Do you need to find a trainer?

Are you a manager or HR professional? Do you hire trainers?
With the marketplace changing rapidly it is getting harder and harder to find the right trainers for your business.

Purchasers cannot use day rates as the deciding factor, as generally speaking the lower the day rate the less professional the trainer (to run a sustainable business costs money) – if the rate looks too good to be true – it is too cheap – stay away!

With many trainers claiming to be able to deliver everything from Appraisals to Zoology, we all need to recognise that not all trainers are super hero’s – all trainer have limits. Indeed of the material many propose to deliver they can often do:

  • 20% of topics very well…
  • 60% OK and …
  • 20% of topics – well… why bother?

The question is when you are looking to find a trainer what skill are you looking at…their top or bottom 20% of capability?

We as purchasers need to identify an independently assessed and verified standard on which to use as part of our selection process for finding and hiring a trainer. TrainerBase – the trade association for trainers has recently launched the CLP – or Certified Learning Practitioner standard. This looks to be a robust and at last one of the first ‘fit for purpose’ standards. Written by practitioners for purchasers it moves the focus for standards away from the government and academic sectors and firmly puts it in the private training sector space.

As a representative of RapidBI, I have just been through this process and can say with some feeling – this is the toughest assessment process I have ever undertaken – and I have done a few in my time! In this process as a participant there was no place to hide, no tricks to get you through and it is not an automatic pass process…. worse participants have to renew every 2 years.

As a participant I can highly recommend this as a learning experience – it has certainly helped the RapidBI team to focus and we are making changes to what we do and how we do it.

TrainerBase publishes some excellent bulletins on training for purchasers – links to two great ones are listed below:

TrainerBase Training Purchaser Bulletin:
Training Purchasers Bulletin 01
Training Purchasers Bulletin 02


Update 2010: This piece was written in 2008. At the time the review process was robust and not run for financial reasons. Since then the process of accreditation has changed, and we are no longer a part of the accreditation process. I do wish that there was a truly, not for profit accreditation process for both the training and consulting worlds, for both are “owned” by private , for profit companies which of course have their own agenda of balancing standards with affordability.. guess which wins…

Mike Morrison is director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy. He has been involved in HR, OD and strategic development for over 20 years. He can be contacted via

© This article is copyright RapidBI 2006, 2008 – it may be copied providing the authors are credited, and direct links maintained


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