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Training employees can feel like an impossible task in the current climate. Airfares are skyrocketing, budgets are sparse, and safety threats remain at high levels. To top it all off, there’s the training jargon—Macro-, micro-, mini-learning, WBT, CBT, ILT—making it difficult to know exactly what you need.

However, despite all of these training barriers, continuous professional development is still necessary for both professionals and companies. So, how can project managers or HR professionals ensure they pick the right training solution?

You’re in luck, that’s exactly what we’re covering today. Read on to learn what things to consider when choosing a training provider. 

How to select a training provider for your company?

Considering the ACTIONS framework can help you choose the right training provider for your organization and training needs. The acronym, originally developed by Tony Bates in 1989, outlines the most important considerations when choosing a training solution. 

ACTIONS is helpful because it provides a comprehensive approach to selecting the right training course. It’s a framework for identifying learning objectives while also letting you better recognize qualified and experienced instructors.

Let’s examine ACTIONS and how they can help you decide when choosing a training provider—starting with A for access.

1. Access: can participants easily access the training solution?

Accessibility is the first major concern when looking for a corporate training provider. Participants need convenient access to the course. For example, if you’re a manager with a globally dispersed workforce, you’ll likely need online training solutions or courses. If participant employees are co-located, then in-person courses are more feasible. 

There are a wide variety of accessibility considerations to keep in mind. Will participants need their own computers, or will they be at the office? Are employees located across time zones? Does anyone on your team have specific accessibility needs?

When considering training activities for employees, it’s important to speak about these accessibility factors with your potential training provider right from the start. Your chosen training provider should be able to offer personalized solutions for your company.  

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • How will participants access the course? 
  • Will they be able to attend in person? 
  • Are they co-located or geographically dispersed? 
  • Do they have computers and access to the Internet?

2. Cost: does the training solution match your budget? 

The cost of training employees is yet another crucial consideration when sifting through different training providers. Both initial and long-term costs should be considered when looking for a course to match your budget.

Two key costs associated with choosing the right training provider are:

  • Development cost: Overall development costs refer to the expenses needed for creating training material, including curriculum, content design, and instructional design.
  • Delivery cost: Facilitator fees, technology costs, and administrative overhead all fall into the course costs. 

Your training solution of choice needs to accommodate your budget—and it’s the above costs that you need to consider before selecting a training course and provider. 

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s the budget for training? 
  • How much is for development? 
  • How much is available for delivery?
  • How will the budget be allocated?

3. Teaching advantages and limitations: how effective are potential training solutions?

Teaching advantages and limitations gauge the exact effectiveness of your chosen training solution. For example, you might be training employees on a crucial security protocol you’ve put in place. If so, you’ll need to make sure your training course of choice effectively teaches employees how to follow the new guidelines.

This dimension heavily depends on the subject matter being taught, your specific industry, and preferred participant learning styles. A good training provider will be able to adapt to your business’s distinct needs. In fact, one of the biggest signs of bad workplace training is failure to consider the nuances of your needs.

Using our above example, here are some of the training delivery methods you could consider, along with their pros and cons:

Training solution method Advantages Limitations  Common uses
Classroom training solutions

Consistent content delivery



Not immersive

Limited engagement

Codes of conduct

Regulatory laws

Mission and value learning

Simulation-based training solutions

Hands-on approach

Measurable results

Real-time feedback

Difficult to scale

Resource intensive

Process oriented skills

Easily accessible


More cost-effective

Limited personal interaction


Role play scenarios

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • How effective is the proposed solution in helping participants to learn?
  • How does your proposed method fit the subject matter being taught?
  • What are the most innovative learning methodologies suited for a successful learning journey?

4. Interactivity required: how engaging is the training solution?

While this consideration somewhat overlaps with teaching advantages and limitations, it’s still worthy of its own category. That’s because interactivity plays a huge role in the success of your chosen training course.

Some styles, like online learning, may be good for reaching many professionals at once. However, this method has limited interactivity as processes aren’t acted out and professionals don’t receive individual feedback.

Other training activities, like roleplay and simulation, use interactivity as their main strategy for providing in-depth, experiential learning. Your skill type and subject are the secrets to gauging the right interactivity level for your ideal training solution. The secret to gauging the right interactivity level is your precise training subject. Here are some of the common uses for these two styles:   

Highly interactive training methods like roleplay and simulation Traditional training methods like classroom learning
Skill-based training like machine operation or software usage Theory-based subjects like ethics, accounting, or corporate organization
Soft skill training for interpersonal situations like negotiation, communication, or leadership  Company values, mission, and history 
Safety and compliance Information case studies, policy updates, and company announcements

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • How much does the proposed solution actively engage the learner?
  • How necessary is engagement for your subject matter and training requirements?

5. Organization support required: can managers and seniors support potential training solutions?

Support from senior and first-line managers can be critical when selecting a training provider. Beyond resource allocation and budget analysis, managers can help foster continuous learning.

By reinforcing the key messages of the training, they can reiterate the importance of the material. The freshly learned topic becomes more than a temporary course; it becomes an important pillar of company operations.

When you encourage support from company managers, you’re building a culture focused on implementing new solutions and improving together. Involving these team members in the decision-making process—and ensuring they’re on board with the chosen training solution—is a must for effective training.

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • How supportive of the training initiative are senior and first-line managers? 
  • How willing are they to reinforce the key messages from the training?
  • How can we make it easy for senior managers to reinforce training initiatives in the real world?

6. Novelty factor: is the training solution modern and relevant?

With the heightened use of AI and other rapid advancements in software solutions, it’s no surprise that the novelty factor of up-to-date technology plays a role in training engagement and overall success. It’s an important consideration when choosing a training solution, especially when it comes to technology-based solutions. 

Over 60% of companies use eLearning tools to fill gaps in employee knowledge. Participants are much more likely to engage with training programs that use up-to-date platforms and modern user interfaces.

Heightening the novelty factor also increases brand perception, emphasizing a culture of innovation, productivity, and modern solutions. This part of ACTIONS is especially important if your training program of choice involves e-learning solutions.

Key questions to ask yourself:

  •  What is the wow factor? How does the solution stand out? 
  • Is the proposed training solution updated and relevant?

7. Sustainability: can you maintain the training program?

For the best long-term results for participants, you’ll need to assess if you can maintain your training program of choice effectively and efficiently over time. Without sufficient resources, you won’t be able to maintain training solutions—meaning your employee training will be cut short, and you’ll find yourself back at the drawing board in no time.

Consider human resources, financial resources, technological infrastructure, course duration, and time commitment and whether you’ve got the means to run a training solution from start to finish. If you find that the training solution you’re considering isn’t sustainable, you might want to choose another option.

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • How easy will it be for the organization to continue running the training program once the instructor is no longer involved? 
  • How many and what kind of resources does the organization need to continue offering the program?

Choosing a training provider checklist 

When selecting a training provider, you’ll want an easy way to contrast and compare your options. This checklist tells you exactly what you should ask your potential training provider every step of the way. 

With a clear view of your options, you can use it to track training solutions side by side and make the best decision. You can download our checklist for choosing a training provider for when you’re next evaluating potential training providers.


Question to ask 
Access Provider 1 Provider 2
How will participants access training courses? 
Will they be able to attend in person? 
Are they co-located or geographically dispersed? 
Do they have computers and access to the Internet?
What’s the budget? 
Are there any hidden costs to consider? 
How much will implementing this solution cost you over the long?
 Teaching advantages/limitations
How effective is the proposed solution for learning?
How does your proposed method fit the subject matter?
Interactivity Required
How much does the proposed learning solution engage the learner?
How necessary is engagement for your training requirements according to the training provider?
Organization Support Required
How supportive are senior and first-line managers of this proposed training solution?
How willing are they to reinforce key messages from this training provider’s solution?
Novelty Factor
How does the solution stand out?
Is the proposed solution up-to-date and relevant?
How easy will it be for the organization to continue running the training program?
How many and what kind of resources does the organization need to continue running the training program?


Choosing the right solution requires considering a variety of options and landing on the one that works best for your specific needs and gives you the most bang for your corporate buck.

The workplace learning specialists at Comprehensive Learning Solutions can help you assess the situation, recommend appropriate solutions, and find the right course of action.  If you need help determining an appropriate training strategy for your organization, get in touch today


Choosing a training provider FAQs

1. What are the risks of choosing the wrong training provider?

Choosing the wrong training provider could send you back to the drawing board when it comes to employee training. Your training provider plays a key role in the success of your training initiatives.

2. Why choose a professional training provider?

A professional training provider has the knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively create and deliver bespoke training solutions for your team. Comprehensive Learning Solutions specializes in building training programs that meet your needs.

3. What are the qualities of an effective training provider?

An effective training provider builds courses that meet all your needs—from desired objectives to required training methods.

Karen Feeley
Karen Feeley

Instructional designer

Karen Feeley is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in workplace learning and development. She is a published author, trainer, instructional designer, editor, and project manager with a proven track record of success in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

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