Play to win: with our new 3D virtual game the highest scoring supply chain hero is in with a chance to win a bike. Play game

Written by Skill Dynamics

5 Questions you should ask when choosing a training academy

The technology ecosystem is continually evolving, with significant developments in areas such as AI driving rapid change in recent years. In this environment, making the decision to properly invest in training that is timely, specialized, and high-quality can make or break an organization’s ability to stay ahead of the curve in shifting industry landscapes.

In specialist industries, like supply chain or procurement, this task is even more crucial. Finding the right training academy that can deliver effective, accredited training is a significant challenge. To ensure you choose the right training provider, we’ve compiled a checklist of five questions to assess their alignment with your business goals.

1. Does the training provider understand what our department does?

The old adage ‘if you can’t do, teach’ has never rung more hollow than in specialist industries, where understanding a business function is a critical part of delivering training. Training programs should be based on expertise and experience. It’s crucial to evaluate a training academy’s knowledge base, including their previous work for similar businesses, before partnering with them.

This research is vital when securing cost-effective training for your teams as partnering with vendors who understand their work is the only way to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of training programs. By taking the time to understand each training provider’s course offering, and making sure that these address your business’s specific needs, you can significantly increase the value of any training for your teams. This need for relevance informs how our training courses at Skill Dynamics are developed, with our customers given regular opportunities to share their feedback with us. 

2. What types of training programs are offered?

Before beginning any partnerships, it’s important to assess exactly what the training programs your team will undertake look like, and how they will support your team in their upskilling journey. Tools, such as a skills gap assessment, allow you to identify the holes in your team’s knowledge and personalize their training programs to ensure their needs are met. This is a key step in improving the training experience for your team, as it means their training is tailored to them, allowing them to feel invested in their experience.

3. Is there a proven track record of successful training?

A training academy that offers consistently high-quality programs will be able to prove its track record with little difficulty. They should have a readily available list of references that demonstrates their quality. Additionally, if a training provider can demonstrate their commitment to long-term partnerships – and the ability to meet their clients’ specific needs – through case studies, this is a strong sign of their quality. These are the proven credentials that any business should take into account when choosing a training provider.

Additionally, the highest quality training providers will be able to provide their learners with internationally recognized accreditations, ensuring that their achievements are recognized, and giving them concrete outcomes from their upskilling journey. This is vital as it gives learners a proven record of the skills they have acquired, allowing them to demonstrate their progress as their career progresses.

It’s often overlooked that employees see a comprehensive training plan as a significant benefit of their role, and that it can significantly improve their perception of their reward package. This is thanks to the strong benefits that acquiring new knowledge – and at no cost to the learner – can accumulate throughout their career. This individual benefit cannot be overlooked when considering introducing a training program to your business.

4. What additional resources are provided alongside the training?

Even if the training delivered by a vendor is high quality, if they aren’t able to share a range of additional resources, it can negatively impact the results of a training program. When looking to partner with a training provider, you must ensure they will share a full range of supporting resources with your business. These resources include training materials, customized online platforms, post-training assessments, and they reinforce training program results.

If training providers publish content in a variety of formats, it can also be a great help to learners. This gives them the opportunity to learn in a way that best suits them, backed by learning science. People learn best when training is enjoyable, so it should be accessible and enjoyable.

5. How is training effectiveness measured?

At the end of the day, the only way to gauge the effectiveness of a training academy’s programs is to ask about the measurable outcomes they track. Top quality training providers will be able to provide evidence of the measurable results of their programs with a strong network of key performance indicators, tied into solid evaluation methodologies that allow them to show a learner’s ongoing development throughout the training process.

For example, at Skill Dynamics, we can track each learner’s progression, satisfaction, and developing competence, among many other metrics. We then share this data with our client businesses, ensuring that they can see the growth of their team alongside the immediate ROI from partnering with us. These metrics also allow us to consistently demonstrate the intangible benefits of training, such as improved employee satisfaction and increased productivity and creativity, which gives the businesses that work with us the full picture of the impact high-quality training can have.

Final thoughts

When entering into any new partnership, it’s important to do your due diligence. By asking any potential training providers these questions you can make a confident, informed decision that aligns with your business goals. It’s essential to thoroughly evaluate potential vendors to ensure the training they provide is high quality, specific to your industry, and aligns with your organization’s goals. This is the only way to ensure they can deliver the high-quality training your employees need to thrive.

At Skill Dynamics, our industry-leading training is entirely role-based to ensure its relevance, no matter where you are on your career path. You can read more about how this approach helps us deliver training to help professionals enhance their skills and advance their careers here. Or download our Learner Solution Evaluation scoresheet to support you in selecting the best trainer provider.

Skill Dynamics