How to choose your coach training for best fit

Stacey Ashley Blog

How to choose your coach training for best fit


As well as being a practising coach, I have been teaching people how to coach for over 10 years. So it’s not surprising that I often get asked about which coach training is best.

One of the things that is fundamental to answering this question is recognising that coaching is a people practice and learning to coach is too.

If you don’t get your coach training right, if you don’t build the right skills or sufficient skills, you don’t practise well enough or build your capability, then you don’t create credibility and competence for yourself and you’re not equipped well enough to be able to coach effectively.

Coaching is one of the best ways to develop and grow talent, so if you get it right, you create huge advantages, benefits and opportunities for yourself, the people around you, and your organisation.

Research from the ICF (International Coach Federation) shows of those who have received coaching, the areas where they report improvement include their work performance, communication skills, productivity, well-being, and business management strategies.

If you get it wrong when it comes to using a coaching approach, then you miss out on this opportunity.

So getting your coach training right is important. Without the right coach training and support, it’s like being an apprentice without having the guidance of a master craftsman. You can figure out the basics on your own, but you miss out on the wisdom, the lessons, the support, the encouragement, the challenge, and the expertise that will allow you to develop your own mastery.

Over the past 10+ years, I’ve done my fair share of learning when it comes to coaching. I have experienced programs face to face, I’ve participated in group programs and in individual learning. I’ve completed programs online, I’ve done intensive programs and programs over the longer term. Some programs have led to qualifications and credentials, some have not been qualification programs yet have offered incredible learning opportunities and the growth of my coaching.


Which coach training is best?

There is no one size fits all. So when I talk to people about how to choose their coach training I ask them to consider three key elements.

Whether you are a leader who wants to develop more of a coaching approach in your leadership or someone who seeks to develop a professional coaching expertise and business, these elements will have a direct impact on how effective your coach training is.


What is your learning objective?

I once had someone ask me if I wanted a coaching certificate or to learn how to coach. And it really made me think about what was most important to me about what I gained from my coach training.

You need to consider that for yourself.
What is the outcome you are seeking from undertaking coach training and development?
What is your main objective?

This could include things like:

  • A recognised qualification
  • A credential with a professional industry body
  • Developing your coaching competency
  • Understanding the application of coaching
  • Learning the theory
  • Gaining a toolkit of coaching frameworks and approaches
  • Gaining confidence in your own coaching ability
  • Taking your coaching to the next level

2. HOW

How do you like to learn?

Supporting your own learning preferences will optimise the outcomes you gain from your coach training. When you reflect on your learning preference, consider how you have done your best learning in the past.

Some of the things to consider about your own learning preferences include:

  • The mode of delivery. For example face-to-face, online or blended
  • Whether you work independently or with a group
  • The duration of the learning. Do you prefer intensive workshops over full days or micro-learning sessions?
  • Do you prefer to complete your learning in chunks of time or over a longer term of months or years?
  • What sort of materials do you prefer? Hard copy, soft copy, text-based or visual
  • What about the modality of delivery? Online, face to face, self-paced or instructor-led
  • Do you like to work with others in a group, or prefer to work individually?

3. WHO

Coaching is a people practice and so is learning to coach. Who you learn with and from will have a clear impact.

Some of the attributes to consider here include:

  • The fit between you and the facilitator/organisation
  • The facilitator’s style
  • The experience of the facilitator both in terms of teaching people to coach and also their own practice of coaching
  • Overall credibility of the facilitator and coach training organisation
  • As a double-check, you might want to speak with some past students
By considering these key questions about your coach training, What, How, and Who, you create the opportunity to:

✅ Gain clarity about your learning Expectation
✅ Optimise your learning Experience and,
✅ Have the Expertise to support you


I’d love to know your thoughts.


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AND: Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your coaching and leadership: