Bertelsmann case study

Standardized language training delivers quality and impact

Bertelsmann logo

Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. The company has 126,000 employees and generated revenues of €18.0 billion in the 2019 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship, delivering first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.

Business Challenge

While its core markets are situated in Europe and the USA. Bertelsmann is also increasing its activities in China, India and Brazil. For the employees of this globally active company, professional communication at an international level is a central training objective.

Within Germany, foreign language training is organized by the Bertelsmann Academy, who developed clear requirements for a language learning partner:

  • The development of a multilingual online learning platform for employees.
  • The planning, implementation and coordination of job-related, face-to-face online and offline training for Bertelsmann’s national and (in future) international workforce, with multilingual customer services.
  • The central grading of language proficiency levels for all employees in line with standard written and oral processes according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • A standardized online needs assessment, to serve as a basis for the planning of course content.
  • Central reporting for all training at organization and country-level in line with tailor-made processes and formats.


Learnship was able to meet Bertelsmann’s requirements to develop a high-quality centralized language learning and development program, featuring:

  • A wide range of high-quality, individual foreign language training programs for all locations with a user-friendly platform for employees, trainers and HR managers.
  • A blended learning solution with a virtual classroom and an e-learning program to accompany lessons.
  • The administration of all training with effective processes, standardized data collection, and centralized reporting.
  • A central learning management system with uniform standards for course management and quality control.
  • The administration of individualized processes and designs for all aspects of training coordination, integrated into Bertelsmann’s own internal systems.


Before its collaboration with Learnship, Bertelsmann worked together with many large and local providers in order to offer its employees courses in different locations.

The coordination of the numerous providers entailed high administrative costs. The total budget was dislocated and quality assurance was extremely difficult to manage.

By working with Learnship as its master services provider, Bertelsmann Academy has managed to improve training quality, while reducing costs.

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