External training is more effective than in-house, claims survey

by L&D14 Mar 2016
External training is providing greater benefits for leaders, managers and employees than in-house training, according to new research by Leadership Management Authority (LMA).

LMA’s latest Leadership, Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) survey involved questioning people working at all levels within organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

Training conducted internally by company staff was nominated as the method delivering the greatest benefit by 18% of leaders, 19% of managers and 16% of employees.

This contrasts with training undertaken internally by external suppliers/trainers which was the training method of choice by 34% of leaders, 41% of managers and 35% of employees.

Moreover, training undertaken externally by external suppliers and trainers was nominated by 35% of leaders, 32% of managers and 39% of employees.

“Despite the unscrupulous conduct of a number of Registered Training Organisations and the resulting investigations and actions to address such conduct, it is refreshing to note that the benefits/effectiveness of professional and outcome driven externally supplied training continue to be recognised by the most important people in the training and development industry – the clients,” said the report.

“It is interesting to note that between two-thirds and three-quarters of leaders, managers and employees believe that training delivered by external providers delivers the greatest benefit to their organisation.”

The report also noted that leaders and employees are fairly evenly divided in their view that training conducted by external suppliers undertaken internally or externally provides greatest benefit, well ahead of internal training conducted by internal staff.

In contrast, managers are much more in favour of external providers conducting training at the workplace, presumably as it does not require those being trained to travel to attend, said the report.
Training method that delivers greatest benefit Leaders Managers Employees
Training undertaken internally, conducted by company staff 18 19 16
Training undertaken internally, conducted by external suppliers/trainers 34 41 35
Training undertaken externally, conducted by external suppliers/trainers 35 32 39
Not sure 14 8 10
Source: Leadership Management Authority (LMA)

“We can only surmise that the experiences of leaders, managers and employees have provided most with the perspective to conclude externally provided training delivers greater benefits,” added the report.

“This is a salutary reminder that, in the main, RTOs and private training providers seek to deliver benefit and do so to enhance the skills and knowledge of participants, their managers and leaders and organisations overall.”

In this L.E.A.D. Survey, the total number of participants involved was 4,317. This included:
  • Business Leaders / Senior Managers – 255
  • Middle Managers / Supervisors – 585
  • Non-managerial Employees – 3,487
LMA is an Australasian business involved in leadership training and development courses.