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Training Criteria


I have recently been promoted to training and development manager within a medium sized company. As Im new to the job I am looking to develop our current list of training providers. Has anyone got any criteria for selecting new ones and assessing current providers?
David Carron

6 Responses

  1. Supplier lists

    As the provider of a tool for organisations to either update their ‘preferred supplier list’ or as some are now doing, use it to replace their own array of databases, your question is one that I have a serious interest in.

    Some recent posting on both this forum (I think the thread was ‘Managing External Consultants’) and others has suggested that the basic principle of reviewing current needs against current supply will form the most urgent criteria. Within that, a number of issues will be of importance to you:
    supplier capacity, capability, responsiveness to your changing needs and knowledge of your company and your sector,
    economic criteria will include rates for work done and ability to offer packages based on volumn needs.

    A consensus that came out of recent discussions was that your supplier list should be managed, by that it was suggested that suppliers were asked attend discussions about training requirements and then invited to pitch for work. This ensures that the supplier is kept on their toes and the proposal is specific to your identified requirement. Granted this takes a bit more time to manage but the result will be a more appropriate offering of greater value. Your overriding requirement will be to build up a list of appropriate suppliers and choose, possibly using a tender process, the most appropriate for a particular need. One final criteria that does influence is personal chemistry. It is one that I have seen result in great benefits to the organisation and the supplier. Let me pose a scenario; Your current supplier list should know that you are new to the job; how many of them have called you to introduce themselves and offered to come in for a chat about your needs. The ones that do will certainly move closer to the top of your personal preferred list (on the assumption you did not take a complete dislike to them).

    I appreciate the above response is not a check list of criteria but more a general overview but as mentioned I am also interested in what training managers do with respect to their current lists of training providers and how could become a ‘preferred provider list’.

    Hope this helps and all the best with your new role.

    AKA Ed.
    Founder/Editor of TrainerBase

  2. Training Criteria
    Two great questions David – and congrats on your promotion!

    I sit on both sides of this fence, both buying and delivering training, and my broad suggestions would be:
    – don’t assume that your organisation’s past training needs are still valid today, nor are still being appropriately met;
    – don’t assume that your providers, old or new, know all your needs – they may well have other services to offer of value to you;
    – be wary of taking past feedback from trainees as ‘gospel’ – I find that in some organisations expectations of delivery are remarkably low, so ‘good scores’ may not always be indicative of effective training, just as ‘low scores’ may be as indicative of an incomplete training spec for example as a poor supplier;
    – and all other things being equal, be confident that building long term supplier relationships with those who truly understand your needs and organisation can pay rich dividends (with greater flexibility, service and often lower costs on a framework contract basis).

    I hope this may be helpful? Good luck!


  3. Check
    For government funded training providers, the inspection reports at could be useful. Some providers also offer non-funded training so the report may well be a yardstick for their general quality of provision.

  4. Things to think about
    I do training provider contract mgn’t as a Industry Training Organisation for apprenticeships. The following are some of the features I look for.

    What they promise on ROI?
    Are they outcome focused
    Have you defined your outcomes to match your strategic/business plans?
    Have they matched their delivery and assessment to unit standards and qualifications?
    What do they have in place for moderation and evaluation?
    What consultation process do they use with their stakeholders when developing resources/products?
    Can they deliver at times to meet your timetable?
    What follow-up service do they offer?
    Scope of delivery and support services – resources etc.
    What do they do to support different learning, ethnicities and gender styles?
    What is their delivery style and model of learning they work to?

    Hope that gives you some framework to think within.

  5. Gamekeeper turned poacher!

    Congratulations on your new role, hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed such roles in the past. In my last role as the training manager for the lifeboats I used criteria that were almost identical to those proposed by Philippa.

    Now as a provider I ensure my proposals and the business outcomes address those points.

    Finally, if you have a procurement department I would suspect that they have an established procedure and measurement criteria.

    Do feel free to contact me to discuss further.



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