Ask the Expert

Why One Training Course is Not Enough – Justifying the Need for Continuous Development

Question by: Michelle Chapman

Good evening,

I work with clients involved in the funding process. One of my clients is new to bid writing and after starter course and a year of unsuccessful applications, she wants to attend further training to develop her skills. Her issue is justifying the benefits of further training to the local authority who employs her.

I am hoping that you have some insight into this and perhaps some suggestions for a solid argument that she can present to the authority, which will highlight the benefits of ongoing training.

Many thanks,





This is an interesting question and one that has been asked in several different guises before. I take it that she is writing funding applications and these are not achieving the desired results?

I think that there are several arguments she can use:

  • If the applications are being unsuccessful because there were weaknesses in the local authority when viewed through the lens of the application requirements and the application was doomed to failure from the start. Here, robust qualification would have identified this and the application would not have been pursued. If she had been trained in qualification best practice she could have advised the authority accordingly.
  • If it is because she is not using best practice bidding skills (which other applicants will be doing), the authority is losing only on the quality of the bid documentation. Training her in best practice bidding techniques will correct this and application success rates will increase accordingly.

In either case, the authority is losing more than it probably realises. There is the direct and indirect costs of employing her, which are being wasted. Because she is wasting time on applications which will be lost, the authority is also losing the other opportunities (not followed up) which could have been pursued and won with that effort. Moreover, her morale will be low with a succession of application failures and no matter how hard she tries, this will adversely affect her enthusiasm and performance.

However, if she gets training, application success rate will increase. Surely, if she just wins one more application as a result of adopting best practice techniques, the training will have paid for itself immediately? All that is then needed is for her to keep abreast of best practice and reinforce the training she has received (ongoing training to maintain high performance levels).

I hope that this helps. Please give me a call on 01227 860375 if you would like to chat any of it through.

Andy Haigh