Training Industry Newsletter September 2013

The Course Sales Training Industry Newsletter (sign up here) provides advice and help to those selling, running, administering or managing training organisations. It is for:

  • Training managers
  • Training coordinators
  • Training company owners
  • Those marketing and selling training
  • Training administrators
  • Owner-operated trainers

Sales & marketing focus: Making training organisation agreements work

An agreement is not just the signed piece of paper outlining how an arrangement will work. It includes the reasons why the agreement was reached, policies and procedures to be used, the expectations of both parties and the expected benefits for each side.

For this reason, and to avoid an acrimonious divorce, it is sensible to be upfront with how and why each party wishes to work. Articulating the arrangement by deciphering the needs of each party can help.  When describing the arrangement in a formal written agreement a balance must be struck between a concise, flexible arrangement verses a thorough, prescriptive one. Test your formal agreement by asking if you would sign it. Consider if the following would be appropriate to address in agreements you create;
 

Who will benefit and how?

This might go so far as doing a cost benefit analysis.

What are the top risks associated with this agreement?

A primary aim of an agreement for both parties is to limit risk impact on your business. Any agreement is, in effect, an extension to your business.

Are the terms balanced?

It is seldom helpful for terms to favour one party over another, e.g. one party should not have rights to terminate the agreement immediately while the other does not.

Are there clear roles and responsibilities specified for each party?

It is recommended that a 'swim-lane diagram' or table is created showing who is responsible for each of the major components of each course, and another table for the management of the agreement in its entirety including any audits and a final agreement review.

What is the period of the agreement?

Having an expiry on the agreement can allow for a revision and confirmation that the agreement is still beneficial to both parties.

Is a schedule required per delivery/event?

If so what should it include, when does it need to be completed and who agrees to the schedule?

Is there scope to change the agreement, if so how?

Consider who authorises changes and the way the change must be recorded, is email or phone sufficient?

Failure to follow the agreement should result in what penalties, if any?

Clear triggers and circumstances that enable either party to suspend the agreement e.g. no more enrolments until problems are addressed, and if not addressed then the provision to cancel the agreement.

Does each party have the skills and knowledge to deliver to the agreement?

Setting up a table listing the skills or knowledge required together with the names of the people who have those skills will allow quick identification of any gaps that could

jeopardise the agreement's smooth running.

How can intellectual property rights (IPR) be transferred/used?

Will the IPR in the development of new material be shared or not, and how will the IPR of third parties be catered for? eg. ideas from evaluation forms.

Why would this agreement not work?

This is a final review considering the agreement from the viewpoint of all parties in an attempt to identify & forestall problems.

Policies and procedures for the agreement to follow

If you have obligations to others, eg. to follow standards specified by accreditation bodies or trainer arrangements, these should be reflected in any agreement with those who use your services. The obligations gap between your existing agreements and those you plan to enter into is the level of risk your training organisation is absorbing, ensure this is a level of risk that is acceptable to you.

Any agreement relies on policies and procedures to be followed and articulated, these are usually referenced rather than included in a formal agreement:

  • Communication management procedure
  • Risk management procedure
  • Issue management procedure
  • Escalation procedure
  • Confidentiality & privacy standards
  • Intellectual property rights standards
  • Safety standards (including insurance requirements)
  • Compliance and audit standards
  • External standards, eg. legislative and governing body standards

Agreement types

There are different agreements used in a training organisation. These include agreements with trainers, resellers, licenses, venues, customers, governing bodies and partnerships.

Trainers

These agreements are usually on going, they outline under what terms to engage a trainer. It includes confidentiality and performance terms, intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, payment obligations, and will also tend to have a per delivery schedule outlining location, daily rate and date.

Resellers

These are companies who may simply pass on warm or hot leads to you. Others may take payment, and manage the customer until the point where the delivery is then taken over by training company. This is a commercial arrangement that is likely to include clear cancellation and transfer terms and client ownership.

Licenses

These are organisations who license to use your course materials or processes but under their own brand or registered training organisation. This usually outline IPR ownership, course material update obligations, licensing costs and usage reporting frequency.

Venues

Often supplied by the venue the agreement will usually stipulate the cancellation terms, items to be provided, eg. flip charts or projector, a catering schedule and public liability insurance requirements.

Customer

Customer agreement could come from the customer or training provider. It  usually covers IPR obligations, in particular the creation of new course materials, and reuse of existing IPR. The dates and itemised cost of the training course, the individual delivering the training, insurance, cancellation penalties and payment schedules.

Governing bodies

Agreements supplied by governing bodies usually leave little room for negotiation. They include references to auditing and compliance obligations that the body will fulfil, procedures around complaints procedures, obligations of the training organisation regarding accreditations and reporting, eg. AVETMISS. These even include policies and procedures around the establishment of agreements with other organisations. They might be backed up by legislation. Examples of governing bodies include Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) requirement for RTOs to follow NVR standards.

Partnerships

These are usually a variant of one of the agreements above however a partnership tends to suggest a tighter arrangement that extends the other party to taking some degree of risk in the delivery of training by doing the delivery with their own staff, providing equipment, resources and/or the participants.

Business is about creating inventive ways to work, one way is a closer engagement. Here is an example:

Industry partnership arrangements

This is when a training company works very close with a customer. The customer supplies the trainer, venue and/or the equipment. The training company focuses on the administration, accreditation services, and auditing when necessary. This arrangement works where the equipment is large and expensive, where the training in low demand, but essential, or trainers can earn more money doing the job rather than teaching it. The responsibilities of the training organisation must be clear in the agreement. In effect this is a commercial arrangement to outsource part of an internal HR training department function. It is important to clearly outline roles and responsibilities regarding confidentiality of personnel files.

Should you seek legal advice for your agreement? While legal advice is not always required if the failure of the agreement poses a  threat to your training company you may wish to seek legal advice from a third party - while the per hour costs can be great it could save financial pain later.
 

Further reading

Industry enterprise and RTO partnerships - December 2012, TVET

Assessment using partnership arrangements - July 2001, Department of Training, Education and Youth Affairs

List of partnership publications from NCVER

Training company market view: Nepean Industry Edge Training (NIET)

A different training company every time... to be featured contact scott.spence@coursesales.com

A training company based on the phrase "Engage Inspire Motivate" was bound to catch my attention. Started by Carol Campbell in 2009 NIET quickly grew scoring a ranking in the local Smart Company awards as being one of the fastest growing in Australia. From two full time employees to 8 and now with 18 trainers she is pushing a $2m turnover that she could have only dreamed of. Central to her business outlook is a close eye on daily financials and a strong duty of care over employees and customers. She also believes in planning and demonstrating leadership skills, being not afraid to make tough decisions needed to ensure the business grows with a focus on fostering a pleasant company culture.

NIET runs as a Registered Training Organisation in the aged care and child care community sector. Their ASQA audit is approaching at the end of this year, the costs of which are already provided for in the financial accounts. Carol's view is that business' should not be solely reliant on one source of income, demonstrated when other local training organisations, due to a drop in government funding, have had to close their doors. To hedge against funding drops she has a corporate arm offering coaching and leadership programmes that is not reliant on inconsistent government funding policies. Additionally she looks to partnerships with universities, industry sectors and other training organisations to vary the delivery locations and methods, online and trainer led. Advertising is mainly through local papers, to ensure local customers who are more likely to attend the training. Social media, a necessity for any organisation targeting youth, has become a way to express NIET's company culture, using photographs of students (with permission) and events that demonstrate a fun and lively environment to Engage, Inspire and Motivate.

If this is a company you wish to do business with contact Carol: carol@niet.com.au or 03 9770 1633

Trending topics

Topics currently trending in Australia over the past 90 days have demonstrated a drop off, this could be due to the dip prior to the election or a move to search engines other than Google. Those topics that do feature as trending are:

  • first aid course/training
  • barista training
  • online courses
  • tafe courses
  • english course
  • rsa course

Background about trending topics

There are many issues with scanning the topics and search terms used by people when using Google or YouTube. 'Training' for example has many other uses such as training horses, training with weights and military training. So instead we try to narrow down the options by excluding specific terms, eg. -military -horses, or searching for specific phrases like 'training course' or completely different words like 'class'. We also have a list of specific words like 'microsoft training' and 'first aid classes' that can reveal insights into the current trends. If you have terms that describe your training organisation please let us know and we can watch out for trends.

Some news agents and content providers are known to use trending topics to target online articles, increasing visits to their pages but also meeting a need for information about a particular topic. When ricin was send to President Obama a spike in searches for 'ricin' would be expected, if you have a training course about the first aid response to poisons then it seems sensible for you to republish any pages to include the word 'ricin' (in context), for those who might want additional information. Of course, you must include that content in your training to fulfil the expectations of those who register.

Where we look for trending topics:

Events

September

  • Seven training course costs to reduce ONLINE (13 September, 11am AEST) - FREE, this presentation will focus on the top seven cost to improve your training course bottom line. It is well known that the best way to improve profitability in the short term is cost reductions, but these are long term, sustainable ways to maximise profit and remain competitive.

  • TAFE Directors Australia 2013 National Conference 2-3 September 2013, Brisbane Queensland, TAFE redefined

  • Learning live 2013 11-12 September, London, England, this is a must for all UK corporate and commercial trainers, training managers, L&D managers and HR managers. With over 20 focus sessions and seminars, split across five streams, the event provides an unrivalled amount of content for delegates.

  • National VET conference 19-20 September, the theme for the two day conference is Evolve, Adapt, Embrace and will focus on three distinct streams including; Policy & Compliance, RTO Business Management and Teaching & Learning. Plus the addition of a sixth elective stream for Master Classes.

October

  • Using social media to increase training course bookings ONLINE (11 October, 11am AEST) - FREE, face to face training is by definition a social activity between the trainer, administrator and the participants. Extending this to the online environment for pre-course and post-course interaction will ensure learning outcomes can be maximised and repeat sales are more likely.

  • OctoberVet is the name of a season of local events (Australia & NZ) to share information and ideas about VET. OctoberVET complements AVETRA’s annual conference, and as the name suggests, it runs through October (with a few events usually spilling into November as well).

  • 9-11 October, 2013, Goldcoast convention centre, interactive teaching and learning conference program. Highlights include presentations from leading VET and higher education researchers, e-learning and digital specialists as well as a variety of workshops focussing on innovation, digital literacy and VET pedagogy.

November

  • Taking online bookings - a checklist ONLINE (8 November, 11am AEST) - FREE, the benefits of online bookings are huge; save time, gather accurate data, give real-time responses to queries, take bookings and payments 24-7. You will be walked you through some options, and given a checklist to help you make the best choice.

Conversations...

RTO best practise Network (open to all)

ASQA Issues (signup required)

Australian VET Leaders (signup required)

Australian High Risk Work RTOs (signup required)

National RTO Network (signup required)

Important alerts

Where do we get this information?

Gathered from the internet (mostly Linkedin but public facebook groups, blogs and twitter are also good sources of conversations)

Training companies for sale

For those looking to buy or sell a training company/intellectual property I can list your offers or what you are seeking below. Just send scott.spence@coursesales.com a 150 word summary of what you are selling or looking to buy, with contact details. Take a look at our August Newsletter to read an article with guidance and help in selling your training company (and also useful for those buying).

For sale

Sydney RTO
Small compliant RTO for sale with 1 qualification and 2 units on scope. It is registered until 14.12.2014. It is not campus based so can operate anywhere. Owner will consider joint directorship to ease the change of ownership with ASQA. Please contact Judith Bowler at jbowler@rtoadvance.com.au or on 0418 963 509 for further details.

New Zealand training/consultancy company

This company has extensive Intellectual property & resources it has a Government and major Corporate client base, with programmes used throughout Australasia. The Intellectual Property includes 7 generic relevant topics with participant Workbooks, Leaders’ Guides and full Resources for course delivery. There is huge potential for conversion to On-line Self- paced learning which can be achieved at modest investment. Topics include: Effective Business Writing, Effective Customer Service, Effective Leadership. Over 10,000 generic, Personalised and Customised workbooks have been sold in NZ, Australia, UK, Canada, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Please enquire to Martin Lenart: martin@maloo.co.nz or call +64 21 248 9452

To buy

Existing Registered Training Organisation (RTO) is looking to acquire further RTO’s across Australia. All scopes are of interest. Contact Gail Penman: gail@aets.com.au or (02)4365 0040

Education and training tenders

To get help writing tenders, take a look at our June 2013 newsletter, it has valuable tips.

Tenders WA

HOU2766313     Department of Housing - Provision of Capability Training for the Urban Indigenous Community Housing Organisations (UICHOs)  specification documents
Issued by Department of Housing  closing 12 Sep, 2013 2:30 PM

DMP680813     Management Team Leadership Development  specification documents
Issued by Department of Mines and Petroleum
closing 17 Sep, 2013 11:00 AM

ETT23182013    Provision of a Sports Program for Canning College  specification documents
Issued by Department of Education
closing 17 Sep, 2013 2:30 PM

ETT23192013     Provision of an offsite Sport and Recreation combined with WACE Program, for Manea Senior College  specification documents
Issued by Department of Education
closing 17 Sep, 2013 2:30 PM

RFT09092013DRI FIONA STANLEY HOSPITAL - 123 - Driving Simulator
Issued by Serco Australia Pty Limited
closing 19 Sep, 2013 2:00 PM     

ETT23322013     Delivery of English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)  specification documents
Issued by Central Institute of Technology
Briefing/Site visit is mandatory     closing 20 Sep, 2013 2:30 PM

DMP710813 Provision of Training Services for Recognition of Current Competency Project for Mines Safety Inspectors  specification documents
Issued by Department of Mines and Petroleum
closing 24 Sep, 2013 11:00 AM

MRWA022712 Provision of a Middle Manager Development Program  specification documents
Issued by Main Roads Western Australia
closing 26 Sep, 2013 2:30 PM

Tenders SA

GC024602     Graffiti Prevention Program 2013/2014
Issued by Town of Gawler
closing 13 Sep, 2013     

GC024604     Cyber Bullying Education & Intervention Program 2013/2014
Issued by Town of Gawler
closing 13 Sep, 2013

Tenders QLD

Tenders NSW

DTIRIS13/39  Provision of a Skills Development Program for the NSW Wine Grape Industry    
Close Date & Time     3-Oct-2013 2:00pm

RMS.13.2740.1659  Safer Drivers Course for Young Learner Drivers Providers Panel
Close Date & Time     13-Sep-2013 2:00pm

Tenders Australian Government

APSC 2013/0127  eLearning Support Services and Solutions Panel
Close Date & Time     13-Sep-2013 5:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    
APSC 2013/0124 Learning and Development Panel
Close Date & Time     13-Sep-2013 5:00 pm (ACT Local time)

13ACMA114 Cybersmart Kids Resource Film production    
Close Date & Time     23-Sep-2013 2:00 pm (ACT Local time)

Tenders Northern Territory

- none -

Tenders Tasmania

- none -

Tenders New Zealand Government

40059 Project Management Review and Training
Ministry of Transport    13/14-034    
Closing: 13-09-2013

38674 Provision of Tailored Training and Support Services (including Statutory Appointments) for Boards of Trustees
Ministry of Education    
Closing: 29-01-2016

 

To get help writing tenders, take a look at our June 2013 newsletter, it has valuable tips.

Where do we get this information?

Past articles

In addition to our regular list of tenders, trending training topics, online conversations and events we have a collection of past articles that might interest you:

What is coursesales.com?

More than just AVETMISS reporting, as a course management system, course sales offers workflow management, online bookings, HTML to PDF automatic generation of certificates and 'etickets' integration with accounting systems and CRM packages. Multi-currency and multi-tax jurisdictions. Take a look at some of the features and online instructional videos here:

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