides that only contained one heading. When learners came back, he asked them what they knew about the topic and together, they built a new presentation from scratch. They then split into groups and each group fleshed out their section in more detail and presented it to the class. Now that’s OBE.
21. Trainer Background
You can ask the training provider to send you the trainer’s CV. Then you can ensure that they possess the necessary skills and experience to train your team.
22. Instructor Qualifications:
Verify the qualifications and experience of the instructors delivering the courses. Accredited training providers must have facilitators and assessors who are SETA registered. SETA registered facilitators have completed the ETDP SETA assessor training. Note that the facilitator training isn’t yet compulsory for facilitators but the assessment training is.
23. Training Experience
Verify that trainers not only excel in their field but also have relevant training experience to effectively share their knowledge with adult learners.
24. Technical Expertise
Ensure trainers have worked in the industry, holding advanced roles with international experience, enabling them to provide global best practices.
Now Find the Best Training Provider!
In conclusion, the selection of a training provider is a critical decision that requires thorough consideration. Hopefully, by applying these tips you can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization’s goals and sets you on a path to success. Remember, investing time in research now will pay off in the long run as you embark on your journey of skill enhancement and organizational development.
Let me know what you think is missing from the list below in the comments section! Looking forward to 2024! Peace and love!