Five fool proof ways to train like a boss

Here, Shahzad Ali, managing director of Get Licensed, explores how training yourself can bring success to your business.

Changing career or getting that promotion can be a real nightmare, especially if you need specialist qualifications that you don’t have. The internet has opened doors for those who can’t get to a suitable course or don’t know where to find the support they need, but when everyone has the capability to set themselves up as a training provider, how do you know you’re getting value for money and the quality you expect?

The tutors should be experts in the field

You wouldn’t expect to learn brain surgery from a top chef, or marketing from a mechanic. The person teaching your course should be an expert in the field you’re learning about, so they can fully prepare you for work in that industry. If you’re learning a practical skill, like security for example, the person demonstrating must know what they’re doing to avoid serious injury.

Before you enrol on a course, speak to the course provider and check out the tutor’s credentials. Are they going to be able to train you up and prepare you for your new career? Are they going to tell you useful stories so you know what to expect? If not, they might not be worth your time and money.

It should be clear what you’re getting

Is the end result going to justify your hard work? Some courses you can apply for online only deliver partial credit, while some give you everything you need to launch your new career the next day. Some employers may not even recognise the qualification you’ve paid your hard earned cash for, which would be crushing after all that work.

Do some research and find out exactly what qualifications and training your dream career needs, and check that the course you’re looking to apply to delivers exactly that. Check how many modules and days of study this requires, and confirm that you will get any certification you need at the end of it. The last thing you want is to think you’ve got your qualification, only to find there’s an extra module you knew nothing about.

You should be fully supported to achieve

Whether you’re attending a physical course or doing distance learning, you should never feel like you’re on your own. The tutor should be supportive and available to answer your questions to make sure that at the end of the course, you walk away with the qualification you were aiming for. You should never feel like you’ve been fobbed off, or that you’re too much trouble for the tutor.

A good training provider will have testimonials, either written or on video, from former trainees. This will give a good reflection of the quality of the training from the perspective of those who’ve been through it before. You can also check online reviews, but beware of people with a vendetta. Someone who didn’t do the work could be looking for someone to blame if they didn’t get the result they wanted.

You should be able to speak to a human

Studying for a new qualification can be an extremely stressful event, and you may think of a burning question when you’re not in the room with your tutor. There should be an opportunity to call or email someone, even out of hours, to get the answers you’re looking for.

The best training providers have a dedicated phone line, and even though you may not be able to speak to your course tutor straight away, they will be able to give you some guidance to put your mind at ease. At the very least, they can offer answers about times and dates of courses and how long results take to be published. Other courses may offer a direct email service to the course tutor, however if you feel that your emails are being ignored, you should address this with the course provider.

The price should be competitive

New, career –boosting qualifications come at a price, so a bit of research before committing to one provider is always advisable. Try to find a range of like for like course costs, so you can determine how much you should be spending. Like any major purchase, if anything looks too good to be true, it probably is. A good training provider will neither under or overcharge you.

If possible, ask for a breakdown of the course costs. What are you paying for the tuition? What do you have to pay for the certification? Does the price include VAT? Make sure you can make an informed decision so you know you’re getting value for money.

Moving on up or launching your new career can be the most exciting and terrifying time of your life. If you get the right training from the right company, it can make things a whole lot easier. Do your research, ask the right questions, and you will find you’re on the path to a bright new start.

Shahzad Ali is managing director of Get Licensed

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