In case you decide to enrol in coach training, the next challenge is surely how to choose the right one. Because let's face it, a serious training program will not be a dirt cheap investment. And in return for your money, you want to make sure that you are getting what you expected.

There are tons of coach training schools out there nowadays, some of them have really great marketing materials but when you look at the specifics, you might realise that it is not always what shines most that is the best.

So here are a couple of hints to you on how to choose the right coach training school for yourself:

1. Accreditation - Your first and most important decision must be to establish what your goal is. If you want to be an accredited coach, you can either do the learning yourself and submit portfolio and undergo exams with a coaching federation or you can choose to enrol in a training school. If this latter, and your final goal is getting accredited, then you might want to look for an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). These programs offer a minimum of 125 hour coach trainings as well as further training on the core competencies as defined by the International Coach Federation (ICF), they will get experienced coaches observe you coaching and you will also need to undergo graduation requirements like exams or writing research papers and other coaching documentation.

2. Curriculum - Find out more about the content of their program to the tiniest details. Sample their learning modules, if there is a possibility.

3. Specific modules - Should you want to find a coach training with some specific subjects like business building or certain specialisations, check out with them if they have any of these and whether they are included in the program you are paying for.

4. Generic or niche-specific - You also might want to decide upfront whether you are looking to gain general coaching skills or more tools for one specific niche. Career coaching institutions for example will give you coaching skills but also specific career coaching tools and methods to your hands which might be really useful. The downside is that you might regret your choice in case you decide to choose another niche. Therefore, if you are not sure, rather go for a general training, where hopefully niche-specific modules will also be provided.

5. Coaching exposure - It will definitely not hurt to get informed upfront how much exposure you, as a student, would have to actual coaching. Unfortunately I heard people graduating from schools without ever having to coach on class. Even if you might feel nervous about coaching in front of others, coaching in a classroom is definitely the safest place to start with!

6. Methods - You might also want to find out about the different methods and program inclusions that are offered and see how they fit with your overall expectations.

7. Learning style - The same thing like above: choose your coach training by carefully selecting how it matches your learning style. Do you prefer face-to-face or rather teleclass format? And just a word of warning: only because you are visual or auditive type of person, it doesn't mean per se that you have to cross out other learning styles. Sometimes this might be your next challenge, to stretch yourself and enrol in a program that will enhance your other sensorial skills, through which you can better serve your clients.

8. Philosophy - What is the training school's philosophy? Does it coincide with yours?

9. The right feel - Sometimes you can best tell the fit if you test it. Check if your school hosts free introduction calls where you can talk to trainers and have a feel for their style. Also, this will be a great occasion to get all your questions answered.

10. Support - How much support will you, as a student get during your studies? In what form and who would support you? Is there a helpdesk, is there a FAQ section, is there a community board or a buddy?

11. Community - It might be a great idea to get together with like-minded people, so find out if your school has a community board or local communities.

12. Peer coaching - The best type of support you could get at a coaching school is being coached. There are some schools where exactly therefore a free peer coaching system is in place. At the International Coach Academy where I graduated, there is also such a system - every student must be coached for at least 12 sessions and must coach themselves as well other students. These coaching sessions will count into students' graduation requirement in terms of number of coaching hours. Double gain - you will get coached free to experience the power of coaching (you can also have more than one coaches to try out different styles) and it will also fulfil your graduation requirements.

13. Final exams - It is good to know in advance what graduation requires - any exams (in what form), reports or research papers to draft, any other coaching project or documentation to do etc.

14. References - If you don't know anyone who graduated from your chosen school, you might ask them to bring you in contact with one or two people. The best is if you talk to people about their experiences, what they liked, disliked and what their advice to you would be.

15. Fee / Scholarship - And last, but not least, you want to have clarity about the total fee and inclusions. If you feel that the school is the right one but you are concerned about the high fee, talk to them to see if there are any payment plans or any scholarships available.

And finally a last helping hand to you. You can find a list of accredited coach training programs on the website of the International Coach Federation where you can also search by various criteria.

Author's Bio: 

Career Transition Coach Erika Kalmar works with people who are looking to make changes in their lives, whether it is about finding a new job, starting a new career or transitting into self-employment.

As a Coaching Biz Start-Up Strategist, she helps new coaches setting up their coaching business and building a rock solid foundation.

Grab your free copy of her "Create Your Business Brand Brilliance" Workbook and schedule a complimentary 30-minute Business Start-Up Strategy Session: