There are numerous training providers available across the globe. Deciding who to partner with can be a minefield. This can be made more challenging by jargon-heavy websites and opaque professional titles. Here are some tips on what to look for when identifying your partners for medical affairs training.
A range of expertise: L&D teams work at the intersection where scientific content, regulatory and compliance requirements, learning theory and practice, digital tools, and professional practice meet. Teams that have experts in each of these areas with cross-sectoral working experience are best placed to meet the needs of medical affairs professionals. Seek out teams that combine former medics, pharmacists, medical affairs professionals, and specialists in adult learning practice or instructional design, alongside medical writers and account managers. Colleagues with industry insider knowledge can facilitate real-world, patient-focused training programs with more applied learning opportunities, while andragogy experts can ensure the resources are designed to maximize effectiveness, engagement, retention, and impact. Teams that have in-house studio, digital, and editorial teams are often able to be more efficient than those who need to outsource.
Digital innovators: In our increasingly virtual world, L&D teams should be well-versed in a wide variety of digital tools and platforms, and able to adapt their recommended tools to your learners’ needs, existing systems, and budget. More importantly, they should be adept at aligning the most suitable technologies with andragogical best practice and high-quality content to create a robust, integrated training program that equips your learners for their real-world roles. Keep in mind that it is not necessarily the flashiest, newest technologies that provide the best learning experience; you may get more value for money from reliable and familiar tools used in innovative, practical, and accessible ways.
Excellent communicators: Creating a training program or event from start to finish can be any combination of complex, intense, extended, and fast-paced. In addition to knowing you are working with experts who can handle the content, virtual tools, and andragogical considerations, you need to work with a team that communicates clearly, consistently, and concisely. Being deluged with endless updates and queries is as counterproductive as being kept out of the loop. Keep your eyes open for teams that provide transparent processes, realistic timelines and budgets, and offer a communications plan that outlines how your training partner will liaise with you throughout the development process, as well as how they can work with you to communicate best with your learners.
Committed collaborators: Training programs need to meet your team’s requirements, so make sure that whoever you choose to partner with is willing to co-create with you. Strong L&D teams will get you and your colleagues involved from the outset, identifying needs and learning outcomes, sharing program, event, and content drafts and final versions, co-testing your learning platforms, and delivering clear metrics on program impact and success. This should be a seamless, streamlined process that ensures you are confident in your investment every step of the way.