Online v. Instructor-led Cost Calculator

Online V. ILT Cost Calculator

How much does active threat assessment training really cost? It is NOT just the cost to pay for the instructor’s time during the delivery. It is NOT just the labor that you have to pay your personnel to show up. It is NOT just the work to develop the training in the first place.

It is all of these things and More.

There a lot of different hidden training costs and a number of different ways these costs can be overcome. One of the ways of saving money is online training.

The Calculator

Let’s take a moment and think about the financial benefits of online versus instructor-led (ILT) threat assessment training. It can be A LOT cheaper to provide online training. Please note, it is a lot more expensive to DEVELOP online training than ILT. Speaking from personnel experience, development can take a lot of work. Online training becomes cost effective when it is purchased from others or when you have a large enough organization that development and hosting is worthwhile.

We developed a cost calculator that will help you to identify cost savings associated with ANY online training that you are thinking about purchasing. You will need to provide some data and there are some assumptions about class sizes. Click here to read more about these assumptions. A quick note, labor costs calculations for online classes are essentially nil because it it is assumed that your personnel can train during their down time.

The calculator is preset to our online active threat assessment courses - Threat Awareness and Threat Awareness for Security Professionals.

A quick note, you input data on the left and you will see the calculations on the right. As you input the data, you will note that the calculations on the right will change.

Now that you have input your data, let’s look at the calculations on the right. Each tell us something useful, but the important number is the “Amount You Save by Going Online”. Sit back and think about that number. It is not just savings - it is training dollars and resources that you can apply for other activities that will ALSO help your people complete their mission.

Some caveats. It may be that you can put a lot more people in a class than 35 (depending on the training), making ILT more viable. It may also be the topic is not feasible for online training. But overall, this calculator shows you the potential financial benefits of online training.

The Hidden Costs of Training

There is no such thing as a free lunch - or training.

There is no such thing as a free lunch - or training.

Let’s take a step back from the bottom line and think about training costs more widely. Training is expensive for a variety of reasons and each organization faces different obstacles when trying to get their people trained. Small organizations have to train all their people while maintaining deployment. Large organizations need to train high numbers of personnel at the same time in a consistent manner. All challenging.

If you have some time, take a look at our ongoing article about training obstacles and the hidden costs of training. This article is driven by our In-service Training Concerns and Solutions Survey. In this survey, we try and understand the costs that different law enforcement organizations face, what their training requirements are, what training they want, and how to overcome obstacles.

If you are a law enforcement supervisor, manager, or leader - please take the survey. We want to hear from you.



Survey respondents (LE leadership, managers, and supervisors) indicate online training is a viable way of reducing costs for them because officers can train during their shifts. Respondents also report both travel costs AND deployment/overtime as cost incurred for training. Online training help alleviate both.

Online versus Instructor-led Training

As you know, there is three general types training – instructor-led, online, and blended. You might be less familiar with blended learning; it involves a mix of online and instructor-led training. The method you use depends on the type of training you want to provide; you can’t learn to shoot online, but you can learn the parts of the firearm, steps for cleaning it, and be introduced to safety precautions and do’s and don’ts at the range.

Importantly, a 2010 Department of Education study that online and instructor-led training was statistically equivalent in terms of learning outcomes, which means that as long as they are designed the right way, each is a valid approach.

Instructor-led training also offers several benefits. It allows the trainees to quickly and easily ask questions. Also, if given the opportunity to work in groups and conduct role-playing exercises, trainees have the opportunity to learn from each other. These are all really important.

Online training also offers a number of benefits. It can save time and money. It can be used to target a geographically remote workforce who work on different shifts. It allows a consistent message and trainees can more easily be evaluated on what they learned. Depending on the program, trainees may be able to refer back to the materials as needed when doing their job.

Sounds perfect for law enforcement. But it is not a magic bullet, and cannot be used to replace the interactive training LE needs.



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