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Any Answers Digest #21 – how do you choose training providers?, which learning styles questionnaire?, can you train values and b


TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest - Issue 21
Wednesday 9 October 2002

********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********
How do you choose training providers and courses?...join a stand
at CIPD...which learning styles questionnaire?...suggestions for
change management activities...can you train values and beliefs?
********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********

This fortnight, 33 TrainingZONE members have added questions, 100
have added answers and 23 members have used Any Answers for the
first time - join in now at

Introducing Elearning to your Organisation?
The successful COROUS 'Learning to Learn Online' 2-hour course
has just been updated and will be available from Mid-October.
It's a flexible, positive, exciting way to introduce elearning to
your organisation and to encourage people to become independent
and collaborative online learners. Everyone embarking on a new
elearning experience will benefit from completing this course
first. For more information or to arrange an online trial e-mail
mailto:[email protected]?subject=TrainingZONE_enquiry or
telephone 01908 659570

What you asked this fortnight
New questions posted include:

- Are you interested in joining forces with a group of like-
minded HR/Training Companies/Freelancers to exhibit at the CIPD
Conference in Harrogate?, asks Fiona Taylor

- Does anyone have a view on the relative merits of the Honey
and Mumford and PSI-Press learning style questionnaires?, asks
Zoe Young

- I am looking for more interesting ways of presenting the
concept of EQ i.e. not just a one-way 'tell'. Do you have
suggestions as to how this can be made more interactive?, asks
Sharon Taylor

Got a question you need answered? Post it now, free of charge at

learndirect corporate offers a flexible, innovative approach to
learning that produces real business benefit and an unparalleled
learning experience. Our customers can choose from a portfolio
of over 500 online courses from world-leading providers, and
have direct access to a team of e-learning experts. To find out
more go to or
call 08000 150750.

Featured question: How do you chose training courses?
What methods do companies use for choosing training courses and
providers? I would be interested in hearing from users of
training services (particularly communication skills) about the
factors they use in decision making.

Question submitted by Benjamin Ball

Members responses

(Edited responses appear - see the site for full comments)

I don't know if this will be of any help to you but how I have
chosen external training providers in the past is as follows:
1 - Recommendation from other trainers
2 - Old work colleagues who have gone into consultancy
3 - Going on courses myself to see what they cover etc.
4 - Getting a free demo/low-price taster from providers
5 - TrainingZONE - brackets kinds of providers and what they can
offer - I've given them a call from there
6 - Buying off-the-shelf

Factors in choice:
1 - Cost is always a major factor
2 - Validity of material on offer
3 - How long will it be before the training become out-of-date?
4 - How reliable are the providers in their delivery of the goods?
5 - How does the course/package sit with existing training?

Good luck,

Kate Southall


I will await the debate that TrainingZONE intend to have around
this question with interest as having been both a customer and a
supplier, I have seen both sides of the equation.
Two methods that seem to be gaining in popularity are:

1 - throwing the gauntlet down with invitation to tenders to a
group of companies
2 - allocating budget up-front to a discrete number of providers
via a preferred supplier system

I have mixed thoughts about both! I can see where these
approaches would work for other procurement projects, but I still
think we need to think much more broadly than a checklist
approach when it comes to training and development activities.

Tim Drewitt


What a super question!

Having sat on both sides of the desk, as a buyer and a supplier,
what I think I did wrong in the past as a buyer was to be far too
unclear on my requirements, objectives, measurables, etc - and
now, as a supplier, I see many of my clients inclined to fall
into just the same trap!

Best wishes

Jeremy Thorn


At the end of the day, I think that choosing a training provider
comes down to three main things (there are many other factors, of
- the competence of the provider
- the quality of their training
- 'best fit' with your company (goals, culture and values) and
the people in it.

Personal recommendations from friends and colleagues are a good
way of avoiding the minefield.

I am sure this debate will run and run!

All good wishes
Andie Hemming


It is often very difficult to identify a truly good trainer who
can provide innovative and effective training solutions. This
does I believe lead many organisations to stick rigidly with
existing suppliers, even when these are expensive or when other
suppliers could potentially add something new.

TrainingZONE's listing of trainers is useful, as is, which is essentially a database of courses
provided by a large number of training companies. Referring to
these might alert you to potential new suppliers - and there are
things you can then do to judge the quality of what they do.

Rod Webb

Read the full discussion and add your own views at

Got a tender for work to advertise? You can make sure it gets
in front of TrainingZONE's audience of 38,000 training
professionals now by adding it to the newly-relaunched Tenders
area, free of charge. Let the Tenders area make your life easier
by going to

Any Answers Answered

This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q - I was having a chat with an HR colleague of mine, whilst we
both agreed that you can train skills and knowledge and to a
lesser degree influence affect behaviours and values. My HR
colleague asserted that you can't train values or beliefs. Any
body got anything to add on this? Perhaps it's all down to
semantics and interpretation?

Thanks one and all.

Mark Starling

(edited responses appear - see site for full responses)

A - 'If I didn't believe I could change peoples perception of the
world, I couldn't do my job', says Ellen Elizabeth Lee. 'Most
people who attend training workshops want to learn something. In
learning they can change their beliefs about themselves and those
around them.'

A - 'We are all discussing this here now!', says Susan
McGaughran. 'We think you can train in techniques and raise
awareness of different values and beliefs, like management
training which develops through training an awareness of why
people require different motivation stimuli, or challenging the
belief that all workers are idle and look to avoid work ( sad but

A - 'The values and beliefs that we possess did not appear by
magic', adds Gill Charlesworth. 'We must have learned to react in
certain ways and have acquired values from some source in the
past for them to exist at all. Therefore if we have learned them
we must have had some training along the way. Training is not
necessarily a one off event.'

To read the full responses, see

Q - I am wondering if anyone has any exciting ideas for
activities that can be used during a change management one day
training programme? I have lots of written material and have
written some case studies but would appreciate any thoughts
others may have.

Penny Cole

(edited responses appear - see site for full responses)

A - 'I have used and found 'Who moved my cheese?' a very
interesting and novel approach to change management', says David

A - 'As a lateral alternative to 'classroom' approaches that many
find boring or too theoretical, I have created a wine and change
experience - using the analogy of wine with change (more details
on site)', says Peter Warman

A - Penny - a fun activity could be to split into 3 groups, says
Sharon Taylor. 'Each group starts creating either a picture or
a story or a sculpture. After a given time, you ask the groups
to stop doing what they're doing and rotate so that each group
is now taking on someone else's project that's only part way
completed. You can then rotate the groups again so that
eventually everyone has had a go at each activity. The de-brief
is where it can be linked to change - how did it feel? what
would have helped? etc.'

To read the full responses, see

Any Answers would cease to function without all those who
regularly share their knowledge and experience. If you've
benefited from receiving advice from an Any Answers question but
have yet to post a response yourself, why not do your bit by
responding to one of the questioners now at

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Copyright (c) 2002 Sift Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
long as attribution is given.

TrainingZONE, 100 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6HZ
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225


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