Not All Schools Are The Same...
A question we regularly get asked by prospective students is 'What makes ICA different from other schools?' This is a totally understandable question because coach training is an investment of both time and money and it's important your decision is one that will fit your budget, learning style and plans for coaching.
We also know that there's alot of information, (and very detailed information) you need to wade through and consider before finding a solution. So, we've pulled out what we believe are the key points of difference between ICA and other schools or training. We've also compiled a list of questions you should ask any coaching school before you enrol.
6 Points of Difference
Coach Training Schools are like Coaching Services in that they will all offer a degree of 'sameness', but then be different in their quality of service or product, and personality. The majority will (or should) offer Accredited Training, Certification, Credential pathways and some form of learning guarantee. Their tuition fees might also be comparable.
So, then what makes them different? From talking to our community, we've been able to pick out 6 factors that make ICA stand out from the crowd.
1: We Help You Create YOUR Own Unique Coaching Model
The coaching market is saturated with cookie cutter coaches - all learning the same old models (GROW model etc.) and then coaching with the same old processes. At ICA we help you to create a coaching model that is unique to you, to the clients you want to coach, and to the coaching products or services you will offer.
2: You Get To Choose If You Go Fast or Go Slow
At International Coach Academy we aim to make our coach training as flexible as possible. You can study to become a coach whilst you are working or at home looking after your family. You choose when you learn. Most of us are leading very busy lives, some have families some have full time jobs. Whatever your commitments are, the great thing about our classes is that you can always find a way to fit them into your schedule. And if you miss a class it doesn’t matter, just pick it up the week after.
3. You Join a Connected Community of Coaches
Because our training is virtual, you get to build relationships and friendships with like minded coaches from all around the world. Your not limited by physical location. Our coaching community is rich with diversity, with over 4500 coaches, from 90 different countries. There's a strong sense of camaraderie, with many of our graduates continuing their connections long after they complete their coach training.
4: Your Online Learning is Blended with Live Teleclasses
By combining our unique learning platform with a flipped classroom model we do more than just teach - we specialise in the application of knowledge. Time is allocated for self reflection and learning, as well as direct contact with faculty via teleclasses and the forum. As a student you will be provided with the learning materials BEFORE class so that you can then use the live class time to deepen your knowledge, ask questions, and overcome challenges.
5: Your Peer Coaching is Included (unlimited)
Many coach training schools charge extra for peer coaching - but with ICA, it's included. This gives you the chance to practice as both a coach and a client, and gives you the peer coaching requirements for an ACC or PCC credential.
6: We Truly Care About Your Success
Community Support is core to the way we do business. We truly care about our students and support you from the day you enrol right through to your graduation. We appreciate that joining a coach training program is an investment of your time and money, and one you may have considered for a long time. So, our team of support staff are dedicated to making sure you maximise your return on investment by creating a trouble free, rich and fulfilling learning experience.
I am very grateful for the entire ICA experience which challenged and supported my personal discovery journey in so many unexpected ways. The peer coaching process, in particular, resulted in an increased level of confidence and trust in myself as a coach and the power of the coaching process.Cathy Holuk
Family Enterprise and Leadership Coaching, CANADA
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 Coaching 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?
- TRAINING ACCREDITATIONHas 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)
- THE SCHOOL'S CREDIBILITYSchools 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)
- SOCIAL PROOFDoes 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?
- GLOBAL OR LOCALNetworking 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)
- COACHING IDENTITYDoes 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?
- CREDENTIAL PATHWAYS 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)
- LEARNING PLATFORMIs 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?
- PACE OF STUDYWhat does the class schedule look like and does it fit with your lifestyle? Do you have the flexibility to fast track or go slow?
- PEER COACHINGIs 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?
- TUITIONDoes the promoted tuition cover all your training costs such as Mentor Coaching, Peer coaching, Observed coaching and your performanance evaluations (assessments)
- STUDENT SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITYYour 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?
- LEARNING GUARANTEEWhat happens if you join the program and then find it's not for you or your learning style? Is there a refund policy, withdrawal policy, or deferment policy?