Author Profile Picture

Joy Wilson

Spectrum Training services

Learning and Development Consultant

Read more from Joy Wilson

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Training – Beware the Cuckoo in the Nest


The expression "cuckoo in the nest" can mean a person or an organisation trying to look like what they are not. It is also used to describe a problem that grows quickly, consuming resources needed for other purposes.

Don’t Sponsor a Training Cuckoo

Purchasers of training, would you recognise a cuckoo in your nest? Perhaps not, because cuckoo’s use remarkable forms of deception to achieve their goal
This year I almost sponsored a cuckoo, fortunately I recognised the imposter before any damage was done to my business and the business of potential clients.

The “Training Cuckoo”
The “Training Cuckoo” is a master of trickery; their livelihood depends on deception lacking strategic skills they are masters of mimic expertly presenting themselves as credible.

Training Cuckoos, have many mouths to feed.  Their brood tends to consist of an abundance of grand titles such as”Executive Managers” and “Operations Executives”. Similar to the cuckoo bird their need to provide for this massive brood leads to dishonesty. They do exactly what the real cuckoo does, they become parasites feeding off your business and laying their eggs in the nests of other species of superior birds.  If you are unaware, you will incubate the eggs of the parasite in blissful ignorance.

Whether you are a purchaser or provider of training, it’s essential to protect your business from the cuckoo for financial reasons and for protection; to ensure compliance, standards, and authenticity.  Here are some signs to look out for:

One area that can be particularly deceiving is the web site where the cuckoo simply uses the logos of credible establishments to claim associations and accreditations.  One phone call to the awarding body will enable you to check these claims. The training cuckoo that attempted to trick me has an impressive page listing accreditations, none of them authentic.

Many mouths to feed, this lack of control in their business necessitates high rates for purchasers and low rates for providers of training.

The deception includes: Presenting you with CV’s of suitable trainers. After you have selected the trainer they provide a completely different trainer for the training delivery. Why? There are several reasons for this as follows:

They have a high turnover of trainers, who abandon ship when the extent of deceit becomes apparent, so the trainer that you originally selected no longer wishes to associate with your provider.

Because you selected a trainer that costs the training company more to employ, costs associated with flights and accommodation, the market rate for the expertise of that individual and their ability to add value to your industry. So because this expert costs more suddenly they will be unavailable and substituted with an alternative.

Finally the legal status of the trainers business. Some trainers are in full time employment and take holidays to deliver training; hence, they have no apparent legal business status and no business overheads. This presents a risk since many of these individuals have no liability or indemnity insurance. These "hobby" trainers can be a one trick pony lacking in sufficient breadth of knowledge and experience to engage, reason, and develop your staff from the basis of valid experience

• Cuckoos often appear on industry blacklists or in industry specific forums where others issue warnings about their experiences.Thanks to those who issue warnings about this provider of training.

•They present samples of work in the form of workbooks, course outlines and evaluations as past examples of achievement but which belong to trainers who no longer work for them.  Consequently the material is alien to the trainer that delivers and they are unable to deliver to the standards intended.

As a training provider and a sole trader I run a lean business.  I am proud that the business has achieved a quality mark and that our training design service has never failed to achieve the accreditations for work submitted to awarding bodies on behalf of clients. Recognition of the effectiveness and efficiency with which the business is run comes in the form of repeat work from organisations across the globe. Representing unprofessional, dishonest, and disorganised providers of training would be absolutely cuckoo and will not enhance that reputation. Acting as a host to these providers whether knowingly or unknowingly creates an unacceptable risk in your business.

Free Training Provider Assessment Criteria
Before selecting a provider of training it is essential that you ensure that your requirements - the outcomes from the training and the professional standards that you require from a training provider - are clear. Contact Spectrain today for a copy of our training provider assessment criteria checklist

One Response

Author Profile Picture
Joy Wilson

Learning and Development Consultant

Read more from Joy Wilson

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!