7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Training Provider

Registering for a training course may seem like a relatively easy decision. You receive information about a course, it peaks your interest and you do a bit of digging…

You’ll check the dates and times to make sure you’re available, you’ll check the price and make sure that it’s within your budget, you’ll look at the course content and make sure it’s aligned with what you’re looking for and you’ll probably check out the presenter profiles.

If everything looks good, you sign up.

But what if choosing the right training course and organisation is a little more complex than that?  

Whilst there are still only a small number of training providers offering courses on construction claims and contractual matters, the market is getting busier and it’s important that you choose a training provider that is going to offer you the most value.

Value is not simply monetary. People often get very fixed on price, but what use is a good price if the course you attend does not help you? To help you focus on making the right decisions, we have compiled a list of 7 things to look for when choosing a training provider:

Accreditation – Accreditation is essentially the industry’s ‘stamp of approval’. In the construction industry, it is usually offered by professional institutes such as the CIOB, RICS, CICES, QSI, ICCP, CIArb, FIDIC, etc. Training organisations must go through a rigorous process to gain the accreditation which usually involves a review of the course content, a review of the presenter and his/her experience and a review of the organisation as a whole. Only when the institute is satisfied of the course quality and ability to deliver will the accreditation be awarded.

Content – The content should be relevant, high quality and deliver specific learning outcomes. 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 learnt in a practical way.

Course Structure – The course modules should follow a methodical and logical structure, nicely flowing from one to the next. Good structure ensures that the course content is covered and stops the presenter from jumping from one topic to another. This avoids confusion and allows you to focus on learning. Think of the topics as building bricks to learning – they gradually build towards a complete picture of the subject.

Presenters – How the course is delivered to you will have a considerable impact on how much you learn. There are many experienced professionals in the industry but industry expertise does not always translate into strong presentation skills. A good presenter will be lively, dynamic and interactive. They will communicate clearly and be able to share the content with you in a way that you are able to understand, regardless of your level of experience. And most important, they will know their subject matter inside out and back to front. They will not depend on the presentation slides. There’s nothing worse than a presenter simply reading from the slides!

Communication – This may seem like a strange one, but noticing how the training provider communicates with you is very important. Is their marketing information clear, friendly and professional? Do they have a professional website with all the course information? When you make an enquiry, do they respond quickly and are they helpful? These little things matter as they speak volumes about how a business conducts itself. If they get these things right, chances are they’ll get their products right too.

Customer Satisfaction – A good training provider will have a good track record. Don’t be afraid to ask them for details of customer feedback from past courses.

Price – Price is important. So why is it last on the list? Because value is more important. And if you find a training organisation that offers all of the above, price should be the last thing on your mind.