Ready-for-use (RFU) training materials have been around a long time. I can remember using them back in the 1980's when I first began training. Those were in the days of overhead projectors and acetates. Back then we even had ready-made silhouettes for using on your acetates! So the concept of using RFU material isn't new nor is the key benefit where all the heavy lifting has been done for you.
What is new is the method by which we can access them and the quality that is now possible to obtain. We have the Internet and technology to thank for both. The former allows us to access everything online as you well know and the latter enables us to produce materials without ever going to a printer or graphic design studio. Course material editors can develop content that is of high quality and distribute it online to a global audience.
We've taken the view that it's safe to share our content without the worry of competitors stealing our best ideas or material and using it against us. Why? Because in the past our customer base would have been national and regional and we were protective of our differentiators. Now the market is global so our potential customer base is massive, beyond our wildest dreams so why worry about local competition when your customers are no longer local but global?
So yes we are happy to share out best material and let other consultants, trainer and coaches use what we use ourselves.
I've listed what I believe to be the top 10 characteristics of high-quality RFU training materials.
They are tried and tested and deliver the learning outcomes they are designed to deliver. In other words, they haven't just been designed and produced in a version of Word or PowerPoint and within an office, but have been tested over and over again in real training situations with live participants. Feedback from these live courses is then used to develop an improved product ready for final submission into the finished product for others to use.
The materials should allow modifications so that the trainer can purchase the materials knowing that sessions can be tweaked and edited to give the exact design he or she needs. So even though the material is sold as RFU it allows local editing to perfect it for local conditions. This can be anything from changing the branding, swapping activities, or dropping an entire lesson or adding the trainer's favourites.
Although this requires additional work on an RFU product it still saves the trainer 80% or more of the development time for a course and therefore the associated costs.
This is important for trainers that need to add their own branding and don't want to explain away to course participants why they are using another organisation's materials. RFU materials must allow for complete rebranding and therefore when purchased should come blank with little or no branding from the supplier so that there's no work involved in un-branding first.
They come with unlimited rights to make any changes you want to the content in order to fit your training requirements and organisational needs. And with unlimited usage rights in terms of how many delegates can be trained using the material.
Nobody wants to have to keep revisiting their usage limits and buying further licenses. High-quality materials come with unlimited rights.
They'll come with a detailed instruction manual with everything in the student version plus additional information, tips and tricks, help files, etc. all designed for the course instructor. They have everything they need to set up and run their courses.
High-quality RFU training materials will also come with full instructor support. This is really useful when the trainer wants to clarify something or get a better understanding of a certain activity. Knowing they can pick up the phone or send an email and get quick feedback is vital especially when the support comes from an expert trainer that has actually run the course many times.
The student guide should be the heart of the training materials around which everything else pivots. By standing, in the student's shoes, the training course developer should have produced a simple, easy to follow manual that aids learning.
These materials should also come with an instructor's overview or route map that allows the instructor to see at a glance each lesson, timings, key objectives and resources needed for each session. This saves the instructor from having to refer to a hefty instruction manual when all they need is a quick check and overview of what's coming up in their course.
We've found that great courses include high-quality visuals such as posters that enhance the classroom experience, appeal to the visual learner and create a more colourful environment. From our own course feedback, we know that course participants really appreciate the extra effort involved in providing professional high quality printed classroom posters relating to key messages from the course content.
Finally, high-quality ready-for-use training materials come with all the master files to allow the trainer to edit everything as and when they need to, using standard Office suite products.
We've made sure that our own ready-for-use training course packages meet these 10 criteria. So when you are looking for customer oriented training packages that are ready-for-use you can be confident that you'll get all these 10 characteristics from our products.
Check out our store now to see what our current titles are.
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