How do you find a good training provider that does exactly what they say they’ll do?  

If you’re thinking about changing careers and have identified that you want to learn a trade, like becoming a gas engineer, training to be a plumber or qualifying as an electrician, how do you find a training provider that can help you achieve that goal? How do you know they’ll be any good and do what they say they’ll do?  

All too often we hear from people who, having signed up to start their training with a company, realise that the course isn’t what they were sold, or the company isn’t delivering on the training with the relevant course content or industry-recognised qualifications. This leaves them out of pocket and without the desired training and qualifications – a serious and incredibly frustrating setback if you’re investing in your future career.  

How can you avoid this? What should you look out for when looking for construction or technical trades training, so this doesn’t happen to you? 

Here are five key points to consider when looking for a training provider: 

  1. Beware of internet search results 

We’re not saying that you shouldn't search online for a training provider; that’s how most of us find out information. Just be wary of the search results as these may include misleading companies who will ask for your details before hitting you with hard sales pitches for a course that the sales team has zero knowledge of or, in worst cases, might not exist at all.  

Tip: Don’t give your details to a training provider without thoroughly checking out the company’s credentials first.  

  1. Does the course achieve the qualification you need? 

It’s a waste of your time and money if you invest in a training course that doesn't lead to an industry-recognised qualification. If you speak to a sales team, it’s possible that they might not have the industry-specific knowledge to advise you, but they'll still be happy to sell you a training course. If you know what qualification you need first, before you make the enquiry, it’s easier to work out what training you need.  

Tip: Do your research first. Look at professional standards bodies for your industry, what qualifications do they stipulate or recommend, and what is the ‘industry standard’?  

  1. Is the training provider accredited?  

The training provider won’t be able to deliver the industry-standard qualifications if they are not accredited or approved by the relevant awarding bodies. For over 100 years City & Guilds has upheld high standards and regulations in training, ensuring robust administrative procedures, high-quality teaching and standardised assessment. There are other awarding bodies depending on the industry, such as EAL, NOCN or LCL, to name a few. 

Tip: Check out the training provider’s accreditations, which should be clearly visible on their website. If you’re in any doubt, verify it with the awarding body. For example, if you were looking for a City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 Electrical course in Dartford, you can check which centres have approval for that on the City & Guilds website.  

  1. Can you visit the centre to look around?  

Talking to a sales team via email or live chat is a great place to start, but it is difficult to get a full sense of the facilities and how they operate without visiting their centre to have a look around. Training providers should welcome visits—without an appointment—and be transparent about their centre locations and facilities. 

Tip: When you’re narrowing down your search, make the journey and take the time to go and visit the training providers yourself. It’s a good opportunity to look around and ask any questions face-to-face with staff or students.  

  1. What exactly are you paying for?  

As well as making sure the course leads to the qualification you want, so you’re getting what you pay for, it’s worth considering and comparing the overall price of the training. Are there any hidden costs? Do you need to pay an extra fee for the certification or assessments? Have these costs been clearly laid out?  Beware of training companies providing 0% finance for their courses, it’s probable that the course price will be higher to compensate. The training provider will need to build the costs associated with them being able to provide 0% finance into their course fees. 

Tip: Do a price comparison of like-for-like training, asking questions about costs if anything isn’t clear. If you want to spread the cost of the training, investigate different options so you can make an informed decision before signing up to finance plans, as some companies allow you to spread the cost over a payment plan without any additional fees.  

Anything else?  

A good training provider will welcome questions and be happy to answer them. It's also worth looking at a company’s social media and reading their reviews on Google or Trustpilot to see what other people say about their experiences. 


At Able Skills, we have been providing training in construction and technical trades for over 20 years.  

When you contact us, you will speak to a member of our team in the office at our training facility in Dartford, not a separate sales company without the necessary knowledge.  

We offer industry-recognised qualifications, with most of our courses having City & Guilds approval. We are proudly associated with City & Guilds, AIM, LCL, Bpec and NOCN. 

We believe in honest advice and a value for money service, with no hidden costs, and no extras to pay. All our prices are clearly shown in the course descriptions, as well as fee-free payment plans. Once we know what you want, we will advise you about courses and qualifications, even if it means that we can’t offer what you want as we won’t sell you a course under false pretences.  

We have an open-house policy, which means we welcome visitors during opening hours without the need to make an appointment. You can just turn up and we’ll show you around!