Training is an essential investment of both time and money in order for us to grow and develop as therapists, but how do you choose the training provider that is worthy of your investment?

There are many training providers available to us as an industry, no longer are we restricted to just FE college courses that take enrolments annually, we now have a whole world of private training providers available to us which are often more accessible and available to enrol on all year round. But with so much variety how do you choose?

Cost

Although cost is probably going to be the main influencing factor please do not let it be the only factor when making your choice. The cheapest option is not always the best option, equally I acknowledge that it may not always be the worst.

The most important factor when choosing a training provider is researching exactly what is covered in the course. Often a cheaper course may be shorter in length and therefore there isn’t as much content to the course. It is usually a case that the practical hours are sacrificed so you don’t get to practise the skill as many times – and as we are a practical industry the more practise we have during training the more confident and proficient we will be in doing the treatment – in turn making the treatment more successful. Don’t be afraid to contact the training provider and ask them exactly what is covered in the course to ensure that it will meet your needs – they will be more than happy to help.

Accreditation and Insurance

Another factor that is just as important as content is accreditation and insurance. If the course you enroll on is not properly accredited you won’t be able to gain insurance, therefore you won’t be able to offer the treatment and the whole expense and exercise would have been pointless. Check that the course and training provider are accredited with the likes of ABT or The Guild Of Beauty Therapists etc. and that your insurance company will accept the qualification and cover you for insurance purposes. Some companies are very clever with their wording so if you aren’t sure ask them to clarify who they are accredited by and check with that accreditor that they are in fact accredited.

Tutor Experience

The experience of the person teaching you is also a factor that should be high on your list when choosing your training provider. You are going to learn so much more from someone who has a wealth of experience and knowledge.

On the training schools website they may well have a whole section about their staff – if not ask them what experience they have. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions if necessary, you are investing a lot in them and need to be sure you are making the right choice.

Are the timings right?

Other factors that must be considered when enrolling on a course besides the key elements of content, accreditation, insurance and experience of the person training you are factors such as dates and times – do the dates and times that the course is being held on work for you? Location – is the course in a suitable location for you to get to? Although this is a factor it may be that not many training providers offer the training you are looking for so it is possible that you may have to travel a little further in order to do it. Don’t let this put you off. Cost is obviously a factor but as I said earlier check the content first and if the cheaper option covers all criteria then opt for that, but don’t sacrifice the content just for a shorter course, you want to be able to offer the treatment proficiently and you want people to come back in for it!

Training should be an inspiring and informative experience and something that should be repeated regularly. Whether learning something new or updating and refreshing skills we have it is only the naïve therapist that thinks their initial training at college is enough to keep them ahead of the game and make them the very best therapist they can be.

By Marie-Louise Coster

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