Choosing the right vocational training organisation

Whether you are an HR manager, a training manager or simply in the process of retraining, choosing a training organisation from among the thousands of providers can quickly become tedious. However, the choice of training provider will determine the success of your approach. To get a clearer picture of this jungle, here are the criteria you should take into account before committing yourself.

Is the organisation certified?

An initial selection of training organisations can be made by giving priority to those with a certification. Indeed, being certified means that the organisation has voluntarily submitted itself to the judgement of auditors and has met specific quality standard criteria established by external bodies: course quality, adequacy of the means implemented and the objectives, as well as other criteria. This approach enables continuing vocational training funders (OPCOs) to ensure the quality of the training actions implemented within the organisations. Moreover, by 2021, training organisations financed by public or mutualised vocational training funds will have to be certified according to a single national standard. In the meantime, the Datadock database, an evaluation tool common to Opca and Opacif for the referencing of training organisations with regard to quality criteria, should remain in place until the new certification system is implemented. OPQF, DataDock and ISO 9001 certifications are all reassuring criteria for effectively choosing your training organisation.

Is the organisation known?

The reputation of the organisations you pre-select can help you choose, as a good school quickly builds a good reputation. With the Internet, you can quickly get an idea of the reputation of a centre and distinguish between those with a good reputation and those without. You can find reviews via Google, Facebook or platforms that check these reviews. Word-of-mouth also works well and for this, being able to talk to former students will be useful in forming your opinion. Another alternative is to visit the premises and get your own impression of the centre. Finally, you could take into account the seniority of the organisation, but be careful because some well-established institutions sometimes tend to rely too much on the traditional teaching methods that have made them famous and do not develop them despite the rise of digital technology.

Are the trainers professional?

The success of a training course depends largely on the skills and pedagogical qualities of the trainers. It is therefore essential that the training organisation employs trainers with the right profile to meet the needs. Their professional experience is a real added value as these trainers have a concrete view of the world of work and normally have a thorough knowledge of the sector you are aiming for. Not all organisations publish the profiles of their teachers, but if they do, do not hesitate to consult their profiles on professional networks such as Linkedin.

Can the courses be personalised?

Many centres have a wide range of training courses in their catalogue. However, it is not always easy to know how to offer the training that will exactly meet your needs. You must not only choose a training course, but also choose a pedagogy and an approach to teaching. When choosing a course, you will need to make sure that the pedagogical objectives are clearly defined and in line with your training needs. If this is not entirely the case, check whether the course can be adapted. To do this, the teaching team that takes charge of your request must be available and able to transcribe your needs in order to offer you 100% personalised support.

Is there any real support?

For a training centre, the professional integration of its students is a significant guarantee of quality. It is therefore in the centre's interest to ensure good follow-up before, during and after the training course. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the teaching format (distance learning, face-to-face teaching, etc.) that determines whether or not there is real support during the course, but the centre itself.  In some cases, students will be left entirely to their own devices, while in others, there is a rigorous follow-up with a tutor who will accompany you throughout the training course. This follow-up can also continue after the training course and take various forms: a teaching booklet summarising the key points of the training course, access to a platform to extend the teaching, follow-up in the workplace, help in finding a job, etc. It all depends on you and whether you prefer to develop independently or whether you prefer to be supervised as much as possible.

Is the centre up to date?

There are tens of thousands of training centres. But there are fewer quality organisations that are constantly innovating and keeping abreast of market developments and technologies to enable us to anticipate tomorrow's training needs today. If the training takes place face-to-face, are the premises modern and well-equipped in terms of equipment (computers, tablets, classrooms...)? What services are offered (extranet, cafeteria, library, etc.)? If the course is distance learning, what are the learning methods: e-learning, private space, paper, teaching aids, etc.? Finally, the best training centre is the one that will place your professional interest at the heart of the project by providing you with qualitative and personalised support before, during and after your training.  
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