Throughout many industries and occupations, training classes are an essential part of everyday business. Whether it is a mandatory class designed for employees, or a class of a person's choice, it is designed to help them in an area of desired improvement. These classes can range in length from one day to many weeks, and can be on a variety of subjects. Technology classes, such as computer training, are popular, as are certification classes. It is a broad industry, and thus it is important to fully understand how these classes can be used to exploit buyers. Often classes are extremely expensive, and the customer has a right to expect good service and fair treatment.
The following are a number of questions that outline and highlight some of the major issues and concerns when dealing with training classes. It is important to understand that the diverse makeup of this industry brings with it different questions for different classes.
The first and most important question you must ask is:
* What is the reason you want to take the class? Whether it is a requirement or a choice, you must identify what you want out of the class. In each case, the answer must be a desire to learn and master the topic that class covers. A "goal" of profit is not a good mindset, as it cannot always be obtained.
Other important questions:
* Does the training class guarantee "profit" or monetary gain as a result of their class?
* What percentage of students who sign up for the program complete the program? If the company states that you'll make money after finishing - ask what percentage of people do not make their money back?
* Does the class or training company offer any timeline or guarantee on a schedule? Is there a possibility the class will be canceled or rescheduled? If canceled, can the customer be put in another class, or will they begin the registration process all over again? Does the company have a guarantee that the class will not be canceled?
* What are the qualifications of the teachers or coaches?
* What is the company policy on refunds? What are the "fine print" rules on receiving the refund and how can the customer be sure they will be compensated? Make sure any promises of refunds not stated in the contract are written down and initialed by the company and the student, before signing.
* What type of compensation can be made if the customer is unable to complete the program put forth due to medical or other unforeseen reasons?
* Are there any fees that are not outlined and described in the actual class? Will the customer be charged extra or required to buy outside materials for the class, adding to the flat cost?
* How will the customer be informed of the payment plan, if necessary? Can the customer pay in installments if the course is over a period of weeks?
* If a certification class, does it show any proof that it matches with industry standards or compliance? For example, does a medical training class that claims to offer certification in an area really have that certification in the mainstream medical world?
* Testimonials used by companies are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to be typical results. Do the testimonials match up with the percentages and dollar amounts the company is promising, if not caution should be exercised.
This general information is not regarding a specific company, but is intended to help consumers who are investigating a company prior to doing business. It was developed with the help of the University of Utah Honors 1051 class (December 2009).