Buyers beware! Shameful Practice in the Qualifications Training Market

Buyers beware! Shameful Practice in the Qualifications Training Market

By The Pearce Mayfield Team (originally written for Aspect Quality Training Providers, 18th Oct 2016 – adopted for CUPE International)

Quality Training

One of our corporate clients is based in Brazil. Alfredo, a senior project manager with that client, had been on the Pearce Mayfield internal MSP programme management practitioner course and benefits realisation workshops. He was enthused by the quality of the learning he experienced over what he had enjoyed elsewhere in the Americas on PMI-based curricula. So he thought he’d like some more UK business training and decided to book himself on a qualifications training course in London … with another supplier. For legal reasons I can’t name that supplier.

After booking the course, paying the money, and flying to London, on arrival Alfredo was told that the course was not running(!). He hadn’t been told before leaving Brazil. Stunned, he protested that he had flown over especially for this training.

After some arguing, they offered him another course that was running that week – but in a totally different subject(!!). Alfredo was not happy about this, but

1.being a very agreeable and nice man,

2.feeling he didn’t know what legal recourse he might have in this foreign country, and

3.thinking it was better to return to Brazil with something

he accepted training in this less-than-relevant subject.

Alfredo later told me, that the trainer was good, but:

-All the delegates were only given materials and their reference book at the start of the course. No one in the class had been given pre-course materials to study and prepare for what was about to be a pretty condensed lecture-type experience.

-He had no table to work on: all the delegates had only chairs with a flip lid. (This was a qualifications-based course, remember where delegates need to reference the book, as well as sample papers and course notes.)

-The course notes were merely PowerPoint prints of the slides the trainer presented.

-The trainer began by saying, “This is a condensed course. You can get through it if you don’t ask any questions.(!)” That’s a pretty crude and brutal learning strategy.

-Refreshments were not included. In fact, all delegates had to fend for themselves at lunchtime. So during lunch there was little time for networking, talking with each other about the subject they were going through, or with the trainer.

As far as I can tell, none of the trainers used by the training provider work for that company; they are associate trainers, hired on an event-by-event basis. Many of them are good. Some of them are our associates too. But guess which company they would prefer to work for?

This outfit has come under scrutiny and been exposed by the national press in the UK. They advertise phantom public training events. When people book them they are subsequently told the event they have booked on is not running but they can run it in another location.

How come they are still allowed to operate? We’d expect the qualifications bodies such as AXELOS and APMG-International to step in and police such practices. My experience is that the accrediting bodies are not interested. They have a vested interest in the significant revenues this organisation generates through exam fees.


However, if you click on this link, we’ll send you a helpful checklist that you can use when thinking of buying any training from anybody – including Pearce Mayfield, CUPE International and other Aspect members. It could save you a bundle, and it course make sure your investment is in the right place.

Question: What was your BEST training experience from a third party and why?

For more information on the quality training and consultancy services that CUPE International provide, please get in touch here