Choosing an electrical training provider can be tricky - you want to make sure you get the training and qualifications you need. So what are the things you need to check before you decide?
Are they really electrical specialists?
You should avoid so called 'multi-skills' centres that can be offering courses like bricklaying or plastering alongside electrical training. The phrase 'Jack of all trades, master of none' fits perfectly here.
We have recently seen a rise of the fake "electrical specialists". Simply put a fancy website claiming they are a specialist when actually they are trainer of plumbers who does a bit of electrical on the side is a clear sign that a company is not being honest with you from the start. Real specialists will offer a full suite of courses, have images of their training facilities on their site, have clear pricing, course durations and other key information on their website. If they don't you may find you are simply enquiring with a fake company who is selling your leads and contact information to other training companies.
Trying to gain important qualifications for your career alongside a class of bricklayers and plasterers isn't exactly ideal - especially as these training providers may work from noisy and dusty premises, including cold warehouses.
Distance learning - beware!
Electrical skills are practical as well as theoretical. They need to be learnt and taught in practical situations not just from books or on computer screens. It's OK to do some of your learning online of the subjects that suit, however you will never be able to learn installation techniques properly from a book or online course.
What do you know about them?
If you have found your provider on the web, how much information do they provide before you make your choice? Always be wary of those companies who are light on information as they may conceal hidden charges, extra costs and poor locations.
How long have they been in business?
Do they have quality photography of the training environment? If not, why not?
Are you dealing with the actual trainers?
What do you know about them?
Agents - it's more common than you think. They gather the customers, and then 'sell' them to training providers for a cut. Real companies will offer a full suite of courses, have images of their training facilities on their site, have clear pricing, course durations and other key information on their website. If they don't you may find you are simply enquiring with a fake company who is selling your leads and contact information to other training companies.
The largest 'agent' in the UK recently went bust, leaving many customers thousands of pounds out of pocket with no training. Deal with the actual trainers!
Do they proudly show photographs or videos of their training centre? Will they offer you a personal tour before you commit? If they don't, or won't there is usually a reason.
Avoid those providers who offer training in hired facilities like golf clubs or hotel meeting rooms - they are usually 'one man bands' with little support when and if you need it.
Do not spend your hard-earned money unless you are 100% sure of what you are getting!
Further Education Colleges are fantastic at some things, especially if you are a school leaver - but they are often not adequately staffed or resourced for the type of training you need to succeed.
Because they are funded by the public they have little commercial need to provide a great service, and courses are often cancelled or altered at a moment's notice.
The hard sell
Avoid any company that sends a sales rep to your house and puts you under pressure to sign. Not only is this an indicator of poor customer service and probably a shoddy course, but we feel strongly that the quality of a course and company should sell itself.
This is electrical training - not double glazing.
'Mickey Mouse' qualifications
They may sound impressive, the 'made up' qualifications offered by other training providers, but they are worthless in the real world.
Make sure you are dealing with a company that offers you City & Guilds qualifications that are respected and recognised around the world.
Value for money
We have seen and been told about some providers who charge massively over the top prices - in some cases FOUR TIMES what we charge for a similar course.
It's the old adage - both too expensive and too cheap are danger signals.
One man bands
Nice chap - but is he there when you need help and advice? Can he help support your future development? Will he still be around next month?
Inspected, checked and assured - look for the logos.
Make sure your electrical training takes place at properly approved centres with awarding bodies such as EAL and City & Guilds. These are inspected and verfied by these external bodies to ensure you get the training you need to get ahead of the competition.
It's your future - do it once - do it right!