Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the standard group size?

  • We develop our courses for an optimum number of 16 - 20 participants in each group.
  • The better the ratio of trainer to participants, the more chance there is for the trainer to give personal support and guidance.
  • For larger groups training delivery will have to be different from our usual style to suit the participants and the logistics of training.

2. How is course success measured?

  • Course participants are assessed 4 times during a 40-hour course. These assessment points are included in the course outline and provide the client with a good idea of how the participants are improving in the course. 
  • If requested by the client, we can do an initial (pre-course) assessment in which the learners’ written or spoken language is recorded and compared with a similar (post-course) assessment task at the end of the course. The comparison will show the participants’ progress as a result of the training.

3. Are courses delivered for different levels (pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced etc.)?

The courses are skills-based and designed suitable for a range of levels. 

  • There is an initial needs analysis and placement stage before the start of the course. This initial stage helps the team to design and develop course content for the particular participants and make it relevant to their language proficiency. 
  • Workshops are delivered without a placement session and the focus is on the development of a specific skill which is independent of the participants’ level of language proficiency. However, participants should be intermediate in order to understand the course materials and communicate with other participants and the trainer. 

4. What is the purpose of the placement session and needs analysis?

  • Our trainers develop appropriate training content which is suitable for participants and matches their linguistic needs and abilities. Therefore, the placement session results are part of our needs analysis process and give us a clear idea of the general language abilities of the course participants. 
  • The client will also have a general idea of the participants’ overall language proficiency before the start of training. 

5. What is the necessary English level to take part in the workshops?

  • There is no placement session for the workshops and ideally the participants should be at least at an intermediate level (B1 level of English proficiency) to be able to communicate with each other and benefit from the training. 


6. Can we ask for a native speaker trainer?

Yes, you can but did you know that: 

  • English is the official language in over 50 sovereign states and there are hundreds of dialects and accents which are all considered native varieties of English, but they are not all considered standard English. 
  • People who speak English as their second or third language outnumber native speakers by about 3 to 1. 
  • We communicate with people from different countries every day and we need to be trained to understand a wide range of accents. 
  • In leading ELT organisations, high proficiency in English is an important criterion in the recruitment and ongoing assessment of English language teachers and not their ‘nativeness’, as the best teachers of English are those with experience and professional preparation in their field, regardless of their own linguistic backgrounds. 
  • Non-native English speakers usually possess an advanced understanding of cultural sensitivity and are excellent role models for English learners. 

7. Are all PDC trainers native speakers?

The British Council is an equal opportunities organisation and trainers are employed on the merits of their educational background, professionalism, teaching/training abilities and experience. As a result, there are both native and non-native trainers who carry a wealth of experience in delivering training and workshops in a variety of contexts internationally. 

8. Can we ask solely for accuracy improvement during the course?

  • Our goal is to help participants communicate ideas effectively in English. The speaker may still make errors but they should not cause miscommunication. 
  • When we talk about “accuracy”, we refer to the correctness of the language being produced by the speaker. However, we find that just because a speaker focuses on accuracy does not mean they will be capable of producing effective communication. 
  • We aim to build confidence so participants are able to communicate more fluently. Our accuracy practice is guided by key errors made by the group that hinder the delivery of a clear message. 
  • Given time constraints, we aim to give participants the tools they need to follow up with more accuracy practice to suit their needs. 


9. What are the advantages of customised content over book-based courses?

  • Most coursebooks are Euro/US centric and do not offer enough local context for some learners (who do not work in a multinational context for example). 
  • Most coursebooks follow a similar grammar syllabus. The needs of the group are rarely linear. Customisation makes sure no time is wasted and that participants get to focus on exactly what they need. 
  • Many Business English participants are looking for more skills practice which means many books need to be adapted/customised by the trainer anyway. 


If you would like to register for our public workshops, please contact us at 03-2723 7900 or register online.



Next steps and registration

For our customised courses please follow the below step-by-step guide.



You can contact the Professional Development Centre by:

Whatsapp +6017 475 7900

Kuala Lumpur:   (03) 2723 7900

Penang:             (04) 263 0330

Fill in our enquiry form

Talk to us about peninsular wide training from Penang to Johor including Iskandar Malaysia as well as in Sabah and Sarawak.

We will contact you to setup the next stage.



Set a date for a face-to-face meeting at your premises when we will establish your needs and suggest relevant training options.



We will produce a proposal containing:

  • the course outline
  • suggested course timings
  • pricing



If you have your own unique procurement system we will sign your local order or submit a tender, otherwise we will issue a contract.

The emphasis in this process is firmly on communication so that we can design the course your organisation wants and needs.

We look forward to hearing from you!