When it comes to safeguarding
training, both ready-made, off-the-shelf courses and completely bespoke,
tailored courses, can achieve training objectives and encourage positive
behavioural changes in learners. Deciding which learning path is most suitable
for your organisation depends on a number of factors.

Off-the-shelf
courses

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There are undeniable benefits of off-the-shelf e-learning
solutions. If they are designed well, this form of training can support your
organisation and workforce in a variety of ways. As ready-made e-learning
courses are ready to buy, organisations are able to get up and running with the
bare minimum of setup time. The content, look and feel of the course and the
assessment, have all been created by a trusted provider, with your sector in
mind. Such solutions can be ideal when providing training on relatively general
safeguarding subjects, as the courses will align with national legislation and
guidance. They are also usually more affordable than most bespoke development
projects, therefore often favoured by organisations with limited training
budgets.

 

However, the inevitable downside is the fact that off-the-shelf
training material will not be tailored to fit the specific needs of your
organisation and workforce, meaning that the content within the courses may not
necessarily meet your training goals as precisely and perfectly as a bespoke
course would. If you feel that your safeguarding training requirements are too
specific for an off-the-shelf option to address, then a bespoke approach may be
more suitable for you.

 

Tailored
training

The single biggest benefit of a custom-developed training
programme is relevance to your organisation. With a bespoke project, you’ll be
able to tailor every single aspect of the course – from the look and feel of
the content and the learning materials, right through to the choice of
vocabulary and the values it embodies. A bespoke course allows the training to
be mapped to your individual organisational needs. As your organisation will
have full ownership, it will be possible to make changes, updates and revisions
to your policies and procedures as and when necessary.

 

However, organisations which choose to go down this route should
be prepared for investing time spent in getting this form of training up and
running. Since bespoke training needs to be carefully designed to address
specific learning outcomes, it can be challenging for companies that lack
experience in e-learning development to realise the considerable benefits
without the help of a trusted external partner.

 

Best
of both worlds?

It is worth considering a blend of both off-the-shelf and bespoke,
as many organisations decide to cherry pick the best of both to create a
training offering that fits perfectly for their organisational needs.

 

For example, you might want to form a training programme that
includes pre-packaged modules on best practice sector knowledge, with sections
that detail how legislation and guidelines apply to your organisation;
alternatively, pairing a mostly off-the-shelf programme with bespoke refresher
resources, specific to your organisation and its processes, may meet all of
your training needs.

 

It is also worth considering how each form of e-learning,
off-the-shelf or bespoke, could support any face to face training events that
you may offer. By adopting this blended approach, it should be possible to get
the best of both worlds, combining the universality of off-the-shelf solutions
with elements designed by Virtual College to meet your individual business
needs.

 

How
to decide?

Ultimately, the question of whether you should choose an
off-the-shelf or a bespoke e-learning approach doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all
answer. The core training needs of your organisation and workforce need to be
thoroughly considered to help you select the option that represents the best
fit.

 

At Virtual College, we provide both off-the-shelf and bespoke
courses depending on your requirements, so it’s simply a matter of assessing
your training objectives, your intended timescale, your budget and your
resourcing availability, and we’ll be able to consult with you to identify the
best possible package to meet those criteria.

 

We can:

 

·         
make minor, yet significant changes to our existing range of
catalogue courses, tailoring them to your organisation’s policies and
procedures.

·         
develop a course for your organisation based on our pool of
existing templates, which have been created by our award winning graphic design
team.

·         
create a bespoke course for you which would be unique to your
organisation and underpinned by specific pedagogical techniques that match your
training requirements perfectly

 

We recently won gold for ‘Excellence
in the Design of Learning Content in the Public and Non-Profit Sector’ at the
Learning Technologies Awards 2017 for our Recognising and Preventing FGM course, which
we developed in partnership with the Home Office.

A Home
Office official commented: “Virtual College’s passion for the project and
their understanding for the sensitivity of the subject, together with their
experience of developing products for our target audience meant that the end
product was innovative and tailored to the needs of the learners”

Whether
you’re interested in exploring off-the-shelf options or bespoke themes to
support your training and save valuable time; we’d love to hear from you and
discuss how we can help. Please get in touch