What is a professional trainer?

Professional TrainerSo what is a professional trainer? I guess any one who call himself a professional trainer implies two things.

One is that he has achieved certain standards. These standards could either be set by industry groups as in professional bodies or by legislation if any. There is no one organisation in the world that sets such standards. In the case of Certified Professional Trainers program offered by the Quest Group; the standards are set by the IPMA (International Professional Managers Association), U.K. There are other organisations and therefore the value of the certification would depends on the reputation and the coverage of the awarding body.

The second implication when you call yourself a professional trainer; it means that you can and will be earning a fee in that profession as oppose to earning a salary. You will be available to be engaged as a trainer by potential clients. If you are earning a salary as a internal trainer in an organisation; you will probably be referred to as an in house trainer rather than a professional trainer.

Why am I talking about this? Well, there are organisations offering programs to train people to be “professional” trainers but are run by trainers who are employed and has questionable success as professional trainers. So what do you think?

5 thoughts on “What is a professional trainer?”

  1. Recently I was exposed to the world of consultancy. Some of the consultants shared their view about the relationship between consultancy and training. He commented that consultancy at its lowest level is training. What do you think?

  2. Hey Yong Song,

    I think consultancy and training have both similarities and differences – having attended CPT myself and held my own workshops, I learnt that training goes beyond that presenter. For every one hour of training, there would be probably 10 hours of preparation and communications to the logistic team, or your team of facilitators.

    Consultancy, on the other hand, is normally more one-to-one or one-to-small-group, and I guess there is less emphasis on the presentation skills, but more of coaching. While the consultant does not have to deal with the fears of public speaking, I think a consultant needs to go “deeper” than training.

    I feel training and consultancy each require different skill sets, so I don’t feel that consultancy is “lowest level of training”. I guess training is perceived to be more difficult, therefore “higher level”, because there is a need to first overcome the fear of public speaking (I read before that people fear public speaking more than they fear death!)

  3. A friend once sent me a joke. reads like this, a man driving a car passing a sheperd with a herd of sheep, he stopped to talk with the sheperd:’If I can tell you the number of your sheep correctly, can you let me have one of your sheep?’. The sheperd agreed. So the man started by fiddling all his gadgets to get the number, including, finally, connecting with a satellite.

    Of course, in the end he got the number and one sheep.

    The sheperd stepped forward to ask the man a question:

    ‘If I can tell you correctly your profession, can you return the sheep to me’. The man agreed.

    ‘You are a consultant’, the sheperd said.

    ‘How do you know?’ the man asked in surprise.

    ‘You came without being invited and asked to be paid on telling me something i already knew.’

    Of course, this is only an joke.

    However a truely great trainer re-engineers the influencees’ pattern of thinking and ways of behaving, helps to transform something that is mediocre into something that is excellent.

    From a passer-by, neither a consultant nor a trainer

  4. Consultancy and training does not entails the same set of skills. They might have simliar objectives, which is to help an organisation( or people) make changes.They are just dfferent means…….after all, training does not solves all problems.
    However we do know that not all consultants can train….. professionally. On the other hand,most trainers could very easily acquire the necessary know-how to consult. It may not be wrong to regard training as a subset of consultancy. But I would certainly not agree that ” consultancy at its lowest is training”. Pretty sweeping statement don’t you think?
    Personally I think training is a higher level of skill.In any case there is no real need to compare as they often go hand in hand.

  5. Thank you for all the interesting comments. Yes, be it consultant, trainer or coach, each has a role to play in changing others’ lives in a positive sense to a certain extent.

    At the end of the day, it’s the individual’s intention and integrity as to how far you want to go in terms of helping others to achieve their goals ilife in the areas of your work.

    You can be all three at the same time, as long as you acquire the right skills and knowledge to do your job well.

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