Consultancy and design of corporate and professional training: do you need it?

What exactly is consultancy and instructional design related to corporate and professional training and what areas of training does it cover to provide support to HR departments?
In this article we will help you answer a simple question: how much is your company currently spending on training activities? And is it really getting the maximum return on investment in relation to economics and improving the skills of employees?


Funded and certified corporate and professional training

When talking about corporate and professional training, an important aspect to consider is that in the vast majority of cases it is funded or certified training. What does this mean exactly?
For funded training in Italy we mean the training that the company finances through contributions paid to the Joint Interprofessional Funds and Bilateral Funds managed by the ANPAL in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies. This must be subject to rules set by ANPAL and by the Funds themselves, each of which has its own specifications.
Certified training, on the other hand, is the training provided by an accredited body which allows obtaining a certification with full validity for the purposes of the law, such as Italian ECM credits or those for updating professional registers issued by specialized centers.
Some types of training can then be both funded and certified, which, for example, often happens when it comes to mandatory training on Health and Safety.


Consultancy for corporate and professional training: what does it do?

In this context of corporate and professional training, therefore, what is the added value that an external consultancy service can bring to the HR departments? Let’s start by saying that training consultancy embraces different areas and above all different moments of teaching: let’s see them together.

Training Needs Analysis: know your target

A first step in which consultancy can be useful is the training needs analysis in the company: since it is an external figure who does not know the collaborators and the environment in which they operate, the consultant can be particularly objective in evaluating previous knowledge and skills, in order to establish in which areas, on the contrary, there is a need for training. This can take place in different ways: in person or online, through dedicated assessment activities like quizzes or simulations (role play), starting from a selection of topics or more general. In any case, the purpose of this consulting activity is to offer the corporate HR department a precise picture of its collaborators, a necessary starting point for training design that takes into account the real needs of the reference target.

Instructional design of corporate and professional training: Andragogy and evaluation

Once the training needs have been made clear, the consultancy activity can support the HR manager in the instructional design phase of the course: in this case, of course, the objectives may be very different depending on the desired goal for the training, the company budget for these activities and the professional skills that you want to improve.
In any case, the instructional design will have to take into account two indispensable factors when it comes to corporate and professional training: the principles of Andragogy and evaluation. Regardless of the methods chosen, in fact, it will be necessary to take into account the specific characteristics of the adult target and provide for evaluation activities: on the one hand to confirm (or not) the success of learning and therefore the effectiveness of the project itself, on the other hand, in order to be able to appropriately evaluate the return on investment.

Supply of specialized trainers for face-to-face or online training

If the company does not have internal experts for the specific training area of reference, the consultancy provider can look for specialized trainers, with experience in the chosen didactic field and prepared for any training modality: face-to-face, online or blended. The choice of the teacher will obviously depend on the results of the needs analysis previously carried out, as well as on the goals  set during the instructional design phase.

Self-learning content development and in-class support

Moving to the central phase of training, consulting can strengthen the company’s HR staff on two fronts: development of personalized content and support in the classroom.
As for the training content, choosing the correct type for the target is essential to maintain high motivation and engagement, and therefore ensure effective learning: a consultancy specialized in distance learning, therefore, can help to identify which strategies to adopt, building ad hoc materials tailored to the specific characteristics and needs of the target that can support in-class activities.
For the actual in-class phase, on the other hand, be it physical or virtual, a consultancy service can cover the activities supporting the teacher, both from a technical point of view (direction of webinars, sharing of slides and external resources, live surveys, etc.) or more strictly educational, helping to manage the time of the lesson and keeping the participants active throughout the whole duration.

Support in the management of the corporate Academy

In a broader sense, finally, if the company decides to make use of an LMS platform for eLearning, a consultancy service can support the phases of choosing the best tool, and then the set-up of the corporate Academy and actual use to provide training alongside internal staff. In this case, the help of a consultant can be essential if the organization does not have the specific skills to evaluate digital products, thus allowing the company to make more prudent choices and more profitable investments over time.


Consultancy and design of corporate and professional training: do you need it?

How to understand, therefore, if your organization needs consultancy and design for its corporate and professional training activities? The initial question then returns: how much is your company currently spending on training activities and, above all, is it really getting the maximum return on investment in economic terms and improving the skills of employees?
If the answer to this question is “no” or “I don’t know”, you probably really need it. Write to to receive more information.


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