Five things a great training company will provide

Before you consider what a great training company would provide - it goes without saying that the training itself should be the thing that's great, and therefore it's not included on this list. It should be a given! These are five things that aren't essential to get trained, but they are the mark of the training company going that extra mile for their clients. What's more, they shouldn't cost you much extra - if at all.

A comfortable venue

You may also think that this is stating the obvious, but if they aren't coming to train you in your workplace, the venue you are asked to attend should be tailored for training - and not serving a dual purpose to cut costs. An inadequate training venue can affect trainees in more ways than you'd think.

For example, if there's not enough light, monitors could cause eye strain. If it's too hot, people will feel uncomfortable, possibly even sleepy, and won't concentrate - so air conditioning is a must. On top of that, there should be enough space so that everyone is comfortable. It sounds obvious, but these things can sometimes be badly overlooked.

Lunch - or at least refreshments

The option to provide your trainees with food should be the mark of a good provider - after all, if you send everyone out of the venue, it's very hard to get them all together again on time and back ready to train again.

Plus, you can't control what people are eating, either - one whiff of garlic throughout the room from the person who adores it in their lunch may well put the others off (funny, but also very true!). There's also the option of the swift lunchtime pint... on a training day, perhaps not the best idea.

Water should always be provided - if the training involves a lot of talking, it can be thirsty work, and dehydration can lead to focus-mangling headaches. Naturally, there's also a knock-on effect for an adequate venue as mentioned in the prior point - there should be toilets available and working!

Nothing that needs to be shared

A training company trying to cut corners may have three people hunched around one monitor or two people sharing notes or a handout. This isn't conducive to training - everyone needs space to learn at their own pace and using their own style, whether that's note-taking (on their own handout) or a more hands-on approach. Everyone trains at different speeds and with different tools, and making people share materials - although it cuts the cost - it also cuts the opportunity to train.

All materials the course calls for

Although, for example, a recommended reading list could be sent out - any materials that are essential for the training course should be provided by the company, and that includes any software. For example, it would be bad form to have to purchase a piece of software, only to be trained up on it with the realisation that it's not suited to your business.


There's nothing more boring or demotivating than participating in what feels like a school lecture rather than training. If you're learning a new application, you should be using it. If you're learning a new skill, you should be trying it.

For example, if learning about assertiveness at work, you wouldn't just be told how to be more assertive - you'd be shown, through interactivity, role-playing and real life examples. Otherwise, it's harder to learn and even harder to digest the material you've been given. Most good training courses are hands-on.

Needless to say, feel free to ask about these aspects, even if you're happy with the training content. It's the way it's delivered and the facilities you use, as well as what's being taught that's important. Any training company worth their fee should provide these aspects as standard, rather than extras.