Training Course Suppliers

Article modified: July 2021, Author:


There are a number of specialist training organisations (as well as individual trainers) working in the sector. One of the advantages of using these is that their courses are often very valuable ways of making contact with others, with similar interests and problems. The trainers may also offer participants the chance to contact them on real life ‘on the job’ issues after the course – why not ask!

Those listed below are generally providing ‘stand alone’ training, without a vested interest in selling you something else alongside. We have separated out those which are also interested in providing consultancy or do training as a spin-off.

Also check locally – many CVS, Community Accountancy Projects and some local councils provide basic training for community organisations and others. See Local Contacts, and not just those where we have mentioned course availability.

Also see: Training Resources page for help on putting on your own courses.

Short courses – key players

  • Directory of Social Change A comprehensive range of training courses covering most issues that are on VolResource, and also fundraising. Most courses are held in London.
    London: 352 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA
    Liverpool: Federation House, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BW. Phone 0151 708 0117, email:
  • The Management Centre Provides a wide range of management and fundraising training, in-house courses and consultancy for the not-for-profit sector. Blue Jay Works, 117 Gauden Road, London, SW4 6LE, phone 020 7978 1516, email:
  • NCVO Conferences, seminars etc. Regent’s Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL. Phone 020 7713 6161.
  • Northern Ireland CVA Phone 028 9087 7777, email:
  • Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations A good selection of short courses, plus other training services. The Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB, phone 0131 556 3882, email:
  • The Centre for Strategy and Communication “We help public sector and non profit organisations transform the way they communicate”. Courses in Media and Communication, Leadership and Management, Administration. 140 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BJ, phone 020 7490 3030, email:
  • Wales Council for Voluntary Action Phone 029 2043 1721 (Wendy Gilbert), email:


Many regional and local voluntary sector infrastructure bodies such as CVS run sector-specific training courses – see Local Contacts. The quality can vary greatly, especially if delivered by their own staff.

Other Suppliers

Note: those with clear and relevant web sites are more likely to get a listing here!

  • AM Training has a volunteer management speciality.
  • BHT Training A spin-off from a Sussex homelessness charity, offering a range of courses for similar/local organisations – from front-line issues to management and IT.
  • CharitySkills Legal and governance training.
  • Clinks Courses for voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families.
  • Clore Leadership Trust aims to train and develop leaders for the cultural and charity sector.
  • Communique Bid writing, fundraising, presentation skills, public speaking, management and personal development courses specifically for the voluntary sector, plus short courses in central Birmingham. Phone 01384 895633, email:
  • deafPLUS ‘Deaf Awareness’, ‘Total Communication’ and ‘Sign Language and Communication Skills’ course for those working with the public. Also fully accessible training to deaf people on a variety of topics including ‘NEBS Management Training’. See web site for regional office contacts.
  • Empower, based in Abercynon, South Wales, is a training and support provider for the voluntary, community and public sector and can operate across the country.
  • Fircroft College Short residential courses (leadership and management and others) at Fircroft College of Adult Education, set in six acres of attractive gardens and grounds in Selly Oak, Birmingham.
  • The Glass House offers design courses, advice and support to tenants, residents and professionals working in neighbourhoods undergoing change and renewal. Courses held at Trafford Hall, Chester.
  • Helplines Partnership Programme of courses across the UK and Ireland for helpline volunteers, staff and managers.
  • Homeless Link provides training in key frontline skills to those working directly with homeless people, and also from its Supported Housing Alliance programme. Short courses at venues in London, Manchester and Leeds, as well as tailored in-house training.
  • Housing Rights Service Northern Ireland.
  • Chartered Institute of Fundraising ‘Developed by Fundraisers for Fundraisers’. Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW8, phone 020 7978 2768.
  • LEAP Confronting Conflict“addresses issues of conflict, violence and mediation in the lives of young people and those who work with them”. Some training course titles: Setting Up a Peer Training Programme, Young Men and Anger, Facilitating Confronting Conflict Work. London.
  • Legal Services Agency Seminars on homelessness and the law, education law etc. Based in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • Relate Northern Ireland Short and fully accredited courses include relationship education; counselling skills; personal and emotional development; pre-marriage; pre-retirement; coping with transitions etc. Relate N.I, 76 Dublin Road, Belfast, BT2 7HP, phone 028 9023454, email:
  • Seeds for Change providing free training on all aspects of campaigning work for grassroots groups involved in Environmental and Social Justice issues.
  • Shelter Training Inhouse or public programmes (central London, Manchester and York). Course topic include: Housing Aid and Advice; Housing Law and Rights to Housing; Homelessness; Arrears, Benefits and Welfare Rights; Court Proceedings; Working with Clients; Communication and Inter-personal Skills; Management and Supervision. From £85 per day, phone 020 7490 6720.
  • Sitra Over 300 courses to support the professional development of individuals and teams working in the housing support and care sector.
  • The Social Value UK (was SROI Network) is an international organisation which supports, promotes and trains people in Social Return on Investment methodology. This can help your organisation with assessing impact, targeting resources and increasing your social value.
  • Women’s Resource Centre run a range of useful courses (e.g. Introduction to Business Planning) at reasonable cost for women’s groups in London.
  • NCVO’s Working For A Charity online course for those wanting to enter the sector.

Courses and Consultancy

  • Chapel and York Seminars on US fundraising opportunities.
  • Charity Consultants Ltd ‘Prospecting for Gold, Fundraising Training Courses’ General and ‘sector specific’ courses at Basic and Intermediary levels, mainly held in London, WC1. Little Holme, Station Road, Shiplake, Henley on Thames, Oxon, RG9 3JS. Phone 0118 940 1016, email:
  • Charities Evaluation Services ‘Training in approaches to monitoring, self-evaluation and quality assurance.’ Prices are very reasonable for small organisations. 4 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL. Phone 020 7713 5722, email:
  • Company Solutions runs over a 100 fundraising courses a year.

Other Consultancy Services providers will often provide training, so see that page too.

Other sources of trainers

Management Development Network A source of independent management trainers and consultants working in the sector. Directory costs £15, but much of the info is also on the web site. Phone 020 7232 0726.

Also see under Finding Courses on Professional Development page.

Online Courses

As this has become more established, some training providers listed above may also provide online options.

See Professional Qualifications if you are looking for more in-depth online or distance training.  IT trainers are under Computer Services.

Specific sector interest


  • ALISON, developed in Ireland, has a mission “to enable anyone, anywhere to education themselves for free”. Can arrange certification too.
  • FutureLearn A ‘MOOC’ (massive open online course) provider with a wide range of courses from a range of universities, developed by the Open University. Topics of interest have included community/hyper-local media, various business skills.
  • ICS has a range of business, childcare and other courses for home study.
  • LearnDirect The government supported initiative. Some online courses seem to require enrolment at an offline study centre! Includes a Managing Volunteers course.
  • Learning Pool.
  • Virtual Training Suite A set of online tutorials designed to help students, lecturers and researchers improve their Internet information skills. Topics include Social Work.

Directories and resources

  • ItrainOnline is a joint initiative of six organisations with expertise in computer and Internet training in developing countries. Multimedia section includes community radio.
  • TrainingZone (see Training Resources) runs regular workshops online, and reports back on them.

US and Canada


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