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Training Vouchers from the point of view of the Training Provider

When Photographers Resource started it was the newsletter of Camera Images. Later it split away to become a separate operation.

Camera Images was the main training provider for advanced users and professionals using Nikon cameras.

With the recession the cost of selling courses exceeded the revenue they produced so Camera Images decided not to take on new clients, but to still provide training to it's existing customer base.

The courses mentioned in the articles below are no longer available unless you are an existing client of Camera Images.

Training Vouchers

Training Vouchers are like a key, they open up opportunities for clients and
training providers. Those with a key can gain access to the benefits.

The Training Providerís Introduction to Training Vouchers

Training Vouchers are very similar to a barter currency, in that they circulate, being used, reissued and used again, but can also be converted to cash by training providers and some dealers.

All training providers who decide to participate price their training in training vouchers. They sell training vouchers, take them for courses, and trade them in, buying more when needed and cashing in the surplus.

Training vouchers are priced individually and in blocks, where larger blocks have larger discounts. Clients can buy just what they want for a particular course but most will buy in blocks to get discounts and plan and commit to training ahead. As the larger the block the larger the discount, this also allows a margin to be made by those who sell considerably more than they take and of course initially, as they are bundling up requirements, buying in blocks to meet the needs of a number of clients.

As marketing training is quite expensive you will also see it allows training providers to gear their operation more towards providing training, or towards making a mix of the two, and encouraging co-operation, with rewards. So everyone benefits.

So recapping slightly. Training providers market training vouchers, take them for courses and have them then to sell again, some will have been taken that were originally sold by other training providers, retailers or others, and some the training provider sells will be used with other training providers. Most of the training vouchers will go around and around, but in some cases training providers will need to buy more to meet demand, while some others will have taken more training vouchers then they need to market on, and be cashing some in. The nice part is that it is beneficial to all and encourages them to pull together and to assist clients to make more training choices, which of course also means more training, and more work for training providers.

Training vouchers are organised by a non profit organisation - TEPO

TEPO stands for Training and Experience Passport Organisation. This was set up by a number of other organisations for encouraging and promoting training and gaining of experiences, the empowerment of training providers, tutors and the cooperative promotion of training and experience opportunities. TEPO is a part of a non profit company, limited by guarantee, that has been around for a long time. Administration of the TEPO Training Vouchers is commissioned from a company that specialises in providing services to non profit organisations, clubs and the like, and funds associated with all vouchers in existence, at their cash in value, is kept separate in a client account with a major bank.

 

Why your clients will love training vouchers

Training vouchers give them a range of advantages, including discounts across training providers and locking the cost against inflation, while at the same time giving them maximum flexibility, including mix and match components from different training providers to give them just the right training to meet their needs.

The discounts they get are a reward for making a commitment to training, while still allowing them a great deal of flexibility. In many cases you will find itís not so much saving money that excites them as much as getting more days for the same budget. There will also be a tendency to buy up to the next block volume, therefore committing to undertaking greater training. Most training providers will have discovered that clients have a desire to take more training, but often other commitments and other pressures gain higher priorities and push training further down, and in many cases, then does not happen. Once a client has training vouchers and as these are valid for 18 months and having committed their budget they will quite naturally wish to make the most of it. The overall affect is that clients are on average likely to take at least twice as much training. They are also quite naturally going to be taking this from those training providers that will take the training vouchers, and generally ignoring others.

Training vouchers are not specific to an industry, so having obtained a block of training vouchers for a business, often some will be left over and can be used for hobby or other uses, similarly some will buy them for a hobby interest and then see the benefit of adding a business course.

Training vouchers have their own website at www.training-vouchers.co.uk, so clients can see where they can use them, and of course have links to the training providersí websites. In addition to this, some training providers are now starting to work even closer together, for example with joint advertising campaigns where they can buy larger advertising spaces, and include several advertisements cutting the cost to each, as well as looking at attending exhibitions and shows together. At the same time some people are starting to spot the opportunity to just market the training vouchers without providing training themselves, something that would be very difficult to do generally. In a similar way retailers and others will be able to become involved, and at the same time some training providers who donít enjoy marketing will be able to concentrate on training without the need and risks associated with the marketing part of the business, most of course will see training vouchers as another profit centre and make the most of the opportunity presented.

As training is priced in training vouchers, and these available in whole units only, prices may need to be realigned slightly to start. As the clients see so many advantages and are able to get discounts across training providers they expect prices to change, and when setting your rates you do this in a way where you also cover transaction costs, the net amount you receive per hour of training should increase and the cost of getting this should at the same time reduce. There is a second option TEPO vouchers, these are at a fixed price not increasing over time, and available in two decimal units, so are easier to price, but having fewer advantages for clients, lower effective discounts, and higher cash in percentages. They can be converted to training vouchers but training providers and dealers only can convert training vouchers to TEPO vouchers. These are designed to be used by those offering experiences, holidays and similar rather then training only.

The advantages to training providers are therefore

  • Larger number of clients, each undertaking more training.
  • Higher income per hour.
  • Choice of balance of effort between marketing and training provision.
  • Cost reduction, and risk reduction.
  • Wider spread of marketing including internet websites, exhibitions, advertising and more.
  • Opportunity to work with others where everyone benefits, and those that do most, benefit most.
  • Margin from trading training vouchers as well as providing training.
  • Monthly bonuses, (not explained here, but is on the organisations website).
  • In the future, more and more clients will only consider those that are involved in training vouchers having already committed their budget this way.

 


See also

Find out more Ė visit the TEPO organisations website at  www.tepo.org.uk   and see if you would like to join.

Article on training vouchers from perspective of user

Cutting the Cost of Training

 


By: Keith Park Section: Training Key:
Page Ref: training_vouchers_provider Topic: Camera Images Training  Last Updated: 03/2010
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