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What professional qualifications do you need to run training courses?


What professional qualifications do you need to run training courses?
Susan Adams

14 Responses

  1. Try these
    The CIPD’s Certificate in Training Practice is a good start. As is CTT+ (purely for delivery skills).

  2. None
    The short, honest, and probably unhelpful answer to your question is “none”. There is no legal requirement to run most programmes. Wayne’s CIPD suggestion is a very good one as it would certainly give you a good grounding in the theories and best practice, as well as some personal confidence and credibility and will help you to decide if the life of a trainer is right for you.

    Participants are more interested in the qualifications that give you credibility in training them in the subject at hand, and the experience you have in doing jobs similar to theirs and your track record in ‘doing’ rather than ‘talking about’ the topic. What is really important is your ability to engage with participants around this experience and help them to translate that into action. That is where the true value often lies for them.

  3. What professional qualifications do you need to run training cou

    There are two possible responses to this question.

    My first answer assumes that by the word ‘run’ you mean ‘deliver’ training courses.

    There is no legal compulsion to have any qualifications whatsoever unless you are joining the state funded and regulated education system.

    This is a major problem because ASTD research shows that more than 90% of the effectiveness of any classroom learning experience results from the trainer’s communication and people skills, as opposed to their subject-matter expertise. Yet traditionally, all the attention has been focused on content issues, ie the 10%, whilst often overlooking the key area; training skills!

    In 2002 Michael Stark, Assistant Director of The Learning & Skills Council
    commented: “If we don’t have consistency and guarantee of performance of trainers then everything else we do is a waste of time.”

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    You can read Michaels comments in full at:

    You can find out more about the range of TAP qualifications referred to by Michael at:

    If you are using the word ‘run’ to mean ‘manage’, then the situation does not change markedly. There is no legal compulsion to have any qualifications to run a training company or training function, but you could consider taking a course anyway.

    What about ‘Managing a training function’ as described at:

    I hope this helps.


  4. NVQ 4 Vs CIPD
    Hi Susan,

    It may also be of benefit to you to have a look a National Vocational Qualifiication NVQ3 or NV4 for training delivery/management. The best explaination I can provide for both of these are:

    NVQ4 = This is more a rubber stamp of you current skills and behaviours.

    CIPD = Is more detailed and rather than being a rubber stamp it will stretch all your skills including any area’s for improvement.



  5. Teaching qualification
    I agree with the comment …none…but if you want to deliver anything of benefit to your particpants, then think about what skills you need to develop. I began training 15 years ago, and I found that the one qulification that helped me best was a Further and Adult Education certificate from our local further education college. It helped me to look at my own teaching style, to really think through the aims and outcomes of any programme, and to to be creative in developing ways of teaching that keep people interested and engaged. I have been a freelance trainer now for 12 years , with plenty of work (all word of mouth.. no advertising). If you know your subject, and just need the teaching practice or experience, then this might be worth considering. All the best , Sally Hemmings

  6. Whatever is needed by the ‘piper payer’

    Some thoughts…

    He who pays the piper calls the tune…

    What qualifications do the people employing the person running the training course expect the trainer to have? That I think is the defining question.

    Of course there are many areas where it is grey rather than black and white – in some of my own areas of expertise – aggression and violence management – I have no ‘formal’ qualifications but do have a huge background of experience and knowledge – yes I can mention that I have ‘qualifications’ in various martial arts but that is not really the same as aggression and violence management; yes I am a member of various learned bodies – but so what – what are my transferable skills….

    That is another point – someone can have all the qualifications and still lack the personal skills necessary to communicate in a way that gets the message across…

    Gosh, a simple question, but what a huge and complex area of discussion it opens…

    All the best.


  7. One size fits all?
    I have the CIPD Certificate in Training Practice, much more respected than its level 3 status! I don’t believe any one qualification will cover Training, Learning & Development, At present it all depends on what you want to do or achieve, The CTP will give a good grounding for industry, FAETC 7306/7 was susposed to be a requirement in the FE sector, and if you you want to get on in IT well even that is covered by the appropriate qualifications.

    Unfortunately NVQ 4 or 5 doesn’t have the same currency with CIPD as it once did.

    Its just not mainstream training, learning and development that has fragmented as new qualifications are now available in Coaching, Online learning.

    Gaining any qualification should be part of your Personal Development roadmap. Most gain some form of qualification then let experience dictate where they go. If you are just starting out then I would recommend that you look at all options and at the different qualifications and institutes (Whether it be CIPD, ITOL, IITT).

    Personally I think diversity in whats availble and by whom is healthy for the profession.

  8. It depends what you want them for
    It is important to distinguish between the training and development that leads to qualification and the qualification itself. A qualification says that you have reached a certain standard, which can be useful for the client and also for the trainer, giving you confidence in your own ability and performance.

    The training and development you receive (and the self-managed learning and experience) can occur without there being any qualification, but the fact that it is tied to a qualification can have value in making sure that your learning is appropriate and comprehensive and, in many cases, that the provider is subject to QA regime that helps you to chose which one you go to.

    I have just finished developing three qualifications in coaching and mentoring for the Institute of Leadership and Management. Do managers who want to be coaches and/or mentors need them? No, but if they want to be effective in the role, then they can be assured that the training they receive has been subject to the ILM’s QA arrangements and they have achieved a defined standards when they receive their certificates. And their employers or clients can feel confident in their ability to perform a particular role as defined by the qualification’s specification.

  9. Lifelong Learning
    As an IT buisness trainer, I have done numerous buisness courses, however the C&G 7407 is a nationally recognisable course and applicable to whatever topic you teach.

    It is a valuable course not only for the content and the rediscovery of topics, but also for the networking experience shared with the other students.

  10. none required
    I have been in and out of training over the last 25 years and have no formal qualification (although currently taking CITP). I find that it is useful to be retrained from time to time to keep current with new developments and to eliminate those bad habits that creep in. A qualification is no guarantee that the trainer has kept their skills, nor that they are any good, just that they passed the test.

  11. Assessors are key
    I agree with Mick Pickerings observation that most qualifications are no guarantee that the trainer has kept their skills, nor that they are any good.

    However if initially trained to best practice standards it is probably more constructive and cost-effective to be regularly reassessed against the same objective standards and given positive feedback instead of being ‘retrained from time to time’.

    That is precisely why the Training Foundation operates specialist training programmes for those charged with Assessing Training Delivery Skills.

    Providing organisations have completed the necessary groundwork they are then able to embed objective, quantitative, assessment measures within the internal staff appraisal processes that apply to those charged with training delivery.

    This process ensures consistent adherence to best practice measured against the three profiles underpinning the Delivery Skills element of the Trainer Assessment Programme (TAP). The same internal Assessors can also be used to assess and monitor the performance of external training contractors.

    Freelancers and others are able to attend regular public assessment days held at Foundation House in order to renew their TAP Certification every three years.


  12. The value of the CTP
    The consensus in my team is pretty much in line with the other comments here, namely that a piece of paper does not turn you into a trainer.

    One thing did show me the value of the CTP that I took in 2001 however – shortly after I passed, I applied for and got a job with another company.

    Whilst the CTP was not the be all and end all of my selection, my boss did point out that it did highlight my CV to him, when compared to other candidates that didn’t have the qualification.

    A lot of companies that advertise training positions specify that they want a certain level of CIPD qualifications, and so whilst you don’t have to be qualified to train, it might help you to further your career!

  13. Two suggestions
    My perspective as an employer is that if I had 100 unqualified trainers attend an assessment centre, I’d say only 10 out of those 100 would have sufficient deilvery skills.

    Whereas if I had 100 *qualified* trainers attend, the odds would be increased to something like 20 out of 100.

    So in other words, 80 out of the 100 might still not be the standard I’m looking for, but by asking for qualifications I increase the chances of my finding such a trainer.

    I look for two qualifications: (1) TAP, which the Training Foundation provides training on – 3/5 day course; and (2) ROLF, which is a 4 day course and a couple of months of study. I prefer the latter because the assessment takes place on real training sessions.

    CTP is worthwhile but seems to be more academic than TAP and ROLF.

    Hope this helps,

  14. ROLF
    Dear John

    In addition to your role as an employer I understand that you have recently partnered with The Fourth Level to create ‘ROLF’ (Results-Orientated Learning Facilitation) and will be personally launching this brand-new venture at the World of Learning Conference on Wednesday 17 November 2004.

    I look forward to finding out more then.



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