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Top 10 tips for choosing your coaching course


In 0.2 seconds produces over 665,000 references on life coach training alone!

In five seconds over 1.5 million references are available on Corporate, Executive, Life and Personal coach training!

Do you have the time, patience and perseverance to read through each and every reference to find the course that’s right for you?

Even if you do, how will you know if the course will:

  • Match your budget?
  • Enhance your current capabilities?
  • Deliver what it promised?
  • Fit in with your life?
  • Here are 10 top tips to help you choose the coach training course that’s right for you.

    1. Have criteria
      That's right; you need to have a plan! Without it you might find yourself being led by your insecurities and fears, rather than building on your experience, knowledge and skills.

    2. What are the financial resources available to you?
      Find out how much money you need to do the course you want. Check if they have an easy payment system so that you can pay smaller chunks on a regular basis. If they don't and you want to do the course, ask if they will make a payment plan just for you - monthly standing order payments could make a more attractive offer than losing your business. Check to see if they have a sponsorship or bursary programme available.

      Use an interest free credit card to pay your course fees. You will need to be disciplined in paying the money back but you will only have to pay back the actual cost – unlike a loan where you pay interest too. If you don’t finish paying off the balance, simply transfer it to another low/no interest credit card. Go to your local library and get a copy of the charities directory, which will have a listing of charities covering different sectors, including education. They might be able to offer you a small sum or loan. Some libraries have a computer programme called "Fundfinder" that searches for charities that will give you loans/grants for further education.

      Also look at, which has an on-line booklet, which offers a starting point and some useful leads. is a site which lists all grants that are available, and is regularly updated. You fill in your details (work/earnings circumstances etc.) and it comes up with any grants that may be applicable to you.

    3. Do you want accreditation?
      The International Coach Federation, the Association for Coaching and the European Mentoring & Coaching Council are just three bodies that provide accreditation of courses and coaches both internationally and in the UK. Whilst at present accreditation is not mandatory, it appears that as coaching moves towards professional status, completing an accredited course or being able to demonstrate practical experience equivalent to accredited training will become more significant.

    4. Is your focus corporate, life or general coaching?
      Pay careful consideration to what your needs are. Pick a course that matches where you are at the moment AND provides the platform for where you want to be in the future.

    5. What personal development work have you already done and how might coach training compliment this?
      Spend some time reviewing your training to date. Check how it relates to coaching and what areas could be developed through coach training. You might be pleasantly surprised how much you have already learned.

    6. Find out when you have informally coached people AND get their feedback
      It's amazing how often family, friends and colleagues have experienced your coaching and yet no feedback is sought from them. Ask for it. The more specific the better. It will really help develop your confidence, highlight your strengths and show areas for further development.

    7. What length of course do you want to do?
      Each person is different. For some a one-day programme is enough, whilst for others 3 years of study is just right. Simply get clear in your own mind how much time you want to spend studying and what flexibility is available around course completion dates.

    8. What, if any course and post-course support do you want?
      Do you need back up from family, friends, a coach or mentor? Is there an active course network? How is feedback provided? Do you get help finding clients? Are there any marketing or continuous development opportunities?

    9. What is your preferred learning style?
      There are a variety of mediums through which coach training can be accessed. The key is finding the one that suits you.

      If for some reason it's not possible to work in your ideal medium, then look at how you can create informal networks that will support your learning.

      e.g. If you are doing a web based course and love meeting and learning with people, find out if there are local coaches you can meet with or talk to.

    10. Is there a call to action?
      Theory is great and important. There also needs to be a call to action AND a review of the results of the action. Make sure that both sides of this equation are focused on during your training.

      And here's a bonus one!

    11. Ask your gut and other people
      Sample any course you are interested and get feedback from other people in terms of their experiences.

    Most of all trust your gut instinct. If it feels right and meets most or all of your criteria then go for it.

    These tips are extracted from the e-book 'Choosing a Coaching Course That’s Right for You', which provides in-depth information on the variety of programmes available. For more information e-mail the author, Amechi Udo.


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