How to choose the right training methods

   22 May 2015        Blogs

Choosing the right training delivery methods can sometimes be a daunting process. There are lots of things to consider: budget v’s price; location; number of learners; downtime; outcomes. With many options provided by training providers, deciding on the right training techniques for your workforce can be difficult.

In this blog post, we examine all of the available options to help you make more informed decisions in the future.

Key things to consider

1. What are the desired learning outcomes?

According to many, training “processes can be grouped in to the following phases; needs analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation”. Taking this in to account, the most logical place to start when deciding on any training intervention is to establish the training needs and agree on the learning outcomes expected from the training. This can help you to focus your attention on the options that will give you the best returns.

2. Who are you training? 

When deciding on the right training methods for your learner, it is important to understand who they are and how they respond best to training; what are their job roles?, and what are their preferred learning styles? For example, technical employees are likely to respond well to hands on training where they get to try out the new skills they have learned. On the other hand, office based staff may prefer the classroom training route.

The learning styles of these individuals are also an important consideration, as different people learn in different ways. This is particularly the case for different generations. In a report written by GoToTraining it states “For the first time in modern history, we have four generations of workers in the workplace. The conflicts of these generational dynamics immediately change how we deliver learning or training to these different groups”. Millennials for example like structure and technology, and so, are likely to learn best from interactive sessions using various technologies, whereas the Baby Boomers may prefer more traditional forms of training.

3. How many learners do you have and where are they based?

The number of employees requiring a certain training programme will ultimately affect your choice of training techniques. If you only have a handful of people to train, then the most cost effective method is to book them on to open courses offered by your training provider. Larger numbers can warrant a group booking delivered at the providers centre or onsite at your premises. This means that your employees can be trained together and training can often be tailored to your business.

One of the main issues we find Develop Training clients face is downtime. There is pressure on learning and development professionals to ensure training doesn’t impact on the operation of the business. As a result, elements such as the location of the training versus the location of the learners should also be considered. To reduce downtime it is recommended that learners book on to their closest open course, or for larger groups, some providers can bring the training to you.

4. What is your budget?

Your training budget is an essential cog in the decision making process. In a survey carried out on Develop Training’s clients, 20% said budget constraints are a key issue for them. When you have all of the answers to the above questions, you can look at how to effectively use your budget to achieve the desired outcomes. For example, if you have a group of employees to training, you can speak to your training provider to see if the course can be delivered on your site. This will reduce the costs in terms of the travel and accommodation expenses.

Available training methods

Now that you have considered all of the above elements, you are ready to select the most appropriate training delivery methods. Below we look at some of the most popular options:

1. Open courses

Open courses are set course dates usually delivered at your training provider’s centre. Anyone can book on to these courses and they are usually the best training technique if you only have a handful of people to train on a particular subject. Dependant on the subject, courses can involve both classroom teaching and practical sessions.

2. Group courses

If you have a larger number of employees to train, then a group course is something to consider. Courses are often priced at a set group rate and with the option to hold the course at the training provider’s venue, or sometimes at your own premises, this route is very cost effective. It also allows your employees to attend training together, which can act as a good team building exercise.

3. Bespoke courses

Bespoke courses are tailored to the individual requirements of your business. Going down this route will enable you to tailor your training to your specific learning outcome, company policies, budget and location. If you have an issue or training need that is specific to your businesses, then these are the training delivery methods for you.

4. E-learning

E-learning is learning via electronic media, usually via the internet. It allows individuals to learn at a location of their choice. It is very costs effective, reduces downtime, and removes the need to travel. Having said this, e-learning removes the personal and team building elements created by face to face training. It also doesn’t allow for practical sessions where learners can practice their skills. When considering this option, you should think carefully about the learning outcomes and learning styles of your employees.

5. Blended learning

“Blended learning is a common sense concept that results in great learning success…In a nutshell, it means using more than one training technique to train on one subject” (Training Today). Using blended learning, you can craft your course to the learning styles of the employees you are training, and by using a mix of methods; you can ensure that all learners effectively retain the information. You will receive the greatest return on your investment from this training delivery method, which could involve a mix of e-learning/e-assessment and face to face interventions.


As you can see, there are lots of things to consider when choosing your training methods and a variety of options to pick from. Making the right decision can be difficult, so it is recommended that you work with a training provider such as Develop Training to help guide you.

Develop Training has years of experience supporting clients with their training needs, and fully understands the pressures faced by companies across a whole host of industry sectors. The company offers a wide range of training methods, and its dedicated Curriculum Team is investigating new learning technologies and techniques to give you access to solutions that will provide you with the returns you are looking for.

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