Did you know that not all companies have their own training department? In fact, many organizations choose to outsource training instead of hiring their own instructional designers. There are many reasons why companies decide to outsource their training needs or even purchase prepackaged training materials. For some companies, outsourcing employee training and development makes both financial and business sense. First and foremost, it is much cheaper to have an outside vendor create training than to hire a full time instructional designer to accomplish the same task. Therefore, if a company only requires occasional training, it makes much more sense to hire an external instructional design/training company.
Many companies, however, outsource training to supplement their internal resources. For instance, while an internal training department may be very good at instructional design, it may need assistance in the area of development or production. Also, some organizations do not have enough experience in the area they need training in and, therefore, need to rely on outside resources. For example, if the organization wants to move towards agile project management, but no one has any expertise in the area, outsourcing may be the best way to go. Another example when outsourcing is your best bet is if your organization is starting to use a new tool that no one in the company knows yet. Since no one in house can help with training, the two best ways to learn the tool are to either bring a professional training company in house or purchase an already existing training package.
All in all, each organization should make its own decision as to what is best for its budget and needs. However, it is important to understand that, just like everything else, outsourcing has its pluses and minus; therefore, prior to making the decision to outsource your training initiatives, consider determining what the return on investment (ROI) is.