You know the story: Your employees need training on the latest version of Revit, Inventor, or AutoCAD. You are already running on a skeleton crew to rush final construction drawings and 3D models to a client by 5 p.m. on Friday. So how could you possibly let your valued CAD staff out of the office for a three-day training course?

That’s three days of paying your team wages to not be in the office working on chargeable projects. On top of that, there are expenses for travel and hotels for overnight stays if the training is a good distance away. It all seems like too much money to come out of the bottom line.

What do you do? You could ask them to do a training course over a weekend and be away from their families during their limited free time (not good). Or you could sign up for Computer-Based Training (CBT).

CBT is a great way of learning without leaving your desk, and most CBT providers give you the training in “bite-size” chunks so that you can learn in a lunch break or do a quick hour at the end of the workday before heading home. The training comes in the form of DVDs or online classes via web-conferencing software apps.

So now you can be that forward-thinking small-business owner who is not only innovative but looks after their CAD staff. Nice, huh?

I have created Computer-Based Training for a number of clients, either shipping them a DVD with the lessons or giving them login access to the lessons online. There are many apps that provide that desktop-video recording facility. (I use TechSmith Camtasia Studio 8.) Everything is broken down in to short, snappy videos no longer than 10 minutes long, so they’re easy to digest, learn from, and—most importantly—remember.

There are also sites where you can sign up for an online training subscription and stay up to date all the time. From a financial perspective, that means you only need to buy is a decent set of headphones for each of your employees. That surely beats the expense of a three-day course out of the office.

Even better, numerous Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) are adopting this online method of training, too. You can find many CBT resources by searching online, but to start, here are some great CBT courses for AutoCAD and other Autodesk products:

Virtual Training Company; AutoCAD 2013 Essentials: http://www.vtc.com/products/Autodesk-AutoCAD-2013-Essentials-Tutorials.htm

CADgorilla; various Autodesk product courses:

http://www.cadgorilla.com

Lynda.com; various Autodesk product courses:

http://www.lynda.com/search?q=autodesk&x=0&y=0

You can also commission a bespoke CBT course from my company, CADFMconsultants, by contacting us at info@cadfmconsult.co.uk. Here’s my test example of a CBT video:

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