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Seb Anthony

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Benchmarking Training Programmes


I would like to know if anyone has experience of benchmarking training programmes against those of other companies or training specialists. We have an internal Learning & Development function and would like to assess the quality of our training and gauge how we are positioned against the rest of the market. I would be grateful for information from anyone who has done this, particularly how the benchmarking was undertaken, whether other companies were happy to share details of their training and if the benchmarking has proved useful.
Alison Smith

2 Responses

  1. Benchmarking
    I think that benchmarking can be very useful. However, there are a number of factors to consider. Firstly, how big, formal and sophisticated you want to make this project. I suspect that most people in T&D tend to approach this fairly informally rather than go the whole hog. For a first timer, I’d suggest keeping it simple.
    Secondly, decide who you might benchmark against and why. This might be against a company who claims to be ‘good’, someone local or someone you know through networking. Most are flattered to be asked and there is often something to be learnt from even from those who are not top notch. Some are understandably cautious, particularly if it involves giving away potentially competitive information to a stranger. If you can offer something in return that can help.
    I would suggest you benchmark metrics and processes. Metrics being everything from the number of days delivery an internal trainer does, spend per employee through to performance measures such as value for money indicators. Processes being booking processes, monitoring e-learning, evaluation proceedures and so on. It is best if you probe to find out what works and why rather than take things at face value. I would also say that the main purpose is to learn how and why things work so that you can adapt it to fit your situation, for example, rather than simply copying.
    There may also be merit in benchmarking against the less obvious. Try benchmarking your booking process against that of a holiday company for example.
    As a final thought, you could meet up with a couple of like minds from other companies to design the ideal T&D function and then benchmark against that. This works well where you are struggling to find a suitable candidate for a more usual form of benchmarking.
    Whichever approach you take, best of luck.

  2. Benchmarking can be helpful but needs to be done in context.
    Hello Alison. Benchmarking can be helpful but you need to bear in mind the context in which you are training and the contexts in which other companies have trained. Unless you are comparing achievement against recognised qualification standards, it will be difficult to benchmark achievements. Have you looked at the Adult Learning Inspectorate’s website ( – there is a lot of information there especially on Excalibur which may be helpful. Alternatively, engage the services of a training consultancy company to come and assess the standard, effectiveness and quality of your teaching!


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