Training Industry Newsletter October 2013

October Course Sales Training Industry Newsletter

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: Moving to online delivery

Using e-content to deliver learning online is here to stay. Some of the most disruptive examples to traditional facilitator led delivery include the Khan Academy where many professionally created courses are offered for free and "massive open online courses" or MOOCs from ivy league universities like Harvard and MIT where, although facilitator led, the experience is mostly non-interactive. The effect on interactive facilitator led training organisations is two fold:

1) pressure to be price competitive
2) expectations of 'anytime anywhere' delivery and
3) need to demonstrate why a premium should be paid for facilitator delivery.

If another course format can deliver the same learning outcomes as a facilitator led event at a fraction of the cost why should individuals or organisations invest in interactive facilitator led training?  As rule of thumb if a competitor can offer a service to deliver the same outcome but 25% cheaper, quality and experience is seldom sufficient to sway the purchaser. Most non-interactive courses are substantially cheaper than the facilitator led equivalent.

Neither pure e-content online training nor interactive facilitator led training is suitable for everyone, the major inhibitors are suitability of the format, constraints on scheduling or limited locations. Availability is also a pressure: while time is allocated to participants to attend interactive facilitator led training courses often no time is allocated for non-interactive online courses, saving the organisation in down-time. The expectation is that on-demand, online courses should be completed on the job, literally while students do their day job. Self starters prefer to arrange their study around existing work and life commitments. Will these costs and changes precipitate the organisation expecting that the learner, rather than delivery mode should be adaptable?

The two sides and the happy medium
Responses by training organisations to pure e-content non-interactive delivery is usually between the extreme of two options: The first side is convinced that facilitated learning is a superior, higher quality, learner experience. More likely there are underlying, practical reasons such as not having skills to create online content. The other side predicts the death of the facilitated delivery mode of training, certain that trainers will be relegated to webinars or MOOC-style delivery where only the best, cheapest or most famous survive. They are also convinced that by using metrics non-interactive e-learning can improve to be equal and better to interactive facilitator-led delivery.

Training events for networking
Some things will never substituted by attending an interactive event however: The social interactivity. The event becomes a networking occasion, an essential part of the experience of learning and in the case of vocational training, a way to extend career opportunities through business relationships. So non-interactive training companies need to demonstrate how they can offer interactivity while facilitator led training companies need to promote the business networking aspect of their courses.

Training events for learning engagement
When addressing disruptive technology the middle ground offers the most flexibility, courses where the unique value of a trainer; inspirational, entertaining, expert knowledge or in-the-trenches experience is combined with online content for the more mundane aspects of learning that can be conveyed as (or more) effectively online compared to a lecture style event. Where a course has both a facilitated portion and online learning component the term 'blended' learning environment is used, and may or may not use computers in the classroom.

First step - make the business case
Moving to a new mode of training delivery means making decisions about long term strategy, customer demands and/or profitability. Some organisations find that without online or e-learning options they are excluded from tender opportunities or they lose out to competitors. Other benefits that can be gleaned is competitive advantage in a market that has not yet adopted to delivery of e-content. Another product  to talk to customers about, and exploring markets beyond your traditional area (offering sales in another state or country). As you are looking at a return on investment remember to take baseline measurements now so you can track progress.

The resources required to deliver a new training format includes financial and time investment, and access to experts, perhaps even changing the way your business operates, perhaps needing to reapplying for accreditations. This type of change can have a dramatic effect on your business. Factor in a dip in profitability as the business catches up with the new way of working.

Second step - planning your move to the new delivery
There is inevitably a learning curve for training managers and facilitators as the technology and possibilities slowly become apparent. Learning from others is always a good first step, see how your competitors are doing it. Go outside your geographical range and look at training companies abroad, seek out best-of-breed. Talk to your customers about their experiences, involve them in a trial or proof-of-concept to ensure your offering will be accepted by the market. Here are some ideas:

  • Introduce or move existing pre-course work online, causing less disruption to classroom learning

  • Incorporate 'extra exercises' so that it does not interrupt but complements your existing training experience

  • Offer a new course, to run along side existing unchanged courses to see what the uptake is for the new format.

  • Do a 'freemium' offer, where people get a free taster using your website, phone or ipod application or provide a helpful PDF file..

Third step - review use and seek to maximise return on investment

Most online learning platforms give excellent vantage points from which to evaluate how many use the content and in some cases who, when and for how long.  Use these profiles to find out how people are using your offering. Ask questions like when do they use it, what do they choose to do, how far do they get through the material? Are there technical reasons why some don't use the system?

Consider also if the online learning is replacing existing facilitator-led delivery, or complementing it. Perhaps more frequent communication to remind students of their online learning tasks might improve use and learning outcomes? If you get data showing that increased use leads to better outcomes share it with students.

Forth step - measure success

Perhaps indicated by a contract won, or increase in registrations, or ultimately an increased profit margin with equal or more deliveries. Just like regular course materials it will be necessary to provision money for updates, as online content needs to be maintained and kept fresh like any other course material.

Webinar 'moving to online delivery'

26 November, 11am AEST, 12 midday for VIC & NSW, free & online. This presentation is an interactive facilitator led event where you can ask questions about moving to online, e-content delivery. Numbers are limited, register here

Further reading - makes the materials used in the teaching of MIT's subjects available on the Web. - provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. All of our resources are completely free forever, regardless of whether you're a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology.

Technical talk - AVETMISS

NCVER has just released their updated online validation software for AVETMISS 7.0 2014 NAT files. Here at we have already tested coursesales generated files against validation requirements and are very pleased with the results. If you are reporting AVETMISS data (every RTO is required to report AVETMISS data) you may wish to check that your files will be ready for the 2014 reporting requirements. If you don't have AVETMISS compliant files or software to generate these files you may wish to consider - for just $200/month you can collect AVETMISS data and manage your bookings online with integrated workflow and automated emails.

Useful files (you will need to register with NCVER here to download these files):

Webinar 'Introduction to AVETMISS 7 and validation service'

12 November, 11am AEST, 12 midday for VIC & NSW, free & online. This presentation is an interactive facilitator led event where you can ask questions about AVETMISS 7 and using the validation service. Numbers are limited, register here

Trending topics

Topics currently trending in Australia over the past 90 days include 'brain training' this is likely linked to an extensive online campaign by Smart training companies could leverage this desire by providing their own 'brain training' pages.  There has also be an increase in TAFE courses being searched, suggesting that as tafe organisations move more online they are likely to be the preferred destination for learners. Topics that feature as trending are:

  • brain training
  • CFA (Country Fire Authority) training
  • online courses
  • tafe courses (OTEN, NSW online courses)
  • guitar lessons

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:



  • Taking online bookings - a checklist ONLINE, FREE (8 November, 11am AEST, 12 midday VIC & NSW) - 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.

  • Centre for the Economics of Education & Training (CEET) 17th Annual National Conference 1 November, Monash Conference Centre, 30 Collins Street, Melbourne. The conference will bring together researchers, policy makers and VET practitioners to discuss issues related to this year's theme, 'Where to now with VET and social inclusion?'.

  • Introduction to AVETMISS and validation service - ONLINE, FREE 12 November, 11am AEST, 12 midday VIC & NSW All RTOs must report on data collected for 2014, this means dusting off your AVETMISS compliant software and working out how to use it or getting new software - can be an excellent, and inexpensive choice at $200/month.

  • The Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference 13-14 November, The Grace Hotel, 77 York St, Sydney. An event for community based education providers across Australia. Delegates receive insights into the latest issues and policy changes affecting the industry, along with professional development workshops and social networking opportunities.

  • 2013 Australian Training Awards Tuesday, 22 November, Perth. The Australian Training Awards are the national awards for the VET sector, recognising organisations, training providers and individuals for their contribution to skilling Australia. Applicants may have the opportunity to reach the national stage and gain Australia-wide recognition for the work they do.

  • Moving to online content ONLINE, FREE, 26 November, 11am AEST, 12 midday for VIC & NSW. This presentation is an interactive facilitator led event where you can ask questions about moving to online, e-content delivery. Numbers are limited.


  • Marketing your training without breaking your budget ONLINE, FREE, Friday 13 December, 11am AEST, 12 midday VIC & NSW, Promoting your training course is essential to meeting your target registrations. The effectiveness of different promotional activities is difficult to determine. Having accurate and relevant information to keep costs in check is important.

  • Career Education Association of Victoria (CEAV) Conference 2-3 December, Burwood Campus, Deakin University, Melbourne. It is to inform and improve participant's careers service and career education programs.  It is focussed on providing practical workshops, engaging trade and industry seminars and talks and allows members to build their working knowledge of what constitutes quality career development services for young people from the ages of 12 to 24 years. 


  • Pricing stategies that work for training courses ONLINE, FREE, Friday 13 December, 11am AEST, 12 midday VIC & NSW, Promoting your training course is essential to meeting your target registrations. The effectiveness of different promotional activities is difficult to determine. Having accurate and relevant information to keep costs in check is important.

  •  ICIET 2014 2-3 January 2014, Melbourne, Victoria. Aims to bring together researchers, scientists, engineers, and scholar students to exchange and share their experiences, new ideas, and research results about all aspects of Information and Education Technology, and discuss the practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted

  • Australasian Computing Education Conference, 20-23 January, 2014 , Auckland, New Zealand. Topics of interest for the conference include, but are not limited to: the use of technology in education; course content; curriculum structure; methods of assessment; mobile, flexible, online learning and evaluations of alternative approaches.


  • International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED) 10-12 March 2014, Valencia, Spain. Dedicated to the promotion of international education and university cooperation in the field of Technology and Science. Through the organisation of different international events, it brings together institutions, bodies and organisations from different countries of the world for discussion and cooperation.


RTO best practise Network (open to all)

ASQA Issues (signup required)

Australian High Risk Work RTOs (signup required)

Australian VET Leaders (signup required)

National RTO Network (signup required)

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)

Marketplace: jobs & companies

FREE LISTING: 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 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).

Training companies 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 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: or call +64 21 248 9452

Training companies to buy

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

Jobs in Training companies

RTO Operations Manager A Central Coast based Registered Training Organisation seeking an experienced Operations Manager. This role is a key position within the organisational structure, commensurate with our desire to secure a candidate who can partner with the Management team to implement a business model redesign for our RTO and help DLS evolve operationally and structurally in order to take advantage of a range of identified current and future growth opportunities. For further information please contact


Education and training tenders

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

Tenders WA

ETQ23552013 Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training (invitation)
Issued by Department of Training and Workforce Development
5 Nov, 2013

ETT23462013 Provision of WA Shotfirer's Training To WA Department of MInes & Petroleum - Resources Safety Guidelines for Mining Industry Employees over the age of 18 years  specification documents
Issued by Polytechnic West
7 Nov, 2013

Issued by Department of Fire and Emergency Services
27 Nov, 2013

Tenders SA

DECD024884 Provision of Professional Development and Support Program for Non-Government Preschools
Issued by Department for Education and Child Development
19 Nov, 2013

Tenders QLD

Tenders NSW

DECPS-13-42B Provision of Opportunity Hub Services – Tamworth and Campbelltown
Agency     Department of Education & Communities - Corporate
Close Date & Time     14-Nov-2013

Tenders Australian Government

APSC 2013/0122 Develop and deliver the Public Sector Management Program
Agency     Australian Public Service Commission

SWPAost3 Request for Inclusion on Multi-Use List for delivery of Add-on Skills Training to Seasonal Workers
Agency     Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations

DGTA-ADF 03/2013 Aircraft System Safety Training
Department of Defence - DSRG

Tenders Northern Territory

- none -

Tenders Tasmania

- none -

Tenders New Zealand Government

To get help writing tenders, take a look at a previous 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

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: