5 Things to Consider when Looking for an E-learning Supplier

There is a seemingly endless selection of e-learning suppliers on the market, especially those offering staff awareness and compliance training.

Where do you begin in picking the most suitable provider? You should assess what exactly it is you need, and then compare suppliers to see which will fulfil this need best.

Here are the key things to consider when choosing the right provider for you.

Organisation goals

Many instructional designers of e-learning courses for businesses use Kathy Moore’s action mapping strategy, or some variation of it. The first part of the action map involves identifying business goals, which in turn helps to identify the employee behaviour goals that are necessary.

Simply put, you identify the business goal you want, for example reduce phishing incidents to below x number a month.

You then discuss and brainstorm with your managers what employee behaviours would make this goal a reality (in this case, employees need to be better able to identify phishing emails). With your business goal(s) and employee behaviour goal(s) identified, you will have a clearer idea of which e-learning supplier is right for you.

It’s also beneficial to consider what kind of training is necessary for your organisation – skills-based, safety, soft skills, managerial, professional, or a combination of these – and why.

Scalability and adaptability

Even if an online learning environment satisfies your current needs, it might not in the future. For instance, you won’t be able to train additional users or locations in an expanding organisation if your e-learning solution is not scalable.

Maybe you intend to train your staff on other topics such as modern slavery or business continuity in the future, in which case you must consider if a potential supplier can meet that need.


What quality of support does a potential e-learning supplier provide, and what feature(s) does this support cover?

It’s likely your staff will have varying levels of computer literacy, and with any sort of downtime usually clogging schedules and causing delays, it’s vital to fully understand the support you will be receiving and decide if it will be adequate.

It’s also crucial that you understand the amount of time and effort you will spend on administration and technical support and what the supplier will cover.

Before locking into a contract with the supplier, you should consider the following:

  • If there is an LMS (learning management system), is it user-friendly?
  • Does the supplier have a good Net Promoter Score (above 30) or equivalent?
  • What are the supplier’s response times? For example:
    • Password resets: Within one working day.
    • Report requests: Within five working days.
    • New users: Within five working days.
    • Technical support: Initial response within 24 hours.

Supplier reputation and reviews

Any supplier worth its salt will be happy to provide you with references and case studies from satisfied clients, but you should also ask to be introduced to these clients so you can hear about their experiences in more detail and learn about any difficulties they encountered (and how they were overcome).

If you are acquainted with executives or managers in other organisations, it could be worth checking whether they have any experience with a supplier you are considering.

It is essential to choose an e-learning supplier that has the necessary industry experience and subject matter expertise. This doesn’t mean translating the supplier’s years of experience alone into value, but evaluating that experience based on the types and difficulty of its past projects, its success rate, its customer satisfaction index, and any other relevant or context-specific factors.

Look at third-party reviewers or directories to further gauge a potential supplier’s reputation. eLearning Industry maintains a supplier directory on its website that includes reviews.

Quality and ease of use

This factor must be considered if you’re paying on a subscription basis, especially if the contract is for a year or more. Some e-learning providers spend more time expanding their library than they do updating and managing it. Your e-learning solution will need to adapt as best practices and laws change.

Make sure the provider’s courses are appropriately gamified, interactive, and interesting. If an e-learning course has all the correct and most up-to-date information on a subject, but lacks interesting features or stories, it will not engage learners.

Enquire about how a supplier tackles the problems or retaining learner engagement in their courses, and if their answer isn’t convincing and thought-out then it may be worth looking elsewhere.

Ask suppliers to provide samples or trials so you can see first-hand the quality of their courses and enquire about how often they update them. A supplier that doesn’t regularly check and update its courses through subject matter experts and designers is not worth your time.

Reviews and support – GRC eLearning

At GRC eLearning, we believe having high-quality courses and content is pointless without good customer support and feedback.

Our expert instructional designers use the most effective learning design techniques to ensure your staff gain the knowledge and understanding they need, while our friendly customer support team will provide assistance with minimal response times.

Whether you’re looking to improve your employees’ awareness of cyber security risks, health and safety, modern slavery, or bribery, we have you covered.

We take customer support so seriously that we even provide additional services to help you and your staff on your e-learning journey with our E-learning Get A Little Help package.

This package includes 12 months of unlimited administration support with setting up e-learning licences, generating reports and offering technical assistance to end users. You will receive support for up to two administrators.

We recommend this solution for organisations whose e-learning courses are hosted on our LMS.


  • Aidan Thornton

    Aidan Thornton is a Learning Designer and Product Evangelist with GRC eLearning. Mad about all things digital learning and compliance training!