Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is an international media company operating globally in the business areas of television, book, magazine, services and print. The company has more than 100,000 employees and is synonymous with creativity and enterprise.

Starting position

Bertelsmann is represented with media and services in more than 50 countries. Its core markets are situated in Europe and the USA. Bertelsmann is also increasing its activities in China, India and Brazil. Its business units include the RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, Arvato and Be Printers. For the employees of this globally active company, professional communication at an international level is a central training objective. Within Germany, the foreign language training is organised by the Bertelsmann Academy. Before its collaboration with Learnship, Bertelsmann worked together with many large and local providers in order to offer its employees the widest possible range of courses in many different locations. The coordination of the numerous providers entailed high administrative costs. In addition, the total budget was dislocated and quality assurance extremely difficult. Bertelsmann therefore decided to source all future foreign language services through a Master Services Provider.


  • The development of a multilingual online learning platform for languages, through which information could be provided to employees and training organised (Training Management System).
  • 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 standardised online needs assessment, to serve as a basis for the planning of course content.
  • The integration of third party providers into the overall pedagogical concept, digital administration, quality management, invoicing etc.
  • Central reporting for all training at organisation- and country-level in line with tailor-made processes and formats.

The solution with Learnship

  • A wide range of high-quality, individual foreign language training for all locations.
  • The administration of all training with effective processes and the same standards for all measures.
  • A blended learning solution with a virtual classroom and an e-learning program to accompany lessons.
  • The administration of individualized processes and designs for all aspects of training coordination, with interface functions to the company’s own systems.
  • Central reporting that collects all data in the required form.
  • Central learning management system with uniform standards for course management and quality control.
  • User-friendly platform for employees, trainers and HR managers.

Advantages of the Learnship solution 

  • Training and technology from the same source
  • High-quality foreign language training in the form of tailor-made online and offline Face-to-Face training
  • Central uniform language proficiency assessment (written/oral) and assessment of achievement
  • Central management of all training (Learnship online and offline training, training by third party providers) with a streamlined organizational structure
  • Maximum transparency due to participant surveys and comprehensive reports
  • Comprehensive quality management
  • A high level of customization to suit processes and design
  • Services may be rolled out internationally
  • Reduction in costs and improvement in training quality at the same time
  • Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is so pleased with the range of services, that in September 2010, it became an investor in Learnship.