Outsourcing Training Content Development: Should You Do It?


As corporate training becomes the norm for employers, businesses are burdened with creating more training content than ever before. The task of developing comprehensive training material requires a significant investment of time and resources.

While it is much easier to handle the technical aspect of developing training content, thanks to innovative content authoring solutions, the task can still feel pretty overwhelming.

At such a time, is outsourcing the solution?

The answer to that depends completely on your organisation’s unique needs. If you are wondering whether outsourcing training content development is right for your business, here are a few considerations that will help you determine the best course of action in the matter:

Can You Afford Minor Delays? Is Project Time-Critical?

 Two of the most common downsides of outsourcing training content development are miscommunication and the delays caused by it. Even when you ensure that your communication to your learning content development vendor is clear and concise, unexpected delays can occur on their end. While in most cases, these delays aren’t intentional, they can potentially delay the delivery of important training material.

At the same time, while in-house development of content is faster and involves fewer delays, it takes up man-hours of your internal teams that have their core responsibilities to carry out.

The consideration here is clear. If you can manage a few delays, then the sensible thing to do is to outsource. However, if the project is time-critical and requires close management, it is best kept in the house.

 How Specific Is Your Training Going To Be?

 For many organisations, there is at least one aspect (or part) of their training that is specific to their core functions. The expertise required to develop these aspects lies exclusively in said organisations.

In such cases, it makes the most sense to develop the organisation-specific course content in house. Corporate training companies can produce exceptionally effective generalised training content, so you can outsource the rest of the course material to them.

  Do You Have The Right Talent To Develop Training Material?

 Just like you need specially trained experts to develop organisation-specific training content, you need the help of instructional designers and subject matter experts to create effective training content. In most cases, hiring these professionals is not a viable solution as the development of training material is a one-time task.

If this is the case for your organisation, you should definitely consider outsourcing your training content development. Chances are, the content development vendor you choose to work with may have already worked on projects similar to yours. If this is true, they might be able to lend advice on how you can improve the overall effectiveness and functionality of your course material.

How Often Will You Need Fresh Training Content?

 As mentioned earlier, if your training content development is a one time need, you should consider outsourcing. While this may seem like a waste of talent for those that have hired an in-house instructional designer, the truth is that developing quality course material requires a contribution from a number of other professionals such as coders, scriptwriters, video editors, and user experience (EX) designers.

If you have an ongoing need for developing training content, you may consider hiring these professionals and provide them with help from freelance subject matter experts. However, if that isn’t the case, it is best to outsource your content development.

If in the future, your course content requires any updates or changes, those can be taken care of by your in-house instructional designer.


 Whether or not you outsource your training content development should not be solely dependent on the costs involved as there are far more significant than the cost factor.

Keep in mind that your decision of outsourcing the right aspects of your training content directly affects the ROI of your employee training initiatives.