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Institute of IT Trainers - Freelance Trainer of the Year 2006 & 2009
Liverpool Business Connect Member
  Maximum Impact Solutions Limited - Reporting Solutions, Creating Answers
Reporting Solutions - Creating Answers, Crystal Reports, Dashboarding (Xcelsius) & SQL Reporting Services

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09
August

An Freelance IT Trainer Dilemna

Being a freelance IT trainer, there are many a time that you will face the dilemna of doing what is ethically and morally right for you.

I am constantly asked what should I do?, and as I said there is no right or wrong, so as a bit of fun, I though I what find out what others would do.

The scenario is that you have worked with a Training Agency, lets say called Training Agency Ltd, for over 10 years, delivering approximately 10 days of ad-hoc training per year.

You have a associate/freelance trainer contract, detailing the usual clauses, including cancellation times, payment terms, and the all important No Contact/Compeition, better known as no poaching client clause, of 12 months, from your last training assignment.

You recently delivered a 2 day course for Training Agency Ltd, to one of their clients, lets call them Big Training Co Ltd.

Big Training Co Ltd, then contacts you asking you to work directly for them as a sub-contractor, thus allowing them to by-pass Training Agency Ltd, and send you a sub-contractor/associate contract to sign, again with the usual suspects, cancellation times, payment terms, and the all important No Contact/Compeition, better known as no poaching client clause, of 12 months, from your last training assignment.

So what do you do?

Do you:

  1. Sign the contract, and do not tell Training Agency Ltd -
    They don't provide that much work for me, and this is a great opportunity.

  2. Sign the contract, and do not tell Training Agency Ltd -
    Nothing Personal it's just business

  3. Do not sign the contract -
    I have a contract the Training Agency Ltd, and I should honour it

  4. Do not sign contract -
    I do not want to work with such an underhand company

  5. Do not sign the contract and tell Training Agency Ltd, that Big Training Co Ltd has approached you directly

  6. Other



This is just a bit of fun, but I would interested to hear your comments about this scenario
1

Julia

10
October
I have and I would always go for option E.

I like to work with all my clients with complete transparency, that way I am not having to remember any slightly unhand thing I could do.

Things maybe hard and/or tough out there in the training market, but this is no reason, to forget you integrity and ethics.
2

Teresa

14
November
I've been in this position a couple of times and said no, so option C. I once worked via an agency for 250 a day for a couple of years, and if I'd accepted the offer would have made nearly double that, which is probably about 40,000 difference, a big price to pay for a principle! I did go to the agent though and renegotiated a slightly higher rate, but without threatening to go direct or anything. result - I still work with that agent 15 years later.
3

Julia

15
November
Hi Teresa, thank you for taking the time to respond to this post. It's always a tricky one, but in business you are what your reputation is. Like you all the agencies I work with now, I have worked with for over 10 years, but they only form 10% of my revenue, all the rest of my work comes from customers I cultivated directly.

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