IT skills and support for your staff

Types of IT training available

Guide

Staff training can take many forms and utilise many different methods. The right training can help you make the most of your investment in information technology (IT) systems.

To determine what type and level of training your staff may need, you should carry out an IT training and learning needs analysis.

Methods of IT training

Depending on what IT skills your business needs, there are many sources and methods of training available, including:

  • Internal training - You can ask an experienced person within your business to train their co-workers or host a training session that focuses on a particular skill or task. This can be an inexpensive way to upskill your staff. Keep in mind that effective delivery of training is a skill in itself and you may need to source course material separately.

  • Public courses - You can book a training course with professional training providers or companies. The course will take place away from the workplace, often at the provider's own venue, and the price of the training may also include course material.

  • In-house training - You can hire training organisations, IT consultants or system suppliers to deliver bespoke training to your staff at your own premises. Larger organisations may find this type of training cost-effective if they have multiple employees with the same training needs. This is unlikely to be the case for small businesses with just a few staff.

  • Computer-based training - Some training providers will offer computer-based training, most often delivered over the internet. These types of courses often provide business with a more cost-effective and flexible approach to staff training.

  • Self-paced learning - Some people may find learning on their own easier than taking a training course. You may wish to source some self-study books or manuals, if you find that your employees best learn on their own.

  • One-to-one - In some circumstances, one-to-one delivery of training may best meet the learning needs of individuals. For example, many IT qualifications are based on experience gained in the workplace and are often highly practical in nature. The training required will often be given on a one-to-one basis that provides hands-on experience.

Some training - such as webinars, interactive tutorials, learning videos, etc - may be available online free of charge. There are pros and cons to any type of training. Make sure that you consider all the options to find training methods to fit your business.

Choosing your training provider

Any business can set itself up as a training provider. When choosing training solutions, make sure that the provider is legitimate, accredited, with good references and that the training meets a recognised standard. See more on IT skills standards and qualifications.