May 14, 2013

What do I get when I pay for a training course ?

Ever wondered what goes into the cost of a training course ?  You might look around at the prices for various different courses and wonder how on earth these figures were devised….  After all it’s not often that you are asked to hand over your hard earned money in such quantities for something that you cannot actually pick up and carry home.  Because training is a service rather than an object or a tradeable good it’s hard to see where your money is going. For many people it is a bit of a mystery as to exactly what they are paying for.  It’s even more complicated when comparing the same course with different training providers as not all organisations publish their prices in the same way.

So to make it clearer here is a list of the things which should be included when you buy a training course, whether it is a place on a course at a training centre/college or a course at your workplace for a group of people :

1. Your teacher/instructor’s time.  Just like any other professional the person running the course will need to be paid for their time and effort when they are working.  Remember that an awful lot of work (possibly the greater part of it) happens when the teacher is not actually in front of a class teaching but before and after the contact they have with you.  This work can include lesson planning, analysing individual candidates’ work and progress, liasing with various awarding bodies, assessors and so on.   Now none of the team here at Carlton Training commute to work in Ferraris, and I cannot say that in general teachers/instructors are overpaid but professionalism, expertise and experience don’t come cheap.   As a learner you’ll realise that there’s no substitute for being guided by an expert, so this cost is certainly not one any training organisation should scrimp on.

2. Assessments / exams.  If you are aiming to get a recognised qualification there is bound to be at least one type of assessment or test involved.  These can take many forms depending on the type of course, eg. exam, multiple choice test, portfolio of your work, set assignments which need to be handed in for marking, measuring your skills with observed sessions etc.
There are to main types of cost involved here, the first is the fees charged by the awarding organisation for the assessment or exam you are taking.  These fees often seem quite high considering exactly what is involved, however the real value lies in the fact that you are being tested in a formally approved manner and through a nationally recognised scheme.
The second type of cost involved is that which is involved with carrying out the assessments.  This could be the cost of exam scheduling, invigilators, use of facilities, time spent planning and carrying out observations, marking and providing feedback to candidates.  Just like with teaching, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

3. The people who check things.  Great quality training courses don’t just happen by accident, there are people involved behind the scenes who work hard to ensure that the quality of any training and assessment is kept up.  These folk are often referred to as Internal Verifiers or Internal Quality Assurers (IQAs) and their role is to check, monitor and guide the work of all those involved in testing or assessing candidates. This might involve looking at assessments, talking to candidates and tutors, reviewing portfolios of work, sampling from a selection of tutors work.  These folk really are the backbone of any quality training organisation.

4. Fees to exam boards/awarding organisations.   Every nationally recognised qualification is ultimately issued by an awarding organisation (also known as exam boards) who charges fees for your exams, assessments and certification.  These fees, although they vary, apply to all qualifications so you’ll need to make sure that your training provider includes these in the cost of the course.

5. Your course study materials. Whatever subject you are intending to learn the books and resources that you read will be essential to your success.  Our in-house teams develop all the learning materials you need which are tailored for every course, and these are included for every single candidate.
6. Travelling.  If you are having a course at your place for a group of people there is a certain amount of travelling involved to get the teacher to you along with all the things they need to run the course.  This is especially the case when the course involves a lot of equipment, eg. first aid and fire safety or when the course runs over several days.  We do not charge any extra for travelling and our nationwide team ensures that we have an expert ready locally to teach a great course for your people.

The important thing to remember is that with Carlton Training all these costs are included in our prices, so there are no hidden fees or extra charges.


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