In-House v/s Outsourced: What is better for development of custom training content

This current pandemic has brought about different challenges and opportunities in our lives. For businesses, the challenge has been to switch to a completely online model of functioning. Among many other aspects of their daily tasks, even employee training has had to move to the online landscape.

On the other hand, for businesses operating in areas with strict restrictions, or those that strictly operate in the offline world, like travel businesses, there is nothing to do but wait for the storm to pass.

Yet, even for such businesses, all this free time is a great opportunity to invest in an employee training initiative.

Whether you are creating your first employee training program, or simply switching to an online training model, the most critical prerequisite is having high-quality training material.

Developing quality training content is no joke. Apart from being a painstaking process, it is also a time consuming one. The easiest way to work around these issues is to outsource the development of your training material.

However, many business owners may not be comfortable completely giving up control of the development process.

Whether or not you should outsource your training material development can be a difficult decision to make.

In order to make it easier for you, this article will talk about the benefits of outsourcing content development, as well as the benefits of developing the training content in-house.

Let’s begin:

Benefits Of Outsourcing Training Content Development

  • Pocket Friendly: As mentioned earlier, training content development is a time consuming process. By outsourcing it, you don’t have to allocate your in-house resources to the task that may take weeks to complete. As a result, your daily activities don’t take a hit. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about unforeseen problems and expenses in the development process. No matter how much the cost of development rises due to unforeseen circumstances, you will only be required to pay the fixed amount that you agreed upon at the beginning of the project.
  • Scalable: One of the best qualities of solutions offered by corporate training companies is that they are scalable. When your organisation and its training needs grow, you don’t have to worry about hiring additional talent to fulfill them. Simply share your requirements with your outsourcing partner and you are good to go!
  • Quick Turnaround Time: Corporate training companies possess an ocean of experience in developing training content. While acquiring this experience, they are able to create processes and gather tools that allow them to quickly whip up quality training content that is developed to improve comprehension and retention.
  • Instructional Design Expertise: Another reason why a corporate training company is able to deliver quality training content quickly is that they have experienced instructional designers on their teams. These people understand how adults learn and are able to apply scientific principles like microlearning (among many others) to improve the engagement quotient of your training material.

Benefits Of Inhouse Development Of Training Content

  • Better Control: Developing training content in house gives you more control over the whole process. For starters, you can plan the development process to meet your deadlines. Another advantage of having control of the development process is that you can roll out modules as and when they are prepared. This way, you can focus your efforts on developing the most critical training modules on priority.
  • Customizability: While outsourcing training content development also provides you with customised training content, your outsourcing partner may lack the subject matter expertise you have within your team. If you do have such experts on your team, you can use their expertise to put together training content that directly addresses the needs and goals of your organisation.
  • Fewer Communication Gaps: Many business owners also enable collaboration of their outsourcing partners with their in-house subject matter experts to obtain training content that is aligned with the needs of their organisation. While this is an effective strategy, there is a lot of scope for miscommunication that may lead to delays in the delivery of the final product. When you develop training content in house, the scope of miscommunication is reduced significantly.

Partial Outsourcing

While there are surely significant benefits to developing content in house, you will find that most experienced L&D professionals will advise against it. The reason is simple, if you put in the right amount of research in identifying a dependable training content vendor, you can still enjoy all the benefits of in house development, without the hassle it involves.

The best way to cut down the costs and hassle involved in the content development process is partial outsourcing. As the name suggests, using this approach, you can outsource the development of certain parts of your training content, and develop the others in house.

Most businesses tend to create the “easy to develop” parts of their training curriculum in house and outsource the most time consuming and labour intensive parts.

It is also a great idea to retain the control of the parts of your training that deal with sensitive data or information about your product or service. This way, you can maintain data integrity, while eliminating the hassle of facilitating a collaboration between your in house subject matter experts and your training content development vendor.


There you have it, the list of benefits of both the alternatives for developing training content. By thoughtfully blending the two, your business can enjoy the benefits provided by both the approaches, while facing minimum challenges with the development process.

However, it is important to keep in mind that in order to enjoy any of the benefits mentioned in this article, it is critical to find a dependable training content vendor.

Have you worked with a training content developer before? How was your experience?

Samantha Rigby
Samantha Rigby
Samantha is the head of content, lifestyle and entrepreneurial columnist for Best in Australia. She is also a contributor to Forbes and SH. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a reporter and business journalist for local newspapers.
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