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L&D Contracting vs. In-House L&D: Which is right for your business?

People love to learn.  

Just think back to the hard lockdowns we’ve experienced and how many people can now very comfortably refer to themselves as artisan bakers or home renovators. Learning is essential for the growth and development of people and the kaimahi in your organisation. 

There are different options when it comes to learning. Consider this scenario: You want to go out on a date night so someone needs to look after the kids.  

What are your options?  

You can leave them in the hands of a childcare centre, pay a nanny or babysitter to look after them for the evening or ask nana or pops to handle the bedtime routine and get those munchkins dozing off peacefully.  

Each of these options has its pros and cons. 

Likewise, organisations have options when it comes to learning and development of their kaimahi. They can engage a learning design agency, employ the expertise of an L&D contractor or use in-house training.    

Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages and choosing the right one can be a challenge.  

In this guide, we'll explore the pros and cons of using L&D contractors or the in-house L&D team to help you make informed decisions for your organisation. 



The Pros and Cons of In-House L&D 

Back to our scenario.

Training nana or pops to do the babysitting duties can be great, because they know how your family ticks. It may also give them a sense of achievement.

The downside is more work at your end getting them ready and confident to take on anything Nikau and Maya throw their way, as depending on how much time they’ve spent with them they won’t necessarily be experts on their wants and needs. 

In-house L&D has its own set of pros and cons to consider.  

One of the biggest benefits is the ability to have more control over the L&D process, including the content, delivery, and scheduling. In-house L&D teams also have a better understanding of the company culture and can tailor the learning to fit the specific needs of the organisation.  

However, in-house L&D can be more expensive than L&D contracting, especially if the company needs to invest in additional resources or equipment.  

READ: 7 Things to Look for When Hiring a Learning Designer 

Additionally, in-house L&D teams may not have the same level of expertise or knowledge on certain learning projects and topics as external trainers. Or to put it simply, the work pipeline may be at capacity but there are additional learning projects that need to be delivered urgently. 


  • More control over the process, including content, delivery, and scheduling 
  • Ability to tailor the training to fit the specific needs of the organisation 
  • Better understanding of the company culture 


  • More expensive than L&D contracting 



  • In-house teams may not have the same level of expertise or knowledge on certain topics as external L&D contractors 



  • An in-house team may be at capacity and unable to work on additional urgent deliverables  





The Pros and Cons of L&D Contracting 

Let’s consider the date-night scenario again for a moment …  

You’ve thought about getting a nanny to look after the kids. After all, they know their stuff, they come highly recommended and it’s easy for you to get ready and head out without heaps of lists and planning needed from your side. They also offer a fresh perspective and new ideas for getting Nikau to eat his veggies and Maya to fall asleep effortlessly.  

L&D contracting can be a great option for companies that want to bring in outside expertise and resources for their employee training.  

LISTEN: L&D Contractors Trends (an interview with Shaiza Wan) 

Some of the benefits of L&D contracting include access to specialised knowledge and skills, flexibility in scheduling and delivery, budgeting the workload and resource hours and potentially lowering costs compared to in-house training. 

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider, such as less control over the L&D process and potential communication challenges with external contractors. 


  • Access to specialized knowledge and skills 
  • Flexibility in scheduling and delivery 
  • Flexibility to budget the workload and resource hours 
  • Potentially lower costs compared to in-house training 


  • Less control over the L&D process 



  • Potential communication challenges with external L&D contractors   





Making the Right Decision for Your Organisation 

What works for one family might not work for another.  

Your friends two doors down might feel more at peace with someone they know following their own guidelines, whereas you might be perfectly happy heading out, knowing that an expert will take care of things.  

When it comes to deciding between L&D contracting and in-house L&D, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.  

It ultimately depends on the specific needs and resources of your organisation. 

Consider factors such as budget, expertise, and company culture when making your decision. It may also be helpful to consult with HR professionals or industry experts to get a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of each option. 

L&D contracting can be a great option for organisations that need specialised expertise or have limited resources. Contracting allows you to bring in outside professionals who have the skills and experience needed to develop and deliver effective learning programmes.  

On the other hand, in-house L&D can be a better fit for organisations that have a strong company culture and want to develop their own internal expertise. It can also be more cost-effective in the long run, as you won’t have to pay for external contractors.  

Ultimately, the decision comes down to what works best for your organisation and its unique needs. Take the time to carefully consider your options and consult with experts before making a final decision. 



Shaiza Wan is the People Partner for Inspire Assist in Aotearoa. If you have a project which needs a sprinkle of out-sourced talent book a chat with her here. She'll help connect you to the right person (or people) for your project.

Inspire Assist: Your L&D Talent Specialists

Do you have a project that needs to be completed and you don’t have the resource or capability in-house? Inspire Assist can find you an extra pair of trusted hands to complete that learning project.

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