Selecting External Training Providers: A Strategic Approach for Businesses

Investing in training and development programs is crucial for fostering employee growth, enhancing skills, and driving organisational success. However, choosing the right external training provider can be a daunting task, especially with the multitude of options available. In this article, we’ll explore a strategic approach to finding and selecting external training providers tailored to your industry-specific needs.

Workshop Blocks

  1. Identify Training Needs:

Before searching for external providers, it’s essential to identify the specific training needs of your organisation. Conduct a thorough assessment to determine which skills or competencies need to be developed among your employees. This could involve surveys, performance evaluations, or discussions with department heads1.

  1. Set Clear Objectives:

Establish clear objectives for the training programs to align with your organisation’s strategic goals. Determine what outcomes you expect to achieve from the training, whether it’s improving productivity, enhancing customer service, or fostering leadership skills. Clear objectives will help guide your search for suitable providers.

  1. Research Potential Providers:

Conduct thorough research to identify potential training and development providers that align with your organisation’s needs and industry requirements. Consider factors such as:

  • Reputation and Experience: Look for providers with a proven track record of delivering high-quality training programs and relevant industry experience2.
  • Specialisation: You may want to choose providers that specialise in areas relevant to your industry or specific training needs3.
  • Client Testimonials and References: Review client testimonials and seek references from other businesses or industry contacts who have worked with the provider in the past. This can offer valuable insights into the provider’s performance and effectiveness.
  1. Evaluate Provider Credentials:

When evaluating potential providers, consider factors such as their expertise, experience, and credentials. Look for certifications, affiliations with industry associations, and relevant experience working with companies similar to yours. Providers with a strong reputation and proven expertise are more likely to deliver effective training programs2.

  1. Evaluate Training Methods and Approaches:

Assess the training methods and approaches used by each provider to ensure they align with your organisation’s learning culture and objectives. Consider factors such as:

  • Interactive Learning: Look for providers that offer interactive and engaging training methods, such as workshops, simulations, or case studies, to facilitate active learning and skill retention4.
  • Technology Integration: Evaluate providers’ use of technology in delivering training programs, such as e-learning platforms or virtual classrooms, to enhance accessibility and flexibility for employees5.
  • Customisation Options: Consider providers that offer customisable training solutions tailored to your organisation’s unique needs and learning goals.
  1. Consider Cost and Value:

While cost is an important consideration, its worthwhile prioritising value over price when choosing a training provider. Evaluate the overall return on investment (ROI) of the training programs based on their potential impact on employee performance and organisational goals. Consider factors such as customisation options, post-training support, and potential long-term benefits3.

  1. Seek Recommendations and References:

Reach out to industry peers, professional networks, and trusted advisors for recommendations on reputable training providers. Additionally, request references from potential providers and speak with their past clients to gain insights into their performance, reliability, and effectiveness.

  1. Review Contracts and Agreements:

Before finalising your selection, carefully review contracts and agreements with the chosen provider. Clarify expectations, including program objectives, delivery timelines, participant requirements, and payment terms. Ensure all terms are clearly outlined and mutually agreed upon to avoid misunderstandings later on.


Selecting an external training provider is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration and thorough research. By following these steps and focusing on industry-specific needs, organisations can identify reputable providers who can deliver high-quality training programs tailored to their requirements. Investing in employee development through effective training initiatives can ultimately drive organisational growth, improve performance, and maintain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic business landscape.

External Trainer with Team

Useful Resources:


  1. SHRM. (2021). Assessing Training Needs. Retrieved from
  2. Association for Talent Development (ATD). (2022). Selecting and Managing Learning Providers. Retrieved from
  3. Forbes. (2021). Evaluating the ROI of Training Programs. Retrieved from