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Most popular training qualifications


Hi there,

I am a careers adviser and have had several redundant clients come to me with an interest in pursuing a career in training.  I can see that there are many different qualifications out there and am trying to find out the difference between them as there is an immense cost difference between some.

The 3 most common seem to be:

TAP (various)

CIPD (various)

Train the Trainer

Could anyone advise me on the difference between these? 

Are there other courses out there?

Which are best regarded by employers?

For any Training employers reading this, do you have any tips for aspiring trainers (types of experience to gain, qualifications, qualities, is it an area with opportunities?)

Many thanks,

Colette Reilly

5 Responses

  1. Training Qualification

    Within the HR population, the CIPD does carry a fair amount of weight. However, as a Chartered Fellow, in over twenty years of providing training, I don’t think I have been asked about it! There is also a fair amount of debate currently going on about how well or not the CIPD supports and represents people in the learning profession so it’s worth looking into that. I too habe the TAPs award but found it marginally useful – it was a client need rather than a personal need. If I were to suggest anything it would be to get a business or OD diploma or masters which has more weight and value outside of the HR profession. If these people already have these qualifications, a really good, accredited Train the Trainer may do the job.Good luck. I’m sure you’ll get a wide range of responses.

  2. Training qualifications


    For all the detail see

    In short, the best known is the CIPD Certificate in Training Practice, but CIPD qualifications are all in the process of change. Cheapest will be a local college but quality is, shall we say, variable. Best for CTP are the big. national suppliers.

    Which is the best qualification overall? Depends who you ask (some base their view on their own experience but no one has experienced all the options, some have a vested interest, and some have a sound professional view but that does not mean it is the only view). On balance, this has to be the qualification that best suits the past experience, expectations, preferences, location, budget and future aspirations of the person involved. You can’t beat personal research and, in choosing a specific supplier, recommendation.


  3. Don’t believe the hype

    Certainly the best known is the CIPD – (their marketing machine is legendary), having said that I and many trainers have never been asked for it and its not as frequently requested on job vacancies as the CIPD would like us to think.

    Its also frequently undermined by CIPD HR professionals "doing a bit of training".

  4. Recruiting Trainers

    Hi Colette

    You have got answers to the first part of your question but your second part was about tips for aspiring trainers. In my previous job as a Training Manager I recruited several people to "Training Officer/Assistant" type roles. I didn’t look for qualifications because the jobs were not at a high level and we would fund people to do the Certificate in Training Practice.

    What I looked for was evidence that they had helped others to learn in their existing role, often informally and not always recognised by their managers or evidence of having done this in a voluntary sector. One candidate impressed me because of their work on a Children’s Reading Support Programme. They were able to show how they had prepared for their sessions, adapted their approach for different children and they communicated their joy at being able to help children to grasp some of the principles of reading. This was really important evidence for me and probably more valuable than having done a qualification in training.

    I also looked for evidence of really good planning, organisational skills and handling different deadlines because this is something you have to have to do good training as is a logical approach to problem solving – along with some creative flair of course but too often the creative bit is stressed above the practical planning skills. This results in lots of "fun" training which makes no difference to the individual or organisation.

    You could get them to look at the National Occupational Standards for Training, which are currently being updated and start pulling together a portfolio of evidence against these standards. Bring this out at interview stage and I would have been impressed!

    Best wishes


  5. training qualifications


    Other routes include the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector and Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.  PTLLS and DTLLS.   The latter is the equivalent of a Cert Ed for adults.  It is the qualification people will need if they want to train in the government-funded sector.  Because it counts as teacher training, you get a mandatory grant to cover course fees – good news for someone who would otherwise have to pay themselves.  It is available at colleges and also through private providers (I’m doing mine through Joan Patterson Associates).  College courses will be geared more towards college lecturers, but private providers attract  a wide range of people.  I run my own training consultancy and have found it extremely useful.  The most valuable thing about it is that it forces you to link theory to practice, and to reflect on every session that you lead.   The difficulty for people not currently in employment is that this means you have to do 150 hours of face-to-face training during the course.  The definition of training is wide, however, and voluntary work could count too.



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