Choosing a course is the first step to a new career or a new way of life so it is important that you choose the college that will provide you with the best training to suit your needs and will support you throughout your studies. With over 230 students currently enrolled on our various courses, we pride ourselves on the support that we offer our students throughout their time with us and also after they graduate. To date, over 500 students have graduated from IHS.

When researching different training providers it can be difficult to ascertain who will best meet your education requirements. We have therefore put together a series of questions that will help you to determine which college and course is the best for you. Any training provider should be prepared to offer you as much information as possible regarding their courses, costs, course material, lecturing team and course recognition. At IHS we aim to offer total transparency to all potential students so that you can make an informed decision on the courses we offer:

Quality of course material – how up to date is it?

It is important that you study material based on the latest, evidence based research. To this end, all IHS courses have module leaders for every module who update the material constantly. This also enables IHS to use this new research to run short CPD courses for healthcare professionals from all disciplines such as Functional Nutrition for Healthcare ProfessionalsHealth and Wellness Coaching and our new Functional Sports Nutrition course.

Course Material – What is provided to assist me in my studies?

IHS provides student handbooks, study skills guides, home study material and unit information (including all learning outcomes students are expected to meet). We also provide all clinical practice paperwork and handbooks required for each year. Video clips, test your knowledge questions and quizzes through our e-Learning management system allow you to brush up your knowledge at a time that suits you. We make student research projects, sample distinction assessments, case studies and client information sheets on individual foods and supplements etc available to other students so that all members of a class can benefit from each other’s efforts. We also provide past exam papers for revision purposes where applicable.

Standard of Course: Has the course material been externally validated?
It is important that you are confident of the quality of the course, course material and training provider when making a decision to study. External validation by a respected and independent body of experts can help ensure you make the right decision. Accreditation and validation should only be conducted by independent bodies with expertise in education and the relevant healthcare industry. Your prospective training providers and their accreditation/validation partners should be transparent with the procedures used and any affiliations which may compromise their impartiality. The education level of your training course should be high enough for graduates to join relevant trade associations to demonstrate practitioners have the required skills to work with members of the public.

The CI Level 4 Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching (VRQ) is approved by Ofqual as a UK level 4 regulated qualification, which guarantees learners a high quality learning experience and employers, members of the public and others that the learner and the centre have reached the required standards.

Lecturing Team – Who will be teaching me?
For longer practitioner training courses you should be taught by a good variety of lecturers, with whom you will have regular contact throughout your chosen course. Ideally these would each expert in their own field with extensive lecturing experience. At IHS we have a passionate and committed team of educators, highly qualified and respected in their fields. On any course lasting one academic year or more we ensure that students have contact with a variety of lecturers as each member of our academic team has their own style of clinical practice and teaching and exposure to different approaches and philosophies helps broaden our students’ skills and knowledge. Before studying with IHS we are happy for you to speak to any member of our lecturing team so you can verify their experience and their regular and continued involvement with the college. ALL our teaching and clinical supervising team have valuable clinical experience which can be passed to IHS students.

Student Support: How will I be supported in my studies?
As a student you need to know that you will receive ongoing academic support and mentoring during your studies. Specific details of the support you will receive should be outlined by prospective training providers.  IHS provides group tutorials at every lecture weekend, optional monthly online tutorials and there are online forums for all courses to allow discussion and clarification on material and assignments. Both directors – Suzanne and Laurence – are directly involved in the day to day running of the college and in supporting students throughout their time with IHS. IHS also has a dedicated student support officer who can offer additional support to any students struggling with their studies, with specific learning challenges or simply requiring additional support. IHS use their forums, a Facebook page and a website blog to update our students on latest developments in the arena of diet and health.

Student Satisfaction: How do I know that you really are the best?
The most direct way to learn about student satisfaction with a college is to talk to students that are studying with the college to determine how satisfied they are with the quality of service. Where possible, we offer all prospective students the opportunity to come to a lecture and meet with our current students. We constantly monitor student satisfaction by conducting anonymous student satisfaction surveys. This ensures IHS maintains and constantly improves upon its high standards. Many of our graduates also agree to speak with prospective students to help advise them on our courses but also opportunities after graduation. Where possible, our open days run when we have lectures on so you can speak to our current students – even attend a lecture so that you can see how our lectures operate yourself!

Built-in Awards: Can I start to practice while I am studying?
A good course will have appropriate awards built into the course throughout. The IHS Diploma in Diet, Health and Wellness Coaching offers a number of built in awards. After Year 1 you will receive the Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching and may complete an ITEC exam and case studies to receive an ITEC Diploma in Nutrition for Complementary Therapists. During year 2 you will also receive a certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching and a Certificate in NLP Practitioner Training for Healthcare Professionals.

Course Recognition: Is your course recognised by the appropriate industry bodies?
All IHS courses are recognised by the appropriate independent registering bodies. We do not affiliate ourselves with any association that is not completely independent of all training providers. It is important that your qualification allows you to register with a body that is not directly affiliated with any training provider, as this ensures impartiality when setting standards within the industry. Our Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching is recognised by the Complementary Medical Association (CMA) www.the-cma.org.uk and the  Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (FNTP) www.fntp.org.uk. Our health & wellness coaching and NLP courses are also accredited by the appropriate bodies, please see the respective course pages on this website.

What are my career opportunities? What are the college graduates doing now?
It is important that you understand not only what career opportunities are open to you upon graduation but also how you may achieve your goals within your chosen field. At IHS we pride ourselves on qualifying competent and confident practitioners. IHS graduates have not only set up their own clinics, but also write for magazines and national media, work with community based projects, one graduate appears as an expert on the Afternoon Show and some of our graduates are working overseas to name a few!

Costs of study: What do the course fees cover?
You should understand and be able to budget for all costs associated with a course prior to enrolment. Be sure to ask all prospective training providers about hidden costs associated with their courses so you do not get any nasty surprises once you commence your studies! Our course fees include the cost of online course material, monthly classroom and online tutorials, assignment corrections, clinical practice, exam fees (except for repeats), personal tutor support and cooking days. There are no hidden costs. The only other cost to you will be your course books but IHS have chosen books that will be useful to you throughout your studies and later when you are practicing. IHS course fees are all listed on this website or can be obtained by contacting the office directly.

Study progression: What options are there for further study after graduation from my chosen course? 
Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching graduates may choose to continue their studies with IHS and can upgrade to a Diploma in Diet, Health and Wellness Coaching.

Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching: Graduates from this programme may choose to complete a Certificate in Advanced Wellness Coaching Competencies with the Wellness Coach Training Institute (www.realbalance.com).