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Jeanine Honour

Mrs J E Honour

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Where do I start?


Dear All,

I have written a training course for Contact Supervisors, for the organisation I work for.   I am looking at moving on and therefore, need to get the course accredited so that others cannot use it!!   What do I have to do to get the course accredited in my name? In addition, obviously I need to look at what standard and content the course needs to hold, before it can be accredited.  So many questions!!!

Many thanks

Jeanine Honour

6 Responses

  1. Not sure you can

    Hi Jeanine

    I'm not sure you own the IPR to this course if you were employed by the organisation for whom you wrote it.  I know that, as a freelancer, I retain IPR for my courses but it seems you developed this programme as an employee and I THINK the organisation therefore can use it as it sees fit.

    Others will be along to clarify I'm sure.


  2. Why limit it?

    Anywhere you are recruited to won't 'buy' your material, they'll want to 'buy' you and the material you have created previously is unlikely to be perfect as is for them anyway.

    If you're moving on, isn't it better that you have a piece of material as a good reference for what you do? 

    Interestingly some freelancers I know are moving from tight © to more flexible creative commons licences as the nature of information and knowledge management changes. There was an interesting piece from Steve Wheeler on openness at the Learning and Skills Group event and it applies to content creation as much as content delivery I think.

  3. as Jenny says…..

    …if you were an employee of the company for whom you write it then they own the copyright on the work….after all they paid for it, and underwrote its effectiveness.

    As long ago as 1995 a wise old man in the training world told me "all trainers are thieves and what they steal is what is good enough to be worth stealing", so if they use your material after you have left just be flattered that the material was good enough to stand the test of time.

    That dowsn't stop you from using it wherever you go!

    Good luck with your move, if you make it


  4. Where to I start?

    Oh really!!!! Should they not have informed of this before I started?   If I am working for myself, will it be O.K to write a new course and have it accredited?

  5. informing you

    I think it is generally accepted that if someone pays you to create something for them then it belongs to them…not to you.  Obviously we are talking here about intellectual property, but consider other products…3M paid a guy to invent post it notes, so once they are invented 3M own the patent.

    I'm not sure if "accredited" is actually the word you are looking for to protect your content or intellectual property.  Accredited is more about adding value to a course by having an independent expert institution underwrite its effectiveness and comliance to a quality atandard.

    I think the word you are looking for is more along the lines of "copyright"…the intellectual property version of a patent.

    Have a look at "Dragons' Den Start Your Own Business, From Idea to Income" 

    Good luck


  6. Your stock in trade


    Within any contract of employment (worth its salt) there will be a clause about who owns what you create or contribute towards creating and it will be your employers. That said; all they own is the explicit representation (course materials) of your knowledge, skills and ideas. Once you have acquired this knowledge, skills and ideas they become your 'stock in trade' which you can take elsewhere (hence the concept of headhunters).

    I would concur that the course materials written for one client (whether as an employed staff or independent consultant) will have only limited value to another client. The knowledge, ideas and skills in designing and developing and delivering a course however is where the value lies.

    To accredit a course is costly in resources and I would suggest your resources would be better spent on marketing and sales.

    Anything you create as a freelancer, by default is your intellectual property and you have copyright. When someone pays you to design something; the transfer of intellectual property must be explicit in the contract; as I understand it does not happen just because you have been paid.

    There are some articles about this at:

    Hope this helps.

    Founder and editor of TrainerBase
    Helping business and other organisations find trainers.

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Jeanine Honour

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