10 Things To Avoid When Choosing A Coaching Course

10 Things To Avoid When Choosing A Coaching Course

Coach training courses have proliferated over the last 20 years. Where once the quality was variable, thankfully, they have become better and more rigorous as the profession itself has matured.

There are several excellent coaching schools to choose from and there’s no reason to settle for a poor or inadequate course.

Yet, sadly, these poor courses still exist.  

And if you’re serious about succeeding as a coach, you need to avoid them.

Once in a while, we’ll see an ad pop up on Facebook that makes us wince as it promises independence and riches for just £97 to train as a coach! 

Don’t be fooled!

Coaching has become a recognisable profession and just as you wouldn’t expect to train as an accountant for £97 in a week, nor should you expect to train as a coach for that price or in that time.

That’s why, in this article, I’m offering 10 clues that will help you avoid choosing a coaching course that’s just not fit for purpose.

Choosing a coaching course is a critical first step on your journey to success as a coach so, without first ado, let’s go through the 10 things to avoid.


1. Avoid courses that promise rapid certifications.

Becoming a successful coach takes time and effort, and there is no shortcut to mastering the craft. 

Beware of courses that claim to provide instant results or certifications, as they will not offer the depth of knowledge or skills necessary for long-term success. 

Advertising that promises things like: “Become a coach in 7 days for just £1!” should be avoided at all costs if you’re serious about joining the coaching profession.

You know in your heart it’s not good so don’t fall for it. 

Instead, look for courses that focus on practical experience, ongoing learning, and mentorship and that take place over an extended period of time with a rigorous qualification process..

2. Avoid courses that lack a detailed course description and curriculum. 

Before selecting a training program, ask for a brief course outline detailing what it entails. 

A comprehensive outline should include coach-specific training hours, accreditations, mentoring hours (at least 10 hours minimum), course contents, mode of learning, and other relevant details. 

If a programme doesn’t provide this information, you should avoid it – there is a very good chance that it is going to offer lightweight models, and coach-by-number approaches which can be taught by inexperienced coach trainers.

Book a Call with an Animas Coach Consultant to Explore the Course and Becoming a Coach

3. Avoid courses that are too general or lack focus.

Coaching is a broad field, and it’s important to choose a course that aligns with your interests and goals. 

Avoid courses that are too general or don’t have a specific focus, as they may not provide the depth of knowledge and skills needed for your desired niche. 

Look for courses that offer a clear path towards your specific coaching goals, whether that’s executive coaching, life coaching, or another area of specialisation.

In the case of Animas, for instance, we focus on transformative coaching which allows our graduates to work at depth with clients in a way that empowers the client to dig deep to find their answers. 

You won’t find time-management hacks, meditation techniques, or personality tests -, that’s not how we see coaching.

Our focus is on psychological models of coaching that help clients understand themselves better and make changes to their lives. 

Make sure the school you choose fits what you want to do and how you want to work.

4. Avoid courses that don’t require practice.

Coaching is a skill that requires ongoing practice and professional feedback from an experienced practitioner.

It’s important to choose a course that offers opportunities for hands-on experience both with fellow learners and with clients in the world beyond the training room. 

Avoid courses that rely solely on theory or lectures, as they may not provide the practical skills and confidence needed to work with clients. 

Instead, look for courses that offer supervised coaching practice, feedback, and ongoing support.

5. Avoid courses that lack accreditation or industry recognition.

Coaching is an unregulated profession, which means anyone can call themselves a coach regardless of their qualifications. 

The days when this was common are largely behind us since professional associations have become more recognised and organisations and clients alike seek this.

Nonetheless, there are coach training programmes out there that are not accredited.

There are several organisations that offer accreditation and industry recognition to reputable coaching courses and programmes.

Look for courses that are accredited by organisations such as the International Coach Federation (ICF) or the Association for Coaching (AC).

6. Avoid courses that have no testimonials or reviews.

Testimonials and reviews from past participants can help you gauge the quality and effectiveness of a coaching programme. 

If a course does not have any testimonials or reviews, it could be a red flag, and you should be cautious when considering.

Check Google reviews and the company’s website. Make sure the reviews have names and, ideally, photos.  Look for videos from former participants sharing their stories too as these can often add depth to the testimonial.

7. Avoid courses that don’t have experienced or qualified trainers.

Coaching is a complex and nuanced profession, and it’s important to learn from experienced and qualified trainers who can offer guidance and mentorship. 

Avoid courses that don’t have trainers with a proven track record of coaching success, or who lack the necessary qualifications and credentials

Look for courses that have trainers with relevant coaching experience, qualifications, and ongoing professional development.

At Animas every single one of our trainers are PCC or above with the ICF.  This guarantees they have an absolute minimum of 500 hours of practice but, in reality, Animas trainers have multiple thousands of hours of experience as coaches.

8. Avoid courses that don’t provide ongoing support or community.

Coaching can be a lonely profession, and it’s important to choose a course that offers ongoing support and a sense of community. 

Avoid courses that don’t provide opportunities for networking, mentorship, or ongoing learning, as they may not provide the support and connections needed for long-term success. 

Look for courses that offer a community of like-minded coaches, ongoing learning opportunities, and mentorship from experienced professionals.

This may be additional programmes, membership platforms, events and so on.

9. Avoid courses that make unrealistic promises

Some less reputable coaching courses make unrealistic promises about the outcomes and benefits of becoming a coach. 

These programmes may overstate the potential for financial success, the ease of attracting clients, or the speed at which coaches can achieve professional growth. 

Building a successful coaching practice takes time, effort, and dedication, so be wary of courses that promise instant success or guarantee outcomes that seem too good to be true.

The old saying holds true: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

10. Avoid courses that have rigid, inflexible approaches to coaching.

Some coaching courses impose a rigid coaching style or methodology without allowing for flexibility. 

A good coaching course should encourage you to develop your unique coaching approach, tailored to the needs of your clients. This includes avoiding coaching courses that expect you to always ask the “right” questions, follow specific models exactly or to act in a particular way during coaching sessions

In its early days, this style of coaching was quite normal but the profession has come a long way since then and we now aim to develop coaches who are adaptable, responsive to the needs of their clients and, most importantly, fully human! 


Choosing the right coaching course is an important decision that can impact your long-term success as a coach. 

I encourage you to take your initial coach training seriously as the launchpad to your career.  Don’t cut corners at the start of your new chosen skill and journey. Find a high-quality, reputable coaching school and immerse yourself in a journey of learning and growth.

You won’t regret it!

By avoiding these 10 common mistakes and doing your research, you can choose a course that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and support for your coaching journey. 

Why Choose Us?

Hear What Previous Students Have Said
"I have been so impressed with Animas! The materials, the workshops and the professionalism of their coaches and administrators have been outstanding! They are a company who practice what they preach and are in it for the long haul!"
Hazel Brown

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