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Sheridan Webb

Keystone Development

Training Design Consultant

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How do you Licence Training?


A couple of years ago, I wrote a bespoke workshop for a company. I was paid for the design (so they could use it in-house), but also ran it for them a couple of times. The person who commissioned that training has now left the business, but wants to offer this workshop to others in the industry under licence. I wouldn't want (or be able) to do all the delivery, so I'm happy with this in principle, but I've never licenced training before. I'm in half a mind to just sell him the materials to keep the whole thing simple. What advice do you have?

3 Responses

  1. Licencing

    My thought is to sell it on a non exclusive basis. If it is still your programme, I guess your name would be attached to it, if this person was successful and wanted someone else in their network to deliver it, you would have to set up some sort of certfication, then you become vested in the quality of the delivery, policing your IP, and no doubt you will get pressure to update. You become a product manager. So unless thats what you want, well I would let it go for a reasonable price.

    Even if they dont wish to extend delivery to another person, what if they missell it and deliver a lousy trainee experience, dont get me wrong I am sure they wouldnt, but even while the risk is tiny I wouldnt bother.   


  2. A can of worms?:)


    I am sure you have considered this but the first thing that pop up is the intellectual property. Is the original company for whom you wrote the bespoke workshop likely to ‘feel they have any rights’ over the programme?

    A colleague of mine has done this in the past and a few considerations that I recall are:
    is the material up to date; do you need to do amendments
    how competent are the trainers who will deliver the workshop
    is the workshop delivered as your course or the other persons (liability of content against delivery)
    who prints the workbooks
    is there any validation of assessments to be done (my colleague acted as an EV for the programme they licenced)
    how will the licence be set up (date specific, number of seats, etc) and how will you manage the licence
    how will you know that the workshop has been successfully (to your standard) delivered
    is it likely to be an open programme that is marketed to the industry; what happens if a dated workshop doesn’t go ahead
    if it is an open programme, who writes the marketing materials (managing expectations)

    I am sure others will come up with more thoughts on this potentially lucrative can of worms but I hope this helps.

    Founder of TrainerBase
    If here was once there, where is there now? (PJM 1999)

  3. keeping it simple

    Hi Sheridan

    As you have spotted, the "simplest" approach is to simply sell him the right to deliver the training; he pays you once and then he is free to do his own thing. The downside is that if he becomes the next Stephen Covey, you get no more income.

    Alternatively, and keeping it simple, you can ask him to pay a royalty for the use of the material.  You can calculate the royalty on a fixed annual basis, or on a per use basis, every time he uses it, or even on a per capita studant basis.  The advantage of the latter two is that the more successful he is (on the back of your intellectual property) the more you earn, without even getting out of bed.  The "difficulty" is that you are reliant on trusting him to declare all the events upon which a royalty is due.

    These are all simpler than you getting tied up assessing the quality of his delivery of your materials.

    In any event you will need to negotiate actual rates with him, and clearly the more "reasonable" he deems the figures the more likely it is that he will be totally open and honest about what he owes you.

    I hope this helps


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Sheridan Webb

Training Design Consultant

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