The CPD Standards Office, has seen a sharp rise in online coaches and trainers looking for accreditation since Coronavirus

So how do you choose a reliable and reputable online training provider?

And which delivery channel should you engage in?

Self-isolation means that many people now have a more flexible, and focused working day. Time has been 'freed up' providing opportunities to concentrate and prioritise on professional practices that wouldn't normally get much attention. Employers and professional bodies are encouraging this new time for colleagues to engage in distance and online learning whilst people self-isolate, and explore new opportunities to brush up on existing skill sets, update professional qualifications and complete professional development.

Prior to the CV outbreak, Forbes recently forecast that e:learning market would be worth £325 billion by 2025. This is likely to treble over the next 12 months as increasing numbers of training and coaching providers generate new online learning experiences. These tend to be delivered over two stages, starting with a short 'freemium version' which is used as a sales pitch for the subsequent longer commercial offering.

Online learning offerings now come in many shapes and sizes, gone are the days of long standalone e:learning courses comprised of an individual flicking through a slide deck with a monotone voiceover.

The market is now overflowing with training webinars, podcasts, virtual classroom streaming and one-to-one coaching. All delivered by so-called experts, blatantly advertising their experiences and achievements.

Differentiating between the different offerings is extremely difficult.

This busy market stems from the fact that the barriers to entry are low; online platforms are easy to populate and promote learning content is easy on social media and internet ads. Hence it is easy for opportunist cowboys to enter the market undetected, and profess that their online offering is comparable to that of a true expert. Given the online training market is starting to flood, it has never been more important to ensure that your online learning has been verified by a third party training certification.

 What is online learning verification? The CPD Standards Office is unique as the only service that offers an official recognition for online and digital learning experiences. As a pioneering, global leader in accreditation, the Office awards training providers, professional coaches and education organisations with formal CPD and Training Excellence verification.

Having worked with 100's of providers over the past decade, we have been able to sort 'the wheat from the chaff', providing clear signposting to outstanding, high quality learning experiences that deliver real impact and ensure learners achieve their objectives.

If you buy 'dodgy' online learning that has not been externally verified, you may fall foul by purchasing something that is selling you a product or service leaving you frustrated that it didn't actually teach you what was advertised. Alternatively, these learning experiences may also be padded out with outdated information, or incorrect material, and again - how do you know if the provider really has experience and credence in their given field.

Amanda Rosewarne, CEO of The CPD Standards Office says:

'Self-isolation has now created a new trend for regular engagement in online learning. Yet with so many new providers entering the online learning market, it has become the new wild-west, where learners can easily be hooked by cowboys. Over the past few weeks, all sorts of new online learning have been created, the need for external validation of this market has never been greater. It is critical that genuine providers seek accreditation to ensure that their products stand head and shoulders above the rest, and that learners are not hook-winked by cowboys'.

For comment or interview, contact: Amanda Rosewarne, CEO of The CPD Standards Office