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Making the choice to train your team in Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing is an investment that improves your internal and external communications, helps avoid problems, increases the quality of your work and generally makes the production process more efficient. But while the benefits of having GD&T knowledge throughout your organization are huge, getting your people up to speed is not without costs.

Not only do you have to pay for the training itself, but your people have to take time away from their work in order to receive instruction in GD&T. Of course, all those costs – deviations, failed parts, scrap, and wasted time dealing with issues – are offset by having a staff well-versed in GD&T who can manage issues efficiently and avoid many problems altogether.

To maximize the benefits and minimize the costs, you want to be intentional about the type of training you choose so that you can properly manage the impact on your day-to-day operations.

There are two main options when it comes to GD&T training:

  • Live Instructor training:
    Live trainings are either onsite or virtual, and students are taught by one of our instructors in-person or using video conferencing software at specific times. Live trainings customize the curriculum to use your prints and utilize examples from your production process.
  • On-demand training:
    The on-demand training program provides self-paced instruction through standardized video lessons and examples that students can access at any time.

We also offer hybrid training programs that augment primary online training with live consulting sessions with an instructor.

Key considerations when choosing a training method

Each training option has its advantages and disadvantages, which can shift depending upon who is receiving the training – learning to apply GD&T can be more involved than learning to interpret GD&T on a print. So, hands-on, live training may be more beneficial for your design department, especially considering that our instructors are well versed in designing for manufacturability and creating inspection-friendly designs. Meanwhile, it’s most important for your production department to be able read your prints accurately, so for them, on-demand training may be the appropriate choice.

To make the right choice, you should start by asking: how urgent is your need for training? For some, a project may be starting in 6 months that will require the use GD&T. For others, using GD&T may be a more immediate requirement for working with a new customer. Next, consider how much flexibility you need to get the training done while maintaining the production levels required to run your business. The answers to both of those questions will help you clarify your overall training timeline.

Once you understand your time constraints, it’s time to consider whether customized training is necessary to keep your team engaged and accountable, and which training method best accommodates your team’s learning style. And last, but not least, you’ve got to consider which pricing structure works for your business.

The chart below and the article that follows break down the key considerations for companies buying GD&T training and identify the relevant elements of each option. By evaluating their strengths and weaknesses you can figure out what training solution is best for you.

Click the links below to jump to a specific training consideration

Ease and Flexibility of Training

While training is important, we know that your business has to remain functional to realize the benefits of the training! While some outfits can afford to pull their people off the floor for a full day in the classroom, many companies need more flexibility to balance the needs of training with production. At GD&T Basics, we’ve developed on-site, online, and on-demand training programs that work well no matter what your time constraints are.

Live In-Person:

Our on-site training is usually comprised of two 8-hour training days, though we can break it up into half-day sessions. That’s a large chunk of time to carve out, but ultimately, our onsite training compresses the course into as short a timeline as possible.

While incredibly efficient, this option has the least flexibility. Training occurs at fixed times, and requires employees to be in a single location at the same time for back-to-back training days. Additionally, security measures and accommodations may be required for the instructor to visit your facility, and extending an instructor’s stay to accommodate schedules significantly increases the cost of training.

Live Virtual:

Live virtual training provides more flexibility than on-site, because employees can be remote and in multiple locations. However, training still happens during specific times that require many employees to be “off the floor.” Our virtual program utilizes half-day instructional periods, adjustable to your needs. And while we prefer using Microsoft Teams or Zoom, our instructors can use your video conferencing software of choice.


Training on-demand gives your team maximum flexibility, since it allows your people to train at their own pace at times that won’t interfere with their work. Materials are available 24-hours a day – on mobile devices and computers at work or at home – and students get immediate access once the training has been purchased. And even after lessons are completed, students can go back and review them at any time.

The on-demand option allows your company to avoid lost productivity, but completing the coursework generally takes much longer than our live options. And remember, the self-paced nature of on-demand training requires more self-motivation from students and requires managing their progress to maximize the benefits of training.

Training Timelines

Live: In-person and Virtual:

Generally, in-person trainings average 1-4 days, depending on the courses you choose, while virtual trainings take 2-8 days. Our instructors’ travel schedules are booked 1-2 months out for live in-person training. Similarly, live virtual trainings are regularly booked 1-2 months out, though there may be more availability for virtual, half-day trainings.


Our online program gives students 12 months of access for any course or bundle from the day you purchase the training, so there are no scheduling requirements. Because the basics GD&T Fundamentals program takes about 20 hours (more or less, depending upon the specific course), if your people can carve out 45 minutes a day to train, they’ll finish in about a month.

Customization, Accountability & Engagement

Given that the point of training is to get students up to speed on GD&T, you want to make sure the training program you choose keeps them engaged with the material. At GD&T Basics, our approach is to simplify GD&T concepts to make them relevant and easy to understand, not merely evangelize the ASME Y14.5 standard. Unlike other training programs, our focus is on teaching practical frameworks that apply to the actual work our students do, not having them memorize engineering theory they’ll never use.

We believe that GD&T is the best way to ensure a universal interpretation of your drawings and streamline the manufacturing process, not complicate it.

Live: In-person and Virtual

Every student gets the benefit of our unique approach, but there are clear advantages with live training when it comes to customizing the curriculum and keeping students engaged and on task. And there are even greater advantages to onsite training over its virtual counterpart.

For all live training, we ensure that students get the attention they deserve by limiting class size to 20 people or less, so larger groups will be split into smaller sessions. And, whether virtual or in-person, all of our live trainers are Senior Level Certified GD&T instructors, and they fully customize the curriculum and content to incorporate your drawings and discuss your specific problems and needs.

Our instructors have decades of experience teaching GD&T, and are adept at weaving in Q&A sessions, knowledge checks and practice exercises to keep students on their toes. Plus, live trainees also get 90-day access to our online resources after their training – which includes live and recorded webinars, a public forum, and question line.

And when it comes to onsite training, our instructors have been in enough classrooms to know what it looks like when a student isn’t paying attention – so they’re skilled at keeping everyone engaged and fully accountable – though being in the room makes it easier to see when students tune out. Plus, being at the facility means the instructor can observe your methods and processes to lead deeper discussions into how GD&T can affect the work you do.

Neither of those advantages is available with virtual training, since the instructor isn't present to observe your people or your production and inspection processes.


With on-demand training, it can be challenging to keep some people engaged with the material. Our instructional videos are standardized with universal examples and the program is self-paced, so students select when and what they’re going to learn.

Unlike other online training courses, GD&T Basics students also gain access to our live and recorded webinars and question line videos which provide further practical application instruction and some custom real-world examples. Plus, they can use our direct instructor question line to get answers to their specific queries.

And while we incorporate quizzes and testing, and provide the ability to assign a group admin to your team to access progress reports to hold students accountable, we recommend you form a plan to monitor your staff’s progress and motivate them to integrate and apply what they learn.

GD&T Basics can also integrate the coursework with your internal learning management system (LMS) if you have 50 or more people taking the training. However, we cannot provide access to webinars, the question line or public forum through an LMS.

Team Culture and Learning Style

During our many years as GD&T training consultants, we’ve worked with hundreds of customers. That experience has informed our training methods so we can better accommodate different learning styles, motivation levels and team cultures. Below you’ll find a breakdown of each type of training we offer, along with the kinds of learning styles and team cultures our experience has shown to work best for each.

Live On-Site Training:


  • Learn best face to face
  • Learn best from own parts/prints
  • Thrive with traditional classroom learning
  • Are assigned GD&T training (as opposed to teams asking for training)
  • Are on the shop floor or are without continuous access to computers
  • Require some supervision for accountability


  • Consist of self and fast-paced learners
  • Are highly differentiated levels of experience with GD&T
  • Have short attention spans or get overloaded by information during 8-hour training days

Live Virtual Training:


  • Learn best with live instructor
  • Learn best from own parts/prints
  • Thrive with remote learning
  • Are assigned GD&T training (as opposed to teams asking for training)
  • Require some supervision for accountability


  • Consist of self and fast-paced learners
  • Are highly differentiated levels of experience with GD&T
  • Prefer traditional in-person classroom learning

On-Demand Training:


  • Are large or small groups
  • Thrive with remote learning
  • Have a growth mindset
  • Are short on time or have busy work schedules
  • Are technically savvy
  • Are self or fast-paced learners
  • Prefer learning using reference materials


  • Learn best with live instruction
  • Learn best from their own parts and prints
  • Have low motivation and require supervision

Pricing Structure and the True Costs of Training

All of our live training is priced per class (of 20 students or less), plus travel costs for an on-site instructor -- virtual live training eliminates the need for travel, which cuts costs by almost 50%. On-demand training is priced per person with no limit on how many people can access the training program, and group and bundle discounts are available – so it’s the least expensive option on a per-student basis.

In pricing terms, on-site training is the most expensive, followed by live virtual training and finally on-demand training. And logic seems to dictate that on-site training costs the most in terms of lost productivity, because you’re taking employees out of work for training. Meanwhile, virtual training allows students to still work half days, and on-demand training can occur in the white spaces of workdays to ensure there’s no drop off in productivity.

However, the true cost of training doesn’t only account for the training price and work time lost to the classroom. It also must account for the savings that come from the immediate application of GD&T knowledge to the work you do. The sooner your team starts using Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, the sooner you start saving money by reducing your number of deviations, failed parts and scrap. Not only that, your manufacturing and inspection teams won’t be wasting their time asking for clarifications about drawings, so their productivity will increase after training.

So, while on-site training may have the most up-front costs, it also offers the quickest path to reaping the benefits of GD&T and offsetting the costs of training – so ultimately, it may be the most economical choice. Plus, you’ve got to consider that virtual and online training requires access to computing devices (and probably headphones) for everyone receiving the training.

Hybrid Training

Now, you may be wondering if there is some way to combine the engagement and accountability benefits of a live instructor with the flexibility of on-demand training. Well, that’s why GD&T Basics has developed hybrid training programs that are customized combinations of live virtual and on-demand training!

Our hybrid methods combine on-demand lessons and progress reports with live consultations to deliver the flexibility of incremental remote learning with the increased accountability and engagement that comes from live instruction.

Our most common hybrid method enrolls your team in our online course, then augments that on-demand coursework with 4 (or more) hours of 1-on-1 consulting with a live instructor. The on-demand material must be completed by all students – and verified through progress reports -- before the live instruction is scheduled. That means increased accountability to finish the coursework in a timely fashion. This system has the advantage of allowing your team to study at their pace, then ask questions and apply what they’ve learned on company drawings with a live instructor present to confirm and reinforce their understanding.

Other clients have found success doing live training with managers, team leads, and other higher-level personnel, while the rest of staff do self-paced training. This allows those who complete the live training to implement changes immediately, and support the rest of the team as they move through the on-demand coursework.

Hybrid training can provide the best value in relation to costs because it has a low on-demand training price and the ability to leverage live training on an "a-la-carte" basis to pay for as much or as little 1:1 instruction as you need.

Because of its combination of live and on-demand, hybrid training is suited for:

  • Most learning styles
  • Teams that learn best face to face
  • Teams that learn best from own parts/prints
  • Those who require supervision/accountability
  • Large groups
  • Teams that thrive with remote learning
  • Teams with a growth mindset
  • Teams short on time or have busy work schedules
  • Technically savvy teams
  • Self and fast-paced learners
  • Teams that like reference materials

But you should consider a different training method if:

  • Realtime Q&A during training is required
  • Those on shop floor don’t have continuous access to computers

Making the Decision

Now you know the differences between live, on-demand and hybrid training and can (hopefully) figure out which training is right for you. If you know, or even if you still don’t, contact us today – we’re here to help! We’ll make sure you get the right GD&T training for your team.