Blog Post

Would you let the lollipop lady fix your car?

I am annoyed.  It’s official.  Let me try and explain why.

In my day to day existence as an accredited learning provider, I come across the following statements/opinions from freelance training newbies on a frequent basis:

  • I am a social media expert/twitter guru/linked in (insert any other application name here) demi god
  • No, I am not qualified, but it doesn’t matter
  • Anyone can deliver training…..
  • I’m going to post up some ‘training’ on my website – please share it for me
  • I have a new underwater basket weaving course you are going to love – please sell it for me

And I am fed up hearing it.  Let me pose a couple of questions in response:

  • How do you quantify your expertise?
  • If you have no industry related qualifications, how do I know you know what you are doing?
  • Why would I endorse something of yours without knowing what it is, and if it meets the standards of my brand?
  • Why would I sell a product of yours through my client base out of the goodness of my heart?
  • And in answer to – anyone can deliver training….. well, would you let the lollipop lady fix your car?

Would you be happy if you turned up for an operation and found that the caretaker was going to perform it, not the surgeon?

What if you got on an airplane and one of the cabin crew was going to fly that day instead of the pilot?

If one of the passengers said ‘hey, I use *name of flight simulator computer game* all the time, I’m an expert, I’ll fly it’?

Training is a specialist profession.  Good trainers work hard to gain professional qualifications to establish their credentials, and the really good ones also make sure they have appropriate Train the Trainer skills to do their job as well as they can.  Great trainers also recognise the value of professional body membership and of collaboration with other trainers.

Good trainers don’t come out of the same mould at the end of some mythical production line.  No two training providers, or trainers are alike – some are niche specialists, others happy to provide excellent, accredited training in a variety of subjects, leading the way into applying the use of new technology .  Good training providers recognise the strengths of their training team and work hard to pair the right people with the right client.

If you need training, whether it is for 2 hours or for 2 years, you need to look for qualified professionals, and invest the same amount of time in sourcing them as you would do any other professional service for your company.  Good training providers should be interested in creating this relationship with you.

Not applying this approach to choosing your training provider has a knock on effect of diluting the levels of excellence being delivered by trainers who are highly skilled, are passionate about what they do, and know how to do it.

And that stinks.

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