When looking for an external complex care training provider which is better, a big company or a small provider?

This is a tricky question, and as with all questions of this type there is no one answer for everyone. Instead, there are several tradeoffs to consider.


One big consideration is the geographical delivery of the complex care training.  Smaller training companies tend to find delivering face-to-face courses nationwide is more of a challenge than larger training companies.  It is not impossible to find small training companies that can meet a national provider’s needs, but larger training companies tend to have a larger network of trainers that can accommodate a larger training area more easily.  If you work for or own a national healthcare provider a large complex care training company may meet your needs more easily. Alternatively, you can build a list of smaller training providers each covering a complimentary geographical area.  Thankfully, with the technology available today not all courses need to be delivered face-to-face although there are some that we at Actionable Intelligence feel should be, see our previous post on remote vs face-to-face training delivery.

Quality and standardization

Having a list of different companies that provide training in different geographic areas prompts a question about how you ensure quality and standardization of materials and delivery is maintained across training courses.  Employing a larger training company places the bulk of the responsibility for assessing and maintaining quality and standardized material delivery to the training company.  However, the healthcare training industry is structured in a way that many larger training companies’ contract to freelance trainers or smaller training companies to fulfil their contractual obligations making quality control and standardization of training delivered face-to-face a challenge even for large healthcare providers.

For smaller healthcare providers, or franchise operators, quality control and standardization can be more straightforward. Smaller complex care training providers will likely be able to meet your needs and have a small select group of trainers that deliver the training, and it is quite likely that you will get the same trainer consistently.   Trainers at small companies quite often have a vested interest in the success of the company being a shareholder or partner in the operation which drives up the desire to deliver exceptional service to their clients.

Lead time on courses is another consideration.  Small complex care training providers will likely have a lead time for course delivery that can be one to two months.  Large complex care providers have a broader network of trainers available to them and are likely to be able to deliver the desired course in a shorter timeframe if required.


Price is another important factor. Generally large complex care training companies will charge more for course delivery than small companies because larger companies have more overheads to cover.  This again needs to be considered in the context of the situation though.  For a large national healthcare provider, it may be more desirable to pay a slightly elevated training fee but not have the added complication of coordinating national training through a network of smaller companies.  Whereas a smaller healthcare provider may be more price sensitive and have less need for coordination of training provision over a wider geographic area, and a smaller complex care training team would be a better fit.

Culture and values

An often-overlooked part of the selection process is the values and culture of organizations.  When selecting an external training provider to work with it is important to make sure that the value and culture within the training providers organization align with the values and culture in your own organization and provide an environment where you can achieve a successful outcome.

Here at Actionable Intelligence our values are:

  1. Honesty – be honest and transparent with everyone, if there is a difficult conversation to be had, do this in a friendly, supportive and honest way.
  2. Communicate and communicate – 1) communicate honestly with clients or event organizers and 2) communicate effectively in the most appropriate style with delegates to ensure the best learning outcomes.
  3. Friendly, supportive and professional – We believe that everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have so we aim to support them to the best of our ability, in a friendly, approachable manner whilst maintaining professional working relationships with everyone involved in our daily lives.
  4. To have fun and enjoy our time together!

To sum up here are a few questions to consider when selecting a training provider to work with:

  • What is the geographic distribution of the training required?
  • Is the convenience of a one stop shop for training more important to my organization than price?
  • How is the quality and standardization of training going to be maintained?
  • What about price, where does that fall on the selection criteria?
  • Are the values and culture of my organization and those of the training provider in alignment?

So, there you are, some practical thoughts on big vs small training provider, we hope they are useful…

Happy selecting!