Staff training used to mean either someone coming to your workplace, giving a presentation and leaving, or for you to travel as a group to a training venue, to have the same presentation, and then leave.

Training has come on in leaps and bounds in the professional sector since then, with the emphasis on learning more in less time, quality over quantity, and being able to tailor different styles of training course in order to get the best from it. So which kind of course would suit you?

It all depends on the kind of training involved. If you're sending a team on assertiveness or time management training, for example, this may be best done away from their normal place of work, since it may be distracting to have other colleagues be able to listen and observe.

You may need to look for a venue with space for role playing and for someone to stand and share ideas. But you don't need special equipment for this kind of professional training - usually all your team would need is a pen, paper, and the time required to do the course.

Training your team up on technology requires a totally different approach. It's not very useful for a trainer to stand at the front of a room and dictate to you how to use a new piece of software - since very few people can remember or learn that way.

It's best to learn by doing in an interactive setting, so in this instance, training in the office itself can be great - whether it's having the external company come into your Head Office and do floor walking and presentations with your own kit, or whether you go to a specialist centre where all the equipment and software is provided to encourage the most learning possible.

It's worth remembering that training doesn't always mean group training - many of us are so used to being trained in a group that we forget that there are other options. E-learning is not a new venture but it's certainly helping more people get trained on a subject they consider themselves weak in, and it also means that they can learn in their own time, and in the privacy of their own office or even working from home.

One to one training can also be arranged in the office for someone who either struggled with group training, missed it due to absence, or has special requirement such as a disability or the usual venue being inaccessible. You should always strive to meet the needs of all staff who need training in this way.

Training doesn't always mean small scale, either - if you're a big corporation then you may need to consider a large scale training plan involving a roll out to all of your offices within a short timeframe, in order to keep the communication and compatibility flowing between all your different businesses.

Training needn't be a worry or a burden, though - most training companies are happy to discuss your needs and the way in which they can accommodate them (they shouldn't charge for this either, and beware the ones who do - after all, they want your business, they ought to advise you without trying to make a fast buck from the advice before any training is booked!).

Most genuine companies are happy to offer assistance and advice as well as a quote. If you're going to be a regular customer, you may even negotiate a discount, too.