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Steve Robson

Marine Industry

Learning and Development Consultant

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Training course prices


Why are training providers so secretive about the price of their courses? I am searching for a course provider and every website I look at wants me to send them my phone number to get a price.

If you are one of those companies can I offer a little word of advice? If there is no price guide on your website I won't be using you!

Would any training provider like to explain why they are reluctant to publish their prices?

16 Responses

  1. Training course prices

    Hi Steve

    I sympathise!! It's annoying isn't it… I expect the reason why you're not getting a startight answer might be because there isn't one. That's because lots of training providers charge a different fee depending on how many people you want trained, whether you're looking for the training to be done in-house exclusively for your organisation, and other stuff. Whilst it is annoying, as you just want to know, the fact that they are flexible with prices can work in your favour! Negotiate a good deal, or ask others who they would recommend for the type of training you're after and take it from there.

    Bonne chance!


  2. Too kind

    Hi Martine

    You are too kind…I strongly suspect they charge what they can get away with. 

    Up to 10 delegates

    10 to 20 delegates

    In house

    Public course

    4 prices maximum and they could always say "ballpark figures only" I have just been quoted nearly £5000 and just over £2000 for exactly the same course, same number of delegates and same premises.

    It would be easier and more ethical buying a used car from someone in a sheepskin coat!

  3. Oh come now……

    Steve, you surprise me!

    a "training course" isn't always that simple a commodity….you and Martine have already identified a number of the variables that are involved. For a training course to have a fixed price the provider would have to lay down absolute conditions; for example:-

    "we are going to run an open course, one day in duration, no more than Z delegates, at X location, the objectives are Y, all hand-outs and support material included, trainer is John/Jane Doe, price is £n, course may be cancelled if numbers not adequate, cancellation terms are…."

    Sadly, these types of courses (unless fairly transactional eg MS Excel Basic) tend to be criticised by buyers (such as yourself) as being inflexible and inappropriate to their organisation, buyers more often want something tailored.

    Having said that  there are clear prices for just these sorts of courses run by many organisations: for instance as another example

    I hope that helps….I'm just off to brush up my sheepskin coat and polish the Jag!



  4. Variables

    Morning Russ

    Speaking of fixed prices what is it with the almost universal figure of £595 for a days soft skills? Guessing that figure is also a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing! (If you work in Canary Wharf you can double that for exactly the same course)

    As for variables…reminds me when I was buying a carpet in Marrakech Souq…"best price best p rice, come on mister, only for you at this price"

    "Typical" cost per delegate on training co' websites would be really useful…

    There can't be that many variables surely?

  5. I agree with Steve that there

    I agree with Steve that there is an element of truth in the "lets see what we can charge " attitude which is a shame but applies to lots of walks of life. 

    If a provider is running an open course then the variables mentioned shouldn't matter to the individual beyond what is the individual cost.   What the provider's costs and break even points contribute to what they do charge,  plus how well their training is received, and a sprinkle of branding.   

    As a training broker we work with 100s of different providers and I can't think of many that will actually display a potential in-house price , even with conditions e.g. £1200 for 1 day training for up to 10.  Additional costs will apply depending on content, location etc.   Even those companies Rus lists don't show prices for in-house training. 

    I'd be interested in hearing what else do providers do that annoy you?


  6. Training providers

    I'd be interested in hearing what else do providers do that annoy you?

    Poor quality venues

    Running courses with very few delegates instead of cancelling

    Insisting in "icebreakers"…really in 2015? (oh what fun)

    Starting late (when I pay £500 a day time IS money)

    Poor quality materials

  7. and the opposite?


    Thanks Steve.   Poor quality venues is something I hate hearing about.  I know good venues cost more money but they have such a positive impact on the learning experience.   

    The same with materials, although how many people refer back to their physical materials is an unknown number. 

    A big no no for us is poor administration.  From when we want to make a booking, to what information is needed on the day and speed of reply to our queries.  

    So if we flip the question on its head and look at the positives, what do providers do which make you smile?  (obviously the opposite of what you've already said). 



  8. Good practice

    Good practice

    Pre course questionnaire, post course follow up

    Individual objectives discussed before the course starts

    Reference to individual objectives throughout the course to ensure I am getting what I paid for

    Starting and finishing on time


  9. Another view

    Hi Steve.

    I am dumbfounded at some of the issues you have obviously faced with training providers, other than the main question you asked, which is why don't providers publish their prices.

    As a provider of training FOR trainers, we don't publish prices or dates for the sole reason that we want to do a professional job and fact find (albeit as briefly as we can in the time the client has on the phone) to ensure absolutely that we offer the right solution to the requirement. We have three different train the trainer certificates for Subject matter experts; experienced and inexperienced trainers, with differing course length and costs. Some clients have asked for Facilitation Skills when, following expert questioning it has emerged they need delivery skills and vice versa. Other clients need expert guidance on a portfolio of solutions, or the development of a career development pathway, for instance. There's surely nothing worse than a so-called professional organisation order-taking and providing solutions that are not appropriate to the real need?

    So, we are proud of the fact that we offer a professional service and we care to find out what our clients 'want' and 'need'.

    Other commentators on this thread are also absolutely right in that there are multiple ways of securing the 'best price', none of which, I hasten to add, are some sort of subterfuge or attempt at manipulating the cost of investment. If I'm honest, I'm astounded that providers are doing these sorts of things.

    I hope this extra information helps in the mix of views.





  10. How long is a piece of string

    Hi Adrian

    Using tried and tested providers is usually a pleasure. New courses sourced by Google is a very unpleasant business which is why a 'price' even if very ballpark breaks down the souq mentality of buying training.

    Hope that explains my position a bit more clearly




  11. looking at it from the other side of the coin….

    Hi Steve

    Have you ever tried approaching it the other way round: They are buying me in the same way that you are buying them, so why not?


  12. A new approach


    We empathise with your struggle! That is why we provide the training materials and resources needed for you to run the training sessions yourself in house!

    Save thousands on bringing in a team of trainers with Sales 101.

    Prices range from £50 for a 2 hour training session to £350 for enough material for a 1-2 day course.

    I hope this helps!

    All the best,


  13. A minor correction to my comments

    In making my point, I made a basic error in that  we DO advertise our prices on our website. However, we still prefer to talk to our prospective and actual clients as there are various ways to secure best price based on location and bulk purchase etc.We don't advertise dates.

    Apologies for the error!


  14. Prices

    And also to clarify…

    I wasn't looking for the cheapest…just an indication of what to expect before discussions begin. 

    Can't  think of any other product you would buy where you had no clue whatsoever before phoning for a price? 

  15. Can’t think of any other product you would buy where you had no


    painters and decorators


    consulting services

    car repairs (Other than menu services and even then…..)


    the list goes on and on…….in fact almost all labour intensive/product subsidiary purchases.


  16. All of the above

    And we all know what a delight all of the above are to deal with… ūüėČ

    Are you suggesting they are examples of exemplary industries? If so you missed out Estate Agents and Lawyers.





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Steve Robson

Learning and Development Consultant

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