A Checklist for Finding the Right School

...with the 'right' school being the one that best fits your personality, learning style, budget, timeframe for completion and future plans for coaching.

Every now and then you will see Coach Training Schools offering comparison downloads comparing one school against another. This is something we have never done, for a few reasons.  These lists are most often incomplete (there's hundreds of schools), they are often highly subjective (designed to showcase that particular school),  and don't reflect the personality or uniqueness of each school (eg. what makes them truly different). Instead, we recommend prospective coaches refer to comparisons published by Independent bodies, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF).  We've compiled a list of questions we are often asked (or know you should ask) when selecting a school that best fits your learning style, budget, life balance, and personality.

What's Important to You?


    Has the training undergone external scrutiny and quality testing by an independant peak body? If so, which peak bodies and what level of accreditation is offered (ACTP, ACSTH etc)


    Schools themselves are not accredited (just their training programs) so a quick background check is important to determine the schools industry crediblity and longevity. Are they a newcomer or have they been been established for many years? Who is the founder or CEO? Who is on their faculty (level of expertise, how long they have been associated with the school etc)


    Does the school have a visible community of coaches? Look beyond website testimonials to find the real community and find out what they think about their school. eg. How many graduates do they have, who are they, and how are they using coaching?


    Networking is vital for coaches and your school community is a great resource to leverage. Is the schools community local or global and how do they connect (eg. meet ups, forum, classes)


    Does the school teach a 'cookie cutter' coaching model or do they teach you how to create your own coaching model that then identifies your uniqueness?


    What industry credentials does the schools training programs pathway to? (Can you apply for ACC or PCC directly or do you need to go via the portfolio pathway)


    Is this a face to face program or an online program (or a blend of both). And, if it's an online program how does the school make sure there is real time learning and interaction between faculty and students?


    What does the class schedule look like and does it fit with your lifestyle? Do you have the flexibility to fast track or go slow?


    Is your peer coaching included (some schools charge extra) and how many coaches are there in the peer coaching program you can partner with to be a coach or a client?


    Does the promoted tuition cover all your training costs such as Mentor Coaching, Peer coaching, Observed coaching and your performanance evaluations (assessments)


    Your reserach process will expose the schools sales support. But, what are the support structures once you enrol? Where will you go to get the answers you need and how will the school support you to graduate? What accountability structurs are in place?


    What happens if you join the program and then find it's not for you or your learning style? Is there a refund policy, withdrawl policy, or deferrment policy?

Sample International Coach Academy's Training

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