It can be really hard to know where to start when looking for a coach training course. There are so many institutes, awarding bodies, endorsements and qualifications available it can be a mine field just to understand them all.
There is no straight forward answer to this but there are a number of things to look out for or understand when looking for a course:
1) If you like practical, hands on learning where you will actually practise being a coach then make sure the content of the programme has this element.
2) If you like theory and academia, then again make sure the course features these elements.
3) Does the coaching company ‘walk their talk’? If you answer no to any of these questions then think hard about WHY:
Does the website give clear, open messages? Is the information readily available or do you have to ring a call centre or office to get the information needed? If you do have to; is the call easy going, do they listen and answer your questions directly, do they check if the course is right for you and find out what you want to do with the training to check it is the best choice for you?
4) Does the coaching company offer the opportunity to attend a day on the training course for you to observe them in practise and not just a ‘set up’ day? They should also offer the opportunity to speak to a number of past delegates and have testimonials at the ready.
5) Which qualification? ask yourself; What do you need the training for and where do you plan to work? If you want to work across a variety of sectors or businesses then you may well be suited to a University accredited qualification that it is universally understood and recognised and an indisputable mark of quality and attainment. If you will be working in a very niche or narrow sector or coaching will only form a small part of your skill set then any coaching course that gives you a sound set of practical coaching skills should be adequate.
6) Awarding Bodies – there are a wealth of awarding bodies out there. Among them are: EMCC, ICF and AofC. They are all doing a fantastic job to raise and maintain the standards within the coaching industry. However there is still not one umbrella organisation for the coaching industry. The Coaching industry is moving further towards becoming regulated and we are often asked what will the regulations be? We draw upon past experience and knowledge of the same processes that the counselling and psychotherapy sectors went through to reach regulatory standards. To adhere to the regulations the following is expected:
1) University qualified or award by the governing body
2) Regular Supervision
3) Continual Professional Development
4) Professional Indemnity Insurance
7) Future Proofing: If you are making coaching a main part of your role or business offerings then you need to make sure you future proof yourself as best you can. Make sure that the course you choose covers all of the above 4 points as well as being a good fit to your way of learning.