Recently, I was coaching a couple of colleagues to become better trainers, guys who were consultants in Benefits Realisation Management. Fairly early on we considered the distinctions between training and consultancy.
The first observation they made was that the focus of consultancy is the group - the business unit or organisation - whereas the best kind of trainers always focus on individuals, even in a classroom setting.
This led to the second insight: the consultant has a formal contract with the organisation it serves, but the trainer often needs to establish this with each learner from the outset and keep this under review. In the trainer's case there is hardly ever a formal individual contract, and this contract at it's best leaves the ownership of the learning firmly with the learner.
At first sight this seems an odd and irresponsible position for a trainer to maintain, but if you have ever had any experience in training the last thing you want to hear is the following:
Trainer: So why did you come on this course?
Learner: My boss sent me.
All trainers over time come to dread hearing this. No learner ownership.