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Trainer’s tip: Expenses – without the duck house


If you've been stung by freelance trainers putting in claims inspired by the worst of Westminster excess, tightening up the list of acceptable expenses should avoid any nasty surprises. Claudine McClean offers some expenses advice.                    

It's not good for training when people get burned. We provide training, but it's just as important for us to be clear with clients about expenses upfront is it is for them.

Our list includes:

Training materials: Either a per person or total cost. Be clear that any questionnaires or assessment tools are included here, you should not suddenly get a bill for third party booklets or whatever.

Accommodation: At cost, with a reasonable set amount for breakfast and evening meal. Few trainers will object to you booking direct for them, and booking a bed, breakfast and evening meal rate ensures there's no surprises. You should be clear whether or not you will pay for phone calls, wifi, postage, newspapers etc, I'd suggest not.

Travel: Public transport at cost, mileage at xp per mile. If working inter-continentally agree any travel time in advance. Agree class of travel. Don't be shy about suggesting that you book and pay for flights or rail fares if you feel you'll get a better deal. If you're nervous calculate in advance the total mileage and agree that will be the cost.

Equipment: Check what your trainer will provide, for example, laptop, projector, telephone role play kits, video cameras. Double check that this is included in the price as the trainer's 'tools of the trade'. If not, do you have a projector etc available for them to use? Use that. Renting that sort of equipment is outrageously expensive. Is it really necessary? If so, agree a cost in advance. Be specific, double check and don't be shy about being explicit.

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