In-house Training Vs Open Courses: Choosing the Best Option for your Team (Part 1)

Investing in the continued learning and development of your staff is of paramount importance to ensure staff engagement, productivity and performance across your organisation.

Here at Understanding ModernGov, we pride ourselves on providing high quality learning solutions to suit organisations of all sizes and backgrounds. Whether you have a new starter requiring training in business critical areas, or a whole team in need of refreshing skills or understanding the latest policy updates in your sector, we have a solution to suit you.

So what are the main types of training we can offer, and how do you know which option is right for you? The first part of this blog will outline the characteristics of an open course and in part 2 we will detail In-house training: ultimately pointing out the differences between them and helping you to decide what style of training is best for your team.


What is an open course?

Public training – also referred to as an “open” course – is an organised training event held on a set date at a public venue which is open for any representative from an organisation to attend.

Delegation is strictly limited to a small classroom to create an interactive environment and ensure the best learning outcomes for delegates.


Advantages of open courses:

  • Networking – With a mix of delegates from a variety of organisations across the public sector, attending a public course as a single representative from your organisation can provide a great opportunity to meet and build relationships with like-minded peers within your sector.
  • Cost effectiveness – If you only have a single colleague or a small group within your organisation who would benefit from the training, you may find the open course will be more cost-effective for you.
  • Top class training venues – All of our open courses are held at carefully sourced training venues, within easy access of public transport links to make reaching us easy. Our quality venues provide a comfortable learning environment for delegates, and all catering is included in the price of your booking.


Potential drawbacks of open courses:

  • Set dates and locations – Our open courses are scheduled for specific dates and locations throughout the year, therefore the choice of dates and regions available for your preferred course will be more limited, whereas our In-house option can be entirely fit around you.
  • Travel and accommodation costs – If you are sending colleagues to the open course, added costs such as transport and any overnight stays may be required. Most of our open courses are held in London and we also run courses in Manchester and Edinburgh. Therefore, if travelling from afar we would advise booking travel and accommodation early to keep costs low.
  • Fixed agendas – As our open courses are designed to cater for a wide range of delegates from a variety of backgrounds, our course agendas are developed to suit a diverse delegation. For this reason, you may find certain sessions are less relevant to you than others, although you will benefit from a tried and tested framework for learning.


Choose the open course option when:

  • You have a small group or a single colleague who you wish to receive the training.
  • You cannot take large groups out of the office together for training on the same day.
  • You are interested in running the course as an In-house training session, but you would like to send a single colleague on the course beforehand, to see if it’s right for you.

In part 2 we will go over the advantages and potential drawbacks of In-house training so that you can make an informed decision about the best training for your team.

In the meantime, if you would like to explore your options for open courses or In-house training please get in contact 0800 542 9440 to speak with a member of our dedicated team.