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Choosing a training provider who gives value for money

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MONEY When times are tough and businesses are watching every penny, using a training budget wisely is more important than ever. Richard Marsh has some advice on choosing a training provider who gives value for money.








As every L&D professional knows, when budgets are cut, it's more important than ever to ensure training provides a worthwhile return on investment. Of course, there are several avenues to explore when trying get the most from a training budget, such as conducting proper TNAs rather than focusing only on course delivery.

To get the best value for money, it is also important to choose a training provider who delivers excellent training that is flexible and tailored to the needs of the business.

"The Training Quality Standard is not just another rubber stamp; it represents a genuine achievement on the part of training providers that hold it."
Hunting for the right provider can prove to be a minefield, especially if you don't have past experience of companies offering a particular type of training, or a trusted recommendation. An easy way to identify such a provider is to look for the Training Quality Standard. This is set to be flagged on the Employers Guide, which will help to highlight the best options from a database of over 1,000,000 courses and 10,000 providers.

Launched in May 2008, the Training Quality Standard was designed by and for employers and represents delivery of the best employer-led training, tailored to individual company’s skills needs.

The standard’s assessment process takes into account a combination of various factors that companies consider when sourcing training. The biggest of these is the provision of relevant courses with appropriate content, objectives and materials, delivered by tutors who have theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject. Proven quality delivery, flexibility in the content and delivery of training, and value for money are other factors taken into account.

The standard sets the bar for the best public and private training organisations and is driving greater flexibility, relevance, and commitment to continuous improvement from providers.

The Training Quality Standard is not just another rubber stamp; it represents a genuine achievement on the part of training providers that hold it – only the very best of those who go for the standard get it. That means the standard is a credible independent mark of excellence.

"The Training Quality Standard… will help to highlight the best options from a database of over 1,000,000 courses and 10,000 providers."
Businesses of all sizes are benefitting from using these employer-responsive providers.

Of course, another important consideration when looking for a training provider is to choose one that specialises in your sector. There are several routes to identifying this high level sector-specific training. One way is to look for a Training Quality Standard provider that has a sector specialism, and another is to go through the National Skills Academy network. Both of these routes have been shaped by employers and relevant sector skills councils, so they are truly informed by industry needs.

Investing in sector-specific, employer-responsive training will help smart companies rise above the competition in the current climate. Looking for a Training Quality Standard provider is a sure-fire way to find the best training for your pound.

Richard Marsh is head of employer responsiveness at the Learning and Skills Council. To find out more about the Training Quality Standard go to http://www.trainingqualitystandard.co.uk.

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