When you're in the online training business, it's all too easy to get wrapped up in your specific platform and the benefits that make your solution the be all and end all of great training. Other platform providers I speak with will often focus on the "great solution they provide that will solve all a customer's problems". And that may very well be the case. But bring up the subject of working with an external consultant employed by said company, particularly one in the health and safety space and the tone of the discussion 'chills' somewhat. Why is it that so many learning platform providers have a problem dealing with external H&S consultants particular around needs analysis and the development of the accompanying solution?
There are four main reasons.
The reality is that having an external consultant either set up from scratch or run the slide rule over an existing H&S plan can only be a good thing for a business and the efficacy of said plan. As the old saying goes, sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees.
Let's look at the reasons we mention above and see why there is no need to be concerned at the involvement of the external consultant in either the purchase of an online learning platform or the implementation of that platform.
In the heat of the moment, as the customer is refining their choice of platform, it's very easy for the provider to mould their solution to the specific needs of the training that is required. Where a consult comes into play is to take the clear scope provided by the customer and not only to make sure a platform meets the needs of the job but just importantly to see where that platform can integrate with other solutions to save customer resources and improve overall outcomes. No single platform will be perfect and having a disinterested party involved ensures that all parties get the best result, and sometimes that means missing out on the job!
Online learning platform providers should embrace the expertise that H&S consultants provide and where the outcome for the provider is negative, learn from the experience. If they don't then they can expect to be out in the wilderness and out of business very soon.
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