Author Profile Picture

Dave Evans


Managing Director

Read more from Dave Evans

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

2018 Training Industry Benchmark Report Findings


We recently released our 2018 Training Industry Benchmark Report which shares the current trends in the training industry and opportunities and challenges for training professionals. The report features insights from across the training industry in a whole host of business sectors including health and safety, professional development, project management and oil & gas. 

A consensus throughout the survey was that there are opportunities abound. These included a wider variety of training techniques now being available to be delivered to learners with a prominent feature being a recognised increased in popularity of online and on-demand learning, as well as an opportunity for digital innovation. 

On the other hand, one of the biggest challenges reported as facing the training industry was the threat of alternative learning delivery methods (e.g. online and distance learning) on traditional classroom-based training.

Is this founded or do we, as an industry, need to adapt?

The survey revealed the following key findings: 

  1. Training companies are increasingly expected to do more with less resource (lack of resource as a challenge is up 47% since 2016)
  2. Despite levy concerns, apprenticeship delivery was up 28% since 2016Focus on online learning and gamification set to increase in next 12 month
  3. Less than a quarter of respondents felt that Brexit has had an impact on their organisation
  4. Almost four fifths of training companies use face to face training as their primary delivery method
  5. 63% of training professionals are yet to invest in automated technology
  6. Almost half of respondents feel that sales and marketing will be challenged by the introduction of the GDPR

This year, we organised the report into three key sections:

  • The Training Industry
  • Technology 
  • Sales & Marketing

The Training Industry

Challenges and opportunities in the training industry included:

  • The training companies surveyed focus on online learning had greatly increased year on year (up 25% since 2017)
  • Companies were focussing heavily on in-house courses with the focus not set to switch in the next 12 months (main focus of 72% surveyed)
  • It was recognised that there was an increased uptake in apprenticeship delivery despite of levy concerns (28% increase since 2016)

Sales & Marketing

Key findings amongst training professionals included: 

  • Reputation and referrals are increasingly important as part of training organisation’s marketing strategy (69% considered reputation to be a key marketing technique with 70% feeling the same about referrals). 
  • More than half of training businesses surveyed are investing are in email campaigns to generate leads (55.8% of respondents)
  • Digital marketing such as SEO and PPC is still not being prioritised by training organisations
  • Almost half of respondents felt that sales and marketing activities will be challenged as a result of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


Key trends in the training industry included: 

  • 63% of training professionals are yet to invest in automated technology
  • 60% of respondents were still gathering feedback using paper happy sheets as their primary method of insight
  • Spreadsheets (37%) and other software such as MS office (34%) are still commonly used for business management
  • There was an 11% increase of online course booking tool adoption from 2017

Want to find out more?

Download the full report to get industry insights, including…

  • The next steps for the training industry including upcoming opportunities and challenges
  • Ways that training delivery is changing
  • How training professionals need to embrace the digital age
  • The resources the training community use to stay up to date

Download the full Training Industry Benchmark Report here, and see where you rank against the rest of the industry.  

Finally, we’d like to thank all those professionals who took the time to complete our survey. Your insights are, as ever, invaluable. 

Author Profile Picture
Dave Evans

Managing Director

Read more from Dave Evans

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!