How to Choose Your Coach Training School
(Note: You can get all this material and much more in the free Independent Report on Coach Training and Certification).
The good news is that you don't have to be finished with your training course to begin to work with clients, but it is advisable to have begun one. Most courses will encourage some practice coaching as part of your course, so you will soon begin coaching after commencing training anyway.
Whatever your natural coaching abilities, there is definitely an 'art and science' to coaching which can be greatly improved with proper training. And as we've shown earlier, coach-specific training is necessary if you want certification from a school, the ICF, and/or the IAC (at least in most cases).
I (David) have been through the process of choosing a coach training school - so I know what it's like to try and compare between 30 different schools when you're not too familiar with the industry!
Which accreditation? How much do I need to pay? Which country? Face to face? Does this telephone training really work?
Here we'll raise the major questions you should be asking yourself before choosing a school.
Ten Questions to Ask
a) ICF or IAC accreditation?
If you are not going for ICF or IAC accreditation, then any course that provides effective training may suit you.
If you decide on IAC certification, either go to them directly if you feel you have the training already, or sign up with Coachville's School of Coaching.
b) Training Platform
If you must have face-to-face training, you can narrow your schools to those in your area (if you're lucky enough to live near a quality school). If so, factor in travel costs to your training budget. If you like the idea of learning from home, you can take advantage of the many companies now training using printed text, and teleclasses (you dial into a conference call and learn auditorily in a group). This is great for people who can learn auditorily, and is now very common - in fact we estimate most coaches are now trained using this method. Remember to factor phone costs into your training budget, although these are coming down so much now. It's also cheaper for many people to call overseas then it is to call interstate.
More companies are now including streaming audio and/or CD's/tapes into their training.
Clearly if you've chosen face to face training, you'll want a company in your state to minimise travel expenses. Having said that, if you love the training enough, you'll fly wherever you have to.
However, if you're going the remote learning path (as the majority of coaches do), it no longer matters whether your company is based in another state, or even another country. As mentioned above, phone costs are now 3-10 cents a minute to call overseas, removing phone charges as a barrier. Most phone 'bridges' you will call into will be in the US - as it's cheaper for the training company to rent a conferencing facility there.
d) Franchise, or Free Agent?
By contrast, most non-franchise companies will still provide you with training, and a lifetime licence to use their technology, forms, and client programs, for an up front fee.
Be wary of franchises that require a percentage of your income or a
high annual fee. Some of them even charge twice as much as ICF certified
training programs. You should not go into one of these companies unless
they can put you in touch with several coaches who have gone through
their program, and are earning a good income - and who don't have a
financial interest in you joining!
e) Your Niche
If you want to work with individuals on personal issues, you'll be looking for a school with a very strong personal development/awareness theme. In short, their instructors should be amazing.
If you're planning on coaching small business owners, consider a school that focuses on business coaching specifically. You'll have the right training, forms and other support to succeed in this area.
If you're going for the corporate market, it makes sense to go with one of the few schools focusing specifically on corporate coach training.
However, if you want to be able to all three
.well, it's still
possible to choose a good all 'round school that will give you a solid
grounding in coaching, and go from there. You can probably take specialist
modules with different schools later on (the training market's moving
this way) to beef up your skills/business in a particular area.
* * *
As this page is getting a bit long, the five other questions to consider when choosing a coach training school are included in the free Independent Report on Coach Training and Certification.
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