Which is best? Internal or External Training

Michelle Hillier, MD Unique Training Solutions discusses why she is continuously asked this and the what’s and whys of the best routes for training excellence moving forward.

In the 19 years of running Unique Training Solutions, I have had this conversation with almost every customer, and pretty much every time the answer is…… it is good to have both.

Of course, there are some huge benefits to the internal delivery model for example, where there is a high volume of training delivered combined with a consistent need for a range of subjects, it makes practical and financial sense to keep this training resource in house. The consistent demand for subjects such as new starter inductions and the more mandatory type of refresher subjects are good to run in house due to the requirement for regular updates, staff turnover and business alignment and growth.

Internal Trainers, in the main can deliver generalist subjects and those that are very specific to the culture and needs of the organisation. But what happens when you have the need for a specialist subject area? It is impossible to build an internal team with every single piece of knowledge and skills across all subjects, and who maintains the development and updating of delivery materials, and quality assures these to ensure the organisation that what is being delivered to the workforce is compliant and is applied correctly by the internal trainers?

Internal trainers do have the benefit of established relationships, they also fully understand the ins and outs and workings of the business. Like all areas of business performance, only having internal visibility and capability thwarts a company’s ability to see and learn “other ways”. With regards to training, having external visibility and input will override familiarity, allow for the stretch, and challenge delegates need. It builds an open and confidential relationship with learners so they can focus on personal development. If you have internal trainers, then it’s so important that they also can step out of the business and develop their own skills. Blending internal trainers with external specialists will enable an organisation to gain the wider perspective, gain specialist expertise when required and forge trusted relationships so delegates can gain a variety of training experiences that keeps development fresh and exciting.

At UTS we see the power in building these blended relationships. 70% of our client base have internal trainers, which is great as want our customer to have the best Training and Learning Development experiences. Our sectors require a lot of compliance and progressive development. Health, Housing and Social Care workforces are required to attend a lot of training sessions, so we want to make sure they learn the right skills but as importantly remain engaged with fresh content from rounded perspectives and they build trusted relationships with the people that are fundamentally helping them be more successful and confident in their jobs. We have become a part of training teams as opposed to working against them.

So how do we do it,

  • UTS, give you access to the whole range of specialisms you need at any time, allowing the flexibility to book what is needed, when it is needed and at the volume required.
  • Our sector experts are up to date with the marketplace demands and changes and reflect this across all delivery materials.
  • As your provider we will learn your business, understanding every inch of your business goals and objectives. We will implement your policies, procedures, culture, and values into the training to reinforce your messaging, and use case studies designed to target the identified training needs. Importantly, we can pivot and change quickly to support all business needs. For example, in the event one of your training team is unavailable to work, UTS can step in and pick up additional work until they return, or the role has been re-hired. When developing new service provision, we can pick up the short-term increase in training demand whilst you look to increase internal headcount.
  • If there is a decrease in training need, then UTS will reduce the delivery without the need for any impact on your permanent workforce.

Customers often asked us if we had trainers we could ‘loan’ to them to cover maternity or long-term leave, or if we could recommend trainers for permanent roles. Given our expertise in this area we become the ‘go to’ people over and above general recruitment agencies.  The desire to help our customers in this area led us to launch ‘InTrain’ a recruitment service that utilises our training and sector expertise to find you brilliant in-house trainers, educators and learning and development leaders.

For further information on our InTrain programme: UTS_InTrain.pdf

Please do call us to chat over how you want to improve or embed your training provision. My email is michelle@uniquetrainingsolutions.co.uk

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