04 Jan How to Choose a Training Provider
There’s a whole range of reasons why you might be embarking on a training course. Maybe you’re unable to progress further in your current role without a formal qualification, or perhaps you’re taking the plunge and are looking to make a career change.
With hundreds of training providers out there, it can be confusing to know what to look for when choosing who to study with. You’re making a big commitment and investing valuable time and money, so you need to be certain that you can rely on them for all the support that you need.
We’ve put together this helpful guide to look at the key things you should consider when choosing a training provider.
- Is your training provider suitably accredited?
- How experienced is your training provider?
- How are the courses delivered?
- Is it easy to communicate with the training provider?
- What success rate does your provider have?
- How are their reviews?
- What additional services do they provide?
- What industry partnerships does your provider have?
Is your training provider suitably accredited?
Accreditation is much more than just a stamp of approval. It provides recognition of the quality and robustness of the courses provided. By choosing an accredited provider, you can be assured that your training will be to the highest standards.
If you’re unsure which accreditations are relevant to your industry, take a look at job adverts to find out what employers are looking for, or check on the OFQUAL website for courses on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RFQ). This is the independent government body in charge of regulating qualifications in the UK to ensure that they all reach the same standard.
It means that your hard work will be rewarded, as your qualification will be formally recognised within your industry, making it easier for you to progress within your chosen career.
Some of the leading accreditation bodies are: –
The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) has been the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity centre since 1921.
By gaining accredited qualifications, you will be able to access the CIMSPA Register of Exercise Professionals and benefit from professional recognition, directory listing and networking opportunities, as well as being kept informed of the latest developments in your sector.
Active IQ is one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations for the active leisure, learning and wellbeing sector, recognised and regulated by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA (Northern Ireland).
Focus Awards provide accredited qualifications, which don’t require formal exams; courses are designed to make education accessible to all and provide regulated qualifications in a wide range of educational and vocational subjects.
City Skills provide accreditation for Apprenticeship and Training packages across England.
2. How experienced are your training providers?
Quality trainers deliver quality learning experiences by drawing on their experience and specialist subject knowledge. They add to lessons by using practical examples drawn from their own experience. So, when choosing a training provider, find out about their experience working in and delivering training in your chosen industry.
Good training providers will have an ‘about us’ section or ‘meet the team’ introducing their trainers and tutors.
LinkedIn is a great tool to find out more about your training provider and tutors; you’ll be able to learn more about their educational and professional backgrounds.
3. How are the courses delivered?
Signing up for a training course is a big undertaking, especially when fitting it around existing commitments, so it is essential to know how the courses are delivered, are courses delivered within a set timeframe, or can you study at your own pace?
Many companies offer blended learning, which is a combination of online sessions, and face to face sessions.
Online sessions could be either self-study or through a video platform such as Zoom or MS Teams, where you will be working with a tutor. Webinars are online video workshops or lectures; they often have a chat facility. Check to see if they are typically recorded, so you can watch at a time suitable to you or re-watch as you please.
There is no right or wrong to any of the above methods, but make sure it works for you.
4. Is it easy to communicate with the training provider?
When making such a significant investment of both time and money, it’s essential to be confident that your training provider is there when you need them. If you send an email, how long does it take for them to respond? Is it easy to speak to them by phone? Whatever your preferred method of communication – test it out to see how long it takes to get a response.
You need to feel comfortable approaching your training provider and be happy with their style and method of communication.
5. What success rate does your provider have?
Training providers often publish success rates, which could be in the form of pass rates, student satisfaction or rates of future employment.
Case studies and testimonials are a great way to get a feel for training success stories, as they give more personal viewpoints, making it easier to see if it would be the right fit for you.
6. How are their reviews?
When looking at reviews, it’s wise to look at a few platforms to get the full picture. Remember, reviews are very personal, and some could have had a negative experience, while others can be gushing, so it’s worth taking a balanced view by checking out reviews of all ratings.
7. What additional services do they provide?
When selecting a training provider, don’t forget to look at the bigger picture. You’re taking a course to make a change in your life.
Do you have access to everything you need for the course? Are there practical elements to the course, such as a gym-based practice or teaching practicals? Does your provider support you with this?
Does your training provider offer advice or support for career progression or job hunting, such as CV writing or interview techniques? If you’re planning on being your own boss, check to see if they offer support on setting up your own business?
8. What industry partnerships does your provider have
Strategic partnerships add value to the learning opportunities provided, ensuring better skills match with future requirements for employability.
Your training provider will understand the academic and soft skills required for your future career by nurturing industry partnerships and networking.
Collaboration between business and educational institutions ensures cohesion and highlights opportunities. Check if your course provider works with institutions relevant to your chosen progression. Maybe they will provide guaranteed interviews, work experience or access to industry mentors.
Future Step Education’s approach
Learners are at the heart of what we do; we aim to support you to reach your full potential. We are committed to supporting you to improve your life through education. We consider ourselves to be not simply a training provider but your training partner.
All courses are fully accredited and nationally recognised. A dedicated tutor will fully support you as you take this big step. We recognise the challenges of juggling life, work and study, so we provide a range of study options to suit everyone, from classroom-based learning to online learning or a mixture of both.
We work hard to nurture our industry partnerships, providing you with the most up-to-date skills and access to opportunities within your chosen industry. Upon successfully completing our fitness courses, you are guaranteed an interview with our partners’ Pure Gym and The Gym Group.
For students on our teacher/tutor training courses, we are proud of our partnership with SIE Education, providing access to Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) opportunities in China. SIE not only supports teachers in China, with their vast network of partner schools, but also assists in sponsoring visas for living and working in China.