Training always targets an ‘audience’ — but that ‘audience’ is a convenient fiction masking intrinsic differences between trainees and organisations.
The variation between trainees and their organisations can mitigated by careful course selection, trainee grouping, skilled and experienced trainers, etc.
We always try to discuss these issues thoroughly, before clients book any type of course — public or private.
But, private training courses can do more to cater for differences between and within training groups.
Our private training courses can be customised in 3 ways:
- Tailoring — client-specific, but based upon existing materials
- Customisation — adding to, or seriously re-writing, stock material
- Commissioned courses — client-specific, written from scratch
Tailored Training — Course Tailoring
Tailored training generally refers to small-scale, low-cost, or easy-to-do course customisation.
It typically involves one or more of the following:
- Selecting a subset from many pre-prepared course modules
- Skipping unnecessary items within course modules
- Combining modules from different, but related, courses
- Small edits to make generic materials more context-specific
- Adding small, client-specific, items to content and exercises
The combination of such changes often creates an entirely new, client-specific, course — and is sufficient for most customers.
This sort of tailoring comes free with all of our private courses.
Small-scale tailoring is possible on some public courses — i.e. ones with homogeneous training groups and common learning priorities.
For example, groups often shift ‘marginal’, ‘nice-to-have’, modules to the end of a course — to be covered only ‘if time allows’.
Customisation & Course Enhancement
Course customisation refers to the process of substantially re-writing an existing course for a particular client or purpose — often by adding new client-specific, trainee-specific, or activity-specific material.
Types of course customisation:
- Replacing generic worked examples with client-specific ones
- Adding exercises containing client-specific scenarios
- Extra hands-on sessions for more practically-minded trainees
- Writing new client-specific course modules
- Adding pre-course learning packages
- Adding tests with client-specific performance indicators
Consider customisation when it's very clear that even tailoring an ‘off-the-shelf’ course, will not be sufficient, e.g. when:
- Your ‘use cases’ are very different from other businesses
- Your group’s ability/experience range is unusually wide
- Stock material is just too unfamiliar for some group members
- Some group members don’t have all the pre-requisites
- Some have the pre-requisites — but need a pre-course refresher
And, when you can afford it — this level customisation can increase course costs by between 20% and 100% of the tailored price.
Our most commonly customised courses are our advanced courses, especially advanced SEO — because advanced training is more often about learning to use skills more nimbly and more specifically, than it is about acquiring entirely new ones.
In fact, truly advanced SEO involves little more than increasing your ability to recognise and exploit the opportunities which are particular to your business context — i.e. creating very business-specific applications and adaptations of generic SEO principles.
Bespoke Course Commissions
Commissioned courses are those we write entirely from scratch, for a specific client.
They are expensive, because the writing is labour intensive — often requiring extensive research — and because the product can rarely be re-used in training for other clients.
Customising an existing course is usually more cost-effective — e.g. by writing one or two new business-specific modules and modifying a selection of others.
Typically, we only recommend full commissions to long-term clients with whom we’ve worked as trainers or consultants — i.e. when we are convinced of the business case and we are certain that we can fully satisfy the specification within a reasonable budget.
Most previous commissions have been advanced SEO training courses — because bespoke ‘solutions’ are well-suited to that subject, and because the ‘payback’ can be measured.