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Seb Anthony

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Best practice in evaluating training proposals?


Hello there
Does anybody have a template or ideas re criteria for evaluating training proposals? At the moment, I am running on common sense, i,e. value for money, relevance to brief, method of solution, etc. Also interested if you have any ideas about suggested weighting?
Tom Harlow

5 Responses

  1. Clarification

    I’m not really sure what you’re asking here. Do you have a specific issue that you are trying to evaluate proposals for or are you looking for a “general best practice” scenario?

    If the latter, the answer is that there isn’t an easy set of rules to apply. The evaluation is always going to be based on common sense, it is important to have completed a good TNA so that you can evaluate proposals against the needs identified. But ROI, Delivery, etc. will all play a part in your final recommendation.

    Also as each organisation will have it’s own priorites for these criteria it would be difficult to ascertain a “one size fits all” policy. For example some companies will buy training only on the basis of initial cost and spend little time looking at the “bangs per buck” they get from the training, others will focus on the quality of the actual training and for others still the ROI ratio will be the over-riding factor in their decisions.

    So I’d say your common-sense approach is probably about right.

  2. Leadership
    Hi Nik
    Thanks for your thoughts. I was looking for a template in general terms. However the particular piece of work that I am looking at the moment is a leadership programme so any further throughts very welcome!

  3. Leadership

    I feel in order to evaluate something like a leadership course proposal you need to liaise with your internal clients. Draw up a list of issues that may or may not be important to them – timeliness of delivery, cost, time taken, ROI, what skills must be demonstrated after the course, what form of evaluation is to take place and so on. Then ask them to prioritise these areas for themselves, a simple ranking order might do or a combination of top, medium and low priorities.

    Once you know their priorities you will be able to evaluate the proposals on the basis of client requirements. And I’m thinking contrary to my previous post that this may well be a method you could put in place for all courses. By getting the client to evaluate their requirements then it should be fairly straightforward for you to evaluate proposals against them – there would still be a large amount of “common sense” application required but it should make things easier.

    Also if you evaluate on the basis of client priorities then it should mean that the choices you make will be a better fit than just common sense alone.

    Just an idea but it might work.


  4. Long-term effectiveness is key
    Hi Tom,

    Leadership training has the potential to make a big difference to your business. It also has the potential to waste money and create cycnicism amongst your audience. How about looking at ROI (rather than value-for money) as decribed by Paul Kearns on this site.
    What proposals do the training providers have for evaluating the impact on the organisation? Does your brief explain the desired impact?
    Secondly, I’d look at cultural fit. How much do the training providers understand the realities of your business environment and the people who they will be training? How much will they adapt their style to suit?
    Thirdly I’d loom at the providers’ track records. Which of them are willing to give you names of previous clients? What do the clients say about the long-term inpact of the service?


  5. Essential/Desirable/Nicetohave

    we assist organizations in shortlisting vendors by developing a simple matrix at the outset. of all the requirements that you list, position them under three categories – essential (u cant live without), desirable (u can live without, but it wont be a happy existence) and nicetohave (you can live without)…and weigh the questions accordingly to arrive at a consolidated sum. of course, it is very easy to lose the most important aspect in the jungle of data – the cultural fit of your organization with the vendor. so keep that in view as well.


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