January 4, 2011
Made your New Year resolutions, now looking for great support to help you achieve your 2011 goals, and you might be feeling confused by too much choice. As the coaching and lifestyle industries expand, providers are entering the market at an unprecedented rate and the standards of service range from excellent to very poor. Here are some tips for choosing a professional service provider:
1. Check out the provider (e.g. web search, professional associations, Trading Standards), and ask questions. Be confident you know whether they:
- have the relevant experience, training, qualifications and/or accreditation for your needs
- keep their skills and knowledge up to date
- have membership of professional body, with Code of Conduct, Ethics and complaints procedure
- use an appropriate title (NB providers using protected titles must be registered with Health Professions Council www.hpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/professions or other regulator www.hpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/regulators/)
- are insured to practice
2. Before you commit
- your expectations, challenges, issues and what you want to achieve
- fees, payment terms, frequency and estimated duration of the service provision
- how progress will be monitored and evaluated
And ask yourself: Is this beneficial for me right now? Don’t be coerced into committing unless you are satisfied that the service is of use to you.
3. Be aware:
- if you have any doubts about the service, discuss these with your provider, and if still uncertain, seek advice from their professional body.
- many of coaching and lifestyle professions are unregulated however good providers are likely to belong to and be accredited by a professional body which requires evidence of a minimum standard of fitness to practice.
- be wary of providers
- with memberships which only require payment of a fee (i.e. do not set a minimum standard)
- who hold ‘certificates of attendance’ rather than ‘certificates of competence’ or other appropriate qualifications.
And finally I’d like to wish you all the best in achieving your 2011 goals.