Exciting News: VACT Approved by Society of Virtual Assistants

Amanda Johnson - SVA Approved Trainer LogoIndustry body Society of Virtual Assistants (SVA) launches Approved VA Trainer Scheme

After a massive increase in complaints regarding virtual assistant training courses, SVA invited UK trainers and industry leaders to take part in an open discussion about how they could collectively improve standards as an industry.  The result was a free directory of approved VA Trainers, Coaches and Mentors who agree to abide by a strict code of practice.

We’re thrilled to announce that we have been approved – you can view all of the listings on the Approved Trainers page of the SVA site or our specific listing here.

Why do we need virtual assistant training standards?

It seems unfair that we hold virtual assistants to high standards of professionalism, and don’t expect the same from VA Coaches and mentors.  “Virtual Assistant Trainer” isn’t a protected term, anyone can set up as one with very little experience or expertise. In the last 2 years, SVA received more complaints about trainers than it received in the preceding 10 years. Something had to change.  Some of the complaints:

  • VAs with less than 18 months’ experience and an untested business model offering start up training
  • Courses which expect an unrealistic amount of time/money input in addition to the fee charged for the course
  • That courses were nothing which you couldn’t Google for free
  • Misleading statistics being used in marketing materials

The group collaboratively created a white paper which explains the rationale behind the rules.

What does the listing mean?

Well it means that VACT have agreed to comply with the following criteria, independently assessed by Society of Virtual Assistants:

  • Experience – should have 5 years being a VA before offering training themselves OR worked with at least 20 different clients, over at least 3 different industries, offering at least 3 different skill sets as a VA (not as an employee). Should have at least 5 years’ experience of training other people (as a VA or as an employee) OR a recognised teaching qualification.
  • Marketing Ability – should be able to demonstrate at least 10 different ways to attract VA clients effectively.
  • Confidentiality – should be registered as a Data Controller. Any group coaching sessions should also have a privacy disclaimer at the beginning and get agreement from all parties before commencing.
  • Accuracy – Marketing materials should show the source of any data quoted. Marketing materials should include what VAs will require to complete the course (time/resources/pre-existing skills/commitment).
  • Complaints Procedure – Should have a written complaints procedure in place which is publicly displayed.
  • Integrity – Recognise intellectual property law (and not encourage plagiarising marketing materials or software piracy etc.) Illustrates #CollaborationNotCompetition in their business.
  • Legal – Should understand the legal responsibilities of running a business – including Distance Selling Regulations, PECR, GDPR, MLR, employment law, contract law and reasons for/against being a limited company as a VA.
  • CPD – Coaches should commit to continuing professional development (CPD) themselves – either formal or informal training of at least 10 hours per year – and will also make sure they engage with latest industry research such as UK VA Survey, small business statistics etc.
  • Insurance – Coaches will have the appropriate professional indemnity insurance to cover their coaching work.

If you want to learn more about Amanda’s VA journey – don’t forget it is well documented on our About Page or if you have specific questions – please feel free to ask.

Caroline Wylie, founder of SVA says:

“VACT is the UK’s longest running VA training course – which in itself is a testament to its effectiveness.  Whilst Amanda doesn’t work directly with clients any more, she has her finger on the pulse of what is going on in the industry.  Winning the Best VA Trainer Award at the PA Assist Members/Virtual Assistant Voice Awards once would be impressive – but Amanda has won this 3 years running!

SVA are very happy to recommend this course.”

NB: SVA does not receive payments from trainers or courses either for listings or VAs who get referred from the site.

So if you are considering a VA career or have already established yourself but now would like some help in building and growing a VA business, take a moment to check out the “Work With Me” section of the website.  We have a variety of courses and programmes designed to help you have an awesome VA business.