Simulated crisis scenarios are frequently cited as effective tools for organisational and individual learning. The issue is raised that simulation exercises may concentrate learning outcomes for exercise designers, facilitators and observers (the consultants). In contrast, learning outcomes for players (the clients) may be more difficult to define or measure. The authors wish to challenge the notion of organisational learning as a package to be delivered fait accompli, and offer a rival argument that the role of consultants is to empower organisations to learn for themselves and continue after the consultants have left. The paper reviews contemporary theories of learning and considers the commercial and ethical questions about the relationship between consultants and the teams targeted for training.