Executive coach training. Business coach training. Life coach training… There any number of reasons why people decide to train as a coach and an equally large number of coach training courses to choose from in the UK.
Coaching skills can enhance your career opportunities; make you more valuable to your existing employer, or more attractive on the jobs market. But if you do decide to become a coach it’s important to find the right coach training course for you.
Which is the best UK coach training course?
There are many coaching training courses out there and it can be hard to choose between them. So here are our 10 tips based on the questions people ask when choosing coach training.
1. Why do you want to train as a coach?
Some people choose to take a coach training course after redundancy, or before applying for jobs after a period away from work – such as to raise a family, or care for a sick or elderly relative. Another advantage of choosing coaching as career is that it can be developed as a part time or self-employed role that can be flexed around other commitments.
You may be looking for a complete career change and thinking of starting your own coaching business. You may want to formalise your coaching skills through a properly accredited coaching course because you’ve found yourself coaching by default. People in this position include everyone from businesses advisers and brokers to yoga teachers and therapists in a variety of fields.
You may be interested in coach training as part of your personal development, rather than because you want to practice as a coach. That’s perfectly fine. But be honest. Ask yourself some questions such as: what is the significance of attaining a recognised certificate in coaching for you personally – confidence, credibility, having a USP? Do you want a taste of coaching or a deep dive?
And keep in mind that as you progress through your chosen coach training course your confidence and desire to practice as a coach may grow.
2. Why is coaching course accreditation important?
Choose a coach training course that has been properly accredited by a recognised and respected organisation.
But there are other organisations covering other fields where you plan to use your coaching skills. Check with the professional body you are considering joining after you qualify as a coach.
3. What are the main types of coaching you can train for?
You make be looking to acquire specific skills in life and personal coaching or executive and business coaching. When you look at the course details, see what they say about these areas. If you are unsure what branch of coaching you wish to pursue, choose a course that gives you a strong, broad grounding.
If you choose a well rounded coach training programme it will give you more options once you qualify, particularly when looking to register with the professional body relevant to the coaching field which you final settle on.
It’s important to have a plan but how that plan develops may change as you acquire coaching skills and learn more about areas such as Clean Language, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), neuroscience and coaching and the whole range of areas where coaching skills can prove valuable.
4. What should be covered in a coach training course syllabus?
When researching coach training programmes take a detailed look at the syllabus. What areas are covered? Does it offer a combination of tried and trusted coaching techniques, alongside newer and developing fields?
See what information is available about the coach training tutors and their own expertise. Does the course sound practical and hands on, or more academic? Which would be most suited to your own learning style? What do you need In order to learn at your best? Do you like learning in large or small groups? Do you prefer distance or face to face learning; or a blended approach?
5. What are the main coaching course requirements you may be faced with?
What are the main course requirements and can you meet them? How many contact teaching hours are involved? Where will the course take place and when? How long does the course take? How much personal study time will be involved and what sort of written work (or evidence of practical work) will you be required to produce? What time can you commit given your current schedule?
A properly accredited coaching course will be demanding. A good course should be blend of coaching theory and practical skills development and the coach training course organisers should support you, helping you succeed. But do the hours and requirements fit with your personal commitments?
6. What happens after you qualify as a coach?
For example, is there an alumni you can stay in touch with and do the programme providers offer any Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events for coaches after you gain your certificate?
7. What do people who have attended a coach training course have to say after they qualify?
There is nothing more valuable that hearing from someone who has already successfully completed a coach training course programme. Successful coaches come from all walks of life. Look for coaching course testimonials from people who most reflect your own background, or the coaching path you may want to pursue after you qualify.
8. Can you speak to the course organisers?
There may be a lot of written material about the coaching training course, but it’s also worth speaking with someone before making you final decision.
Have a few questions jotted down and then ask to speak to someone on the phone. There is a lot written about the importance of chemistry when you starting working with people as a coach.
What is the chemistry like between you and your potential coach training course provider?
9.What is the cost of the coach training course and what is your personal budget?
Be realistic about what you can afford. Employers may pay for, or subsidise participation in coaching courses because the skills will be valuable in any number of roles, particularly for those taking on leadership and managerial roles, or earmarked for such roles in the future.
Check to see if course fees can be paid in stages, or ask if they will make a payment plan for you – such as monthly direct debit payments. You may consider borrowing money to pay for a coaching course but be realistic about your ability to pay the money back. No qualification is worth acquiring a debt that you cannot pay back comfortably. Better to wait. But do check to see if the programme organisers know of any sponsorship or bursary programmes available.
10. Be honest with yourself
Training as a coach can be an amazing, life-changing experience, but before you sign on the dotted line ask yourself – is coach training right for you? Or is the timing right? It might it be better to wait 6 months, or a year. What does your gut say? Intuition is an important skill for a coach, so use it. Consider this: If someone like me asked my advice about training as a coach, what would I say?
And good luck!