When it comes to
Safeguarding, both off-the-shelf courses from a catalogue and completely
bespoke options can achieve knowledge based outcomes and encourage a positive behaviour
change in learners. Deciding which content path would be most suitable for your
organisation can depend on a number of factors.



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There are undeniable benefits off-the-shelf e-learning solutions.
If they are designed well, this form of training can support your organisation
and workforce in a variety of ways. As pre-packaged safeguarding training
solutions and e-learning courses are ready to buy, organisations are able to
get up and running with the bare minimum of setup time. The design and testing process
is all handled by the vendor, allowing for precision and reliability without your
organisation having to lift a finger. Such solutions can be ideal when
providing training on relatively general safeguarding subjects, as the courses
will align with national legislation. They are also much more affordable than
most Bespoke options, therefore often favoured by organisations with less to


However, the inevitable downside is the fact that off-the-shelf
solutions will not be tailored to fit the specific needs of your workforce,
meaning that the content may not necessarily meet your training goals as
precisely and perfectly as a course designed in-house would. If you anticipate
that your safeguarding training requirements are too specific for an
off-the-shelf option to address, then a bespoke approach may be preferable for



Arguably the most significant benefit of any custom-built, bespoke
training course is the fact that it is directly relevant to your business or organisation
by design. When developing a Bespoke course, every individual aspect of it can
be completely tailored to your own specific circumstances. This
could be the choice of wording, vocabulary, the learning materials themselves,
right down to the specific values it embodies – to your individual
organisational needs. As your organisation will have complete control and ownership of
your bespoke course, it is possible to make changes, updates and revisions to
your policies and procedures as and when necessary.


However, organisations which choose to go down this route should
be prepared for higher upfront costs – plus a longer overall timespan from
start to finish to get the course up and running. Since bespoke courses need to
be carefully designed to address very specific learning outcomes, it can sometimes
be challenging for companies that lack experience in e-learning development to fully
comprehend the benefits, without the guidance of a trusted external partner.


Virtual College

Alter our existing range of catalogue courses, changing
them to align with your policies and procedures.

Develop a concept
based on a range of existing templates which have been created by our award
winning graphic design team.

Create a new, completely
bespoke course from scratch – completely unique and fully branded to your
organisation – underpinned by pedagogical techniques.


blend of the two?

It’s also
worth remembering that the off-the-shelf vs bespoke training dichotomy is far
from a binary choice, as many organisations instead opt to mix and match
aspects of both approaches to create a blend that works best for them.


For example, you might want to create a training programme that includes pre-packaged modules on industry
best practice with sections that deal with how those guidelines apply to
your organisation; alternatively, you might be happy to pair a mostly
off-the-shelf programme with bespoke refresher resources specific to your organisation and its
processes. It is also worth considering how each form of e-learning, off-the-shelf or bespoke,
could support any face to face training events that you may offer. By adopting
this blended approach, it should be possible to get the best of both
worlds, combining the universality of off-the-shelf solutions with elements
designed by Virtual College to meet your individual business needs.


for your circumstances

Ultimately, the question of whether you should choose an
off-the-shelf or a bespoke e-learning approach doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all
answer – it’s about
considering the specific training needs of your organisation and selecting the
option that represents the best fit.


At Virtual College, we provide both off-the-shelf and bespoke
courses depending on your requirements. To determine the most suitable option, you
would initially need to assess your preferred training objectives, your desired
timescale and your budget. We will then be on hand to help and consult, and can
make suggestions as to which package would meet your specific criteria.


Virtual College
recently won gold for ‘Excellence in the Design of Learning Content in the
Public and Non-Profit Sector’ at the Learning Technologies Awards 2017 for our
Recognising and Preventing FGM course, which we developed in partnership with
the Home Office. We’re all absolutely delighted about this as it’s a powerful
endorsement of our commitment to using technology to deliver quality learning
solutions and supports our mission to change workforce behaviour.


A Home Office
official commented: “Virtual College’s passion for the project and their
understanding for the sensitivity of the subject, together with their
experience of developing products for our target audience meant that the end
product was innovative and tailored to the needs of the learners.

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