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The growth of managed learning services has steadily increased over the past year. In 2024, outsourcing training delivery is expected to grow with businesses expanding their products and services globally.

Managed Learning Services (MLS) isn’t a new topic of discussion when it comes to training management and design. However, it has piqued the interest of L&D professionals as companies look for scalability when providing training to their employees, as well as learning support to partner companies within their extended enterprise.

The Boom of Managed Learning Services Explained

Managed Learning Services (MLS) is a strategic outsourcing model where companies hire a training provider to plan, execute, and manage learning and development programs on their behalf. The training organization contracted to provide training services, serves as an extension or replaces the L&D department entirely.

Companies typically rely on their dedicated, in-house L&D department to monitor all aspects of internal training and development for employees, or even for their external audiences such as customers, partners or distributors. However, with many companies increasing their workforce worldwide and expanding their breadth of services, it’s become a challenge for HR or L&D to manage the administrative work required to train employees internally end-to-end.

The expansion of a business’s services has led to the need to expand L&D for a global workforce. A pool of professional talent across the globe means different working hours, language barriers, and compliance rules that have made utilization of dedicated managed learning services attractive for growing companies worldwide. 

Reasons for Implementing Managed Learning Services for Training Programs

Demand in Learning and Learning Services

Learning industry experts predict a positive trajectory for managed learning services. According to one industry report by Transparency Market Research, the growth of managed learning services for MLS is anticipated to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% from 2024 to 2031, which would mean a US $624.1 billion by the end of 2031. 

Growth of the MLS market will be fueled by increasingly complex skill requirements needed for industries that have complex skill sets including technology, medical device manufacturing, telecommunications, and IT support. Managed learning services are growing in alignment with a wave of new learning technologies that benefit learners including AR and VR models.

Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is a budding, however, sometimes poorly executed strategy in L&D. Such experiences look to personalize course material, and even the very nature of ILT experiences, based on learner feedback to improve each individual’s experience and outcome. But why describe it as “poorly executed”? One study on customized learning indicated that tailored learning experiences were often difficult to manage by most corporate L&D and post-secondary universities. Why? Mostly due to the lack of strategy for targeting learner goals, as well as issues around the volume of learners and the inability to interpret learner data for stratic development. 

Given that data drives customized learning, and how intricate it can be, many teams just don’t have the bandwidth to excel. Managed learning service providers can provide consultation on strategy, instructor-led training and online training advisement, and even course structure layout to maximize training ROI for companies.

Integration of New Learning Technologies

New learning technologies have improved the learning experience by enhancing learning experiences and expediting skill acquisition. While training experts are well-versed in various learning software, from conventional learning management systems to specialized tools like AR & VR software, the complexity of new tech can pose challenges for internal learning teams. 

Regardless of the tech being used for training, implementing any or all of them takes a vast amount of administration time and resources from in-house learning teams to ensure the planning, execution, and delivery of new learning tech is effective.

Course Development & Learner Registrations

Both course development and learner registration take up the bulk of L&D duties behind the scenes. Registering for the latest and greatest training as an employee is exciting, however, for internal L&D teams, managing learner registrations can be quite the headache. For a small or medium-sized business (SMB), registrations may seem simple, but at the enterprise level managing hundreds of registrations can become tedious.

Following registration, training coordinators are tasked with a myriad of decisions to guide the learner’s journey. These include selecting the appropriate course, determining the frequency of in-person training sessions, and establishing the training cost per student.

When managed learning services providers take over this aspect of the company’s training protocol, it allows the in-house L&D team to focus more on fine-tuning strategy.

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Benefits of Outsourcing Training via Managed Learning Services Providers

Running efficiently is the goal of any department. Outsourcing part or all of your training program can bring added benefit to your L&D department and can add efficiency. 

  • Training courses will be managed for you by knowledgeable learning professionals utilizing both industry and L&D best practices.
  • The training budget and the cost of learning are significantly reduced due to dispersed management duties.
  • The cost-efficient aspect of using an MLS allows internal learning departments to streamline part or all of the administrative side of L&D program management.
  • Managed learning services allow organizations and companies to get strategy consultation on personalized learning for their employees.

 5 Tips for Choosing Your Managed Learning Service Provider

In the fast-paced realm of education and professional development, selecting the right managed learning service provider can be the key to unlocking a seamless learning experience for your team or organization. Here are five expert tips to guide you through this critical decision-making process.

1. Define Your Learning Objectives Clearly

Before looking at managed learning service providers, take a moment to outline your company’s training goals according to the type of training program you want to utilize. Understanding your organization’s goals based on a needs analysis will help provide a solid foundation for choosing a provider that can execute that plan and return a positive training ROI.

Whether your training objective is to get your employees to attain a certification or to develop new professional skills, identifying your needs will help your MLS provider to better plan and execute your objectives.

2. Evaluate Technological Capabilities

In today’s digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in effective learning solutions. Managed learning service providers will have a full arsenal of the most sophisticated learning technology at their disposal. Don’t believe us? Since 2023, new learning technology has been an ongoing trend in making the learning experience accessible and enjoyable. From augmented reality to virtual reality to using gamification to create some fun.

When choosing your managed learning service provider, evaluate what they can offer for the eLearning component as well as in-person instructor-led training (ILT) and virtual instructor-led training (vILT). This will help you gauge which components will be best handled by the learning provider as they plan out their training program.

3. Ability to Customize Training Programs

No two learners are alike. For any organization looking to grow their talent’s professional skills, key decision makers like the chief learning officer or head of learning should evaluate how each managed learning service provider can tailor to their organization’s training and development needs. Industries with many regulations and protocols such as logistics and transportation, or those with pioneering esoteric technologies like mining, may benefit from experienced managed learning providers in their field.

HR and learning specialists within organizations should ask how they can better train their staff based on where they’re located, what skills their employees need to obtain, and how the MLS’s trainers can accommodate their schedules across time zones.

4. Review Track Record and Client Feedback

A proven track record from previous and current clients solidifies a managed learning service provider as a top pick in your vetting process. Research their history based on client success stories related to your industry and similar training programs utilized. A provider with a solid reputation and positive client feedback is more likely to deliver consistent, high-quality learning solutions related to the type of training your organization needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to existing clients for firsthand experiences and insights.

5. Ability to Scale Learning Operations

Choosing a managed learning service provider that can provide enterprise-level learning needs is more important than you think. Even with the best learning specialists and sophisticated learning tech, it takes a dedicated managed learning service to handle the complicated learning operations.

What do we mean by learning operations? Managed learning services should be able to manage the entire back-office of their contracted training operations including:

  • Scheduling of training sessions and events
  • Assignment of trainers and instructors to courses
  • Budget management and cost control
  • Learning analytics and process improvement

Why are these abilities so critical when looking for your managed learning service provider? Since they will be managing hundreds of courses and learners in a variety of training programs, you’ll want to make sure they’re driving the most value for your money. Ensure they have the proper learning logistics framework in place, and they utilize a training management system for their learning support team. This will ensure that training delivery is efficient, effective and on-time.

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For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has helped over 600 training companies, corporate L&D departments, and associations worldwide to address instructor-led training operations management challenges for their employee, customer, partner, or member training programs. We’ve crafted the perfect training management system to address the most critical needs of corporate L&D and training businesses.

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