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Alison Snelling


Managing Partner

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Charging for Bespoke Training programmes


Hi everyone 

We are involved in developing many bespoke training programmes for the hospitality, retail, lesiure and automotive industry. I am interested to find out how other training developers charge for developing materials (concept, workbooks, activities, handouts, PPT, trainer notes, etc.)

Do you charge purely for the time you take to develop the package?  Or do you charge for the development time plus a cost for 'your knowledge and expertise' when developing bespoke programmes?  Or do you charge for your development time plus some form of licensing fee for use within the company when it is being delivered by internal trainers?

How do you account for the intellectual property? Sometimes it does not feel right when you hand over a programme that delivers substantial financial and business benefits and you have only charged for your time and not the perceived value of the programme.

For example, we have recently been in a situation where we have developed a new programme for one hotel in a large group and other hotels in the group have heard about it and want to 'adopt it' ............... 

I would love to hear how other developers approach this scenario



2 Responses

  1. A Day is a Day…but its not that simple

     Hi Alison,

    Ahh, the design of bespoke training and associated value. One of my very favourite topics! If you hop over to my blogs on TrainingZone, you will see I’ve often expressed views on this!

    My business is all about bespoke training design. I design things for large companies who simply don’t have the internal resource at that time to do it. I research the project and put in a proposal (free of charge). Assuming it is accepted, I then conduct more in-depth research – both with the client and ‘desk’ research. This is charged for…although often at a lower rate, as the client isn’t getting anything DIRECTLY for that time.

    I then draw up a detailed outline (often charged for) and then confirm fees based on the expected amount of days it wil take me to produce. I often charge for the detailed outline because at this stage, the client can (if they choose) take my outline and develop the programme in house.

    I then charge for design, and hand over all materials in electonic, editable format to them, fully branded with thier logos, and no mention of me or my business.

    My design fees are the same as my delivery fees in most cases. Afterall, a day of my time is a day of my time. The client can then use who they wish (their own trainers typically, or sometimes it can be another independent who is much more local). Obviously, if I deliver, I charge for that too. I have given up trying to protect ilntellectual property – there is so little out there that is completely unique anyway, and I did write a blog on that…"Can you copyright learning?" and my views on spaghetti bolognaise may also be of interest ūüėČ  My basic approach to charging is outlined here in my ‘pay-as-you-go’ blog 

    In terms of ‘adopting’ other material, my view is this: You should never use content that is specific to a particular organisation. That is completely bespoke to them and should be considered confidential. But with more ‘general’ topics e.g. how to give good feedback, you can use elements as source material but you’d be surpised how little can simply be recycled…. and here’s my final link to explain why

    I know that other consultancies work differently, but I prefer to keep it simple. I hope that you find this useful.

    Sheridan Webb

    Keystone Development – For bespoke training design and business ghost writing

  2. Thanks

     Hello Sheridan, thanks for your thoughts – they are useful and in line with some of my own thinking too. Alison


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Alison Snelling

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