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Christine Dunford

Tamesis Consultancy


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External Trainer Expectations


I'd like to give our external trainers a ''what we expect from our trainers'' info sheet so that they're all aware of the standards we want them all to adhere to.  We've had a couple of issues (nothing mega serious!), but I don't want to simply find alternative trainers, as they're good in most respects and often quite specialised.

I'd be interested to know any views on this, as I don't want to come across as patronising or condescending - Is it 'the done thing'?  And does anyone actually do this and, if so, have you any documentation you'd be willing to forward me?  I googled, but nothing helpful.

Thank you (again!).


8 Responses

  1. Common as an associate….

    Hi Christine

    I do a lot of work as an associate and it is common to find such a document in the associateship contract between the freelance associate and the consultancy which contracts him/her.

    One request that I’d like to suggest to reduce the likelihood of anything seeming patronising or condescending; make it a two way document; in otherwords clearly set out the standards that you and your staff will maintain rather than solely the standards you expect.  For instance, whilst you may want to lay down quality standards for the trainer that cover dress, timekeeping, confidentiality, mobile phone use, food and drink etc, also lay down the standards that the trainer can expect from your management team, and your delegates, in terms of notice of postponement, numbers of attendees (ie providing enough to make the event "work" and not overloading the course as well), timekeeping of delegates, rooms laid out and set up properly (not being used as store rooms for all the old furniture!), managers not dragging delegates out every five minutes to answer problems etc.

    Hopefully other trainers will read this and add their backing to my comments above for certainly I know that I have walked away from clients who preent a completely one sided list of expectations!

    I hope this helps

    Rus Slater



  2. Interesting Question….

    An interesting question, Christine.

    Like Rus, I have a few examples of Associate agreements, which I can let you have parts of if it helps, also all professional bodies have Codes of Conduct – my clients  know the ones I adhere to. 

    Of course, these are all pretty generic. I have never encountered a company specific ‘What we expect from our trainers’ type document – the only  agreements I have been asked to adhere to a things like health and safety and diversity policies – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one!

    You could check which professional associations your trainers belong to, and then check the relevant Codes of Conduct, but that seems a bit onerous. Although if it a matter of professionalism, you will get pointers you can incorporate into your own standards.

    If it is more a case of ‘How we do things round here’, I for one would welcome such a document – organisations do vary in their requirements, and it is possible for some trainers to be wrong footed by making assumptions. I do sometimes have to put effort into finding out about clients’ culture, working methods etc – some of them expect you know this stuff the minute you walk through the door. I would expect a good trainer to find out.

    You say you’d like to do it – I say do it, even if it’s not the usual ‘done thing’. No doubt there are some organisations who have done this already – and plenty more who could benefit from your approach.

    Julie Cooper

    Spring Development

  3. External Trainers

    Echoing the balanced advice from other colleagues, we have a Code of Conduct (two way) underpinned with a short legal contract. Happy to send you a copy

    QED Training

  4. how it works in my world …………

    We use our sister company to provide systems training to our customers, in the customers own trading environment,  on our behalf.

    I have 2 documents: 

    1: a formal service agreement with the sister company which details cross charges, expectations we have of their trainers when representing us etc  

    2: a more informal document that goes to the customer which includes details of what we do in the office, what the trainer will do on the day and the provisions we expect them to make for the trainer (breaks, refreshments etc) 

    In short, I expect our sister company to ensure that the trainers meet our requirements, and I in turn ensure that the customer looks after the trainer when they are on site.   

    We find the trainers don’t feel like they are being "picked on" because they can see we have expections of ourseleves and the customer too – they actually feel more "loved" by us than they used to so in turn they want to paint a better picture to the customer on our behalf – something which is essential for us as they are the fisrt glimpse of our post – sale service

    Hope that helps


  5. Why wouldn’t you do this?

     I think it’s a great idea to give external trainers a document which spells out what they are expected to do when running an event on your premises. I have my own (I hope) high standards about things like quality of visual aids/handouts, arrival times, timings for breaks, clearing up at the end etc. But I’d be devastated if the client had their own standards that I failed to meet because I knew nothing about them.

    If you write it all down there can be no misunderstanding. You can’t wrong if you try to couch it in a friendly way rather than laying down the law!


    To everyone who replied to my ‘External Trainer Expectations’ – thank you all very much for taking the time to do so!  Your answers were not only interesting, but really helpful to me.

    If anyone could forward me any relevant useful documents, that would be great – and would be very happy to share mine when it’s done.



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Christine Dunford


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