Outsourcing relationships involve transferring or sharing management control and/or decision making between client and supplier.

Essentially the main reason organisations choose to outsource is to increase their competitive advantage; through for example lowering costs, redirecting energy or streamlining resources.  Often bringing in specialist outside services in any given area allows the client to fully focus on their primary business streams.

Whatever the actual reasons for an organisation going down this route, they should be clearly defined and communicated up front.

Once the reasons are clear an organisation can think about finding a supplier; and one of the critical requirements of a successful outsourcing partnership is alignment of values.

For outsourcing partnerships to be successful you must have alignment between partners in terms of values and what they stand for. Any organisation considering outsourcing should start by truly understanding and then profiling their L&D strategy and values  – before they begin searching for a partner. The profile then acts as a set of measures that any potential provider can be assessed against.

Overall you need to decide which elements of people development in the business are best done internally and which are best outsourced to a specialist learning partner.

Over the next few posts, we’re going to look at decisions that need to be considered when choosing to use outsourced trainers. These were written by Brian Broadbent, Marton House MD, based on his years of experience with providing outsourced training to FTSE 250 companies.