Because coaching is a growing, yet unregulated industry, there are a lot of companies out there offering coach training. It is essential for aspiring coaches to do their own research and pick a training programme that will give them the proper resources to be successful in supporting others.
Given the vast offer and the average price of a coach training, we thought it was important to give you some pointers on what to look for. These elements below are not requirements, but they will ensure that you have as much information as possible before committing to a programme.
Full disclosure: we are a coach training provider, so we are obviously a little biased. We have seen too many people join our programme after completing an initial coaching course they thought was great, only to discover it just had great marketing. Some of these coaches later had to complete our training to finally receive a proper coach education focused on coaching skills and practice. This article is intended to save you time and money when choosing who to train with.
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The course curriculum will tell you what is covered during the programme as well as how the learning is delivered. It is usually accessible on the programme’s page or as a downloadable brochure. If you do not see any information on the curriculum, make sure to contact the training provider to enquire about it.
Some things to pay attention to:
- Is there a good mix of theory and practice?
- Is the training focusing on coaching skills? If so, which ones?
- Will there be coaching demos by the facilitators, or will you be observed while coaching?
Coaching is a broad spectrum of practices, models and approaches, so it is important to clarify beforehand what coaching style you will learn about. You can get a good sense of it in the “About” section of the website. Training companies usually have a page where they describe their coaching and teaching approach. If they don’t, you should also reach out to them to ask for more information.
Even though a programme accreditation doesn’t guarantee it will be the right one for you, it is a sign that the programme was reviewed by an independent coaching body and met specific requirements in terms of education and content.
The 3 major training accreditation bodies for coaching are:
- The International Coaching Federation (ICF)
- The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)
- The Association for Coaching (AC)
Our advice is to seek a programme that has been accredited by one of these professional bodies. This will greatly facilitate your own credentialing process, should you decide to apply for a coaching accreditation at some point.
THE TRAINER's CREDENTIAL & EXPERIENCE
Beyond the content and the way the training is organised, you want to look into the trainer’s credential and experience. It is essential for trainers of a coaching programme to be experienced coaches themselves, in order to demonstrate the skills they will teach, observe live coaching sessions, and give feedback to participants. They can also have a background in adult education, learning and development or psychology, but the most important is their coaching experience.
What is the training provider offering beyond the coach training? This is a question you want to ask, as the training you will attend is just the beginning of your learning as a coach. Is the training provider offering services like access to a learning platform, resources, a coaching community? Are they providing you with additional resources to support your practice? Are they offering mentor coaching and supervision? These may be free or come with an alumni discount.
ALUMNI TESTIMONIALS & REVIEWS
What is the overall feedback from past participants? Instead of looking at each testimonial or review individually, search for patterns. What themes do come back across the feedback?
You should also be able to find the people who left reviews on Linkedin or Google, to make sure those reviews are legitimate.
Another important element to take into consideration is the customer service provided by the training provider. Is the company replying to you within 24 business hours? Are they professional and helpful? Are they answering your questions? Are they available for a call? Beware of training providers who take days or weeks to reply to you, this is a red flag.
YOUR OVERALL GUT FEELING
Once you have checked all of the information available to you, your overall gut-feeling about the coach training and the training provider is going to be essential for you to finally book the coach training. Intuition is going to play an important role in your practice as a coach, so start using it when choosing the coach training provider you want to work with.
Some questions to reflect upon:
- What is my overall feeling about this provider?
- Do I have enough information about the course?
- Can I trust them with my coaching development?
- Do I like their approach?
Hopefully this article gives you a few pointers that will help you decide which coach training is the one for you.
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