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5 Things to Look for (+ Red Flags) in a Sleep Consultant Certification Program

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Whether you worked with a sleep consultant to get more rest for your family or you love the idea of building a career serving exhausted parents, the first step in the venture of becoming a sleep consultant is to find a sleep consultant certification program that is the right fit for you.

Because here’s the thing: A quick Google search will bring you tons of results, but that doesn’t mean all programs are built the same.

And the price tag isn’t the only differentiating factor.

As you do your research, here are five things to look for (and a few red flags to avoid) when choosing a sleep consultant certification program for you.

Evidence-Based and Backed by Research

With an increasing amount of misinformation circulating in the parenting world (especially in regards to sleep), having a sleep consultant certification program that is evidence-based and backed by research is extremely important. It’s also important that the program is updated with current research and best practices regularly, and that you have access to it (for no additional cost!).

Not only do you want to ensure you’re learning the latest in child sleep research to best serve your clients, but since you’ll be educating families also, you want to make sure that what you’re teaching them is evidence-based.

A few red flags to look out for when evaluating programs:

  • Program doesn’t use outside sources – the instructors only share their opinions

  • The research they base their teachings on are outdated or incorrect

At the Collective for Family Rest and Wellness, we love data so much that we put together our own survey for current sleep consultants active in the field today - dive into our data here to learn more about the contextual factors that you may want to know if you’re considering joining a certification program.

Offer Multiple Methods or Approaches for Supporting Families

Every family is unique and will have different needs when it comes to their sleep struggles and goals. Further, every child is different, and what will work for one won’t work for another. Having a program that educates you on multiple methods or approaches will give you the confidence to work with families, regardless of their situation.

And while you may think that all sleep consultant certification programs cover every method that’s out there, that just isn’t the case.

Erin, a sleep consultant who was certified through another program and then decided to expand her knowledge by enrolling in the the Certified Newborn Sleep Consultant course from The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness shared the following story:

I am currently working with a client that I normally wouldn’t have felt comfortable taking on. My initial sleep certification program only taught two different methods, and I wasn’t as prepared with all of the specific situations each family brings. I felt like my hands were tied if a client ever came to me with a situation I wasn’t equipped to handle. But since I took Ashley and Katelyn’s course through The Collective, when this client came to me, I knew I could support her. I now feel more confident in my ability to help families who have more nuanced situations when it comes to sleep.

— Erin M., Student

When looking through the program overviews, here are a few red flags to look out for:

  • Only one, or limited, methods taught

  • Programs that don’t cover family dynamics or cultural differences

If you want to learn more about our Sleep Consultant Academy program from The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness, check out our free webinar!

Quality Over Ease

A sleep consultant certification program isn’t like those college classes where you scout the reviews, looking for the easiest professor with the least amount of assessments.

The goal shouldn’t be to get through the program quickly or to not take assessments. The ultimate goal should be that you put in the work and get a lot out of it to help you be the most successful sleep consultant you can be.

Here are a few red flags to look out for:

  • Big financial promises - Anyone who owns their own business knows that what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.

  • Graduates of the program hyping it up, saying it’s not much work to get through the course

  • Little to no assessments - You want to make sure you’re learning the information and can confidently support families

Speaking of assessments, if you’re curious about what kind of sleep consultant personality you might have after going through the Sleep Consultant Academy, take our quiz!

Strong Community + Feedback

Aside from a quality education, look for programs that have strong communities with honest feedback.

Not only will having a community provide you support and encouragement, but getting an inside glimpse into what students really think about the program is important. Does the program include recent reviews from students? Or do they list graduates so that you can reach out to them and ask for their honest feedback?

These features allow for transparency so that you can determine whether the program is the best fit for you.

A few red flags to look out for:

  • Not having easy access to ask questions of past students

  • Not being able to hear from students about their experience

  • Past graduates saying they had to do continuing education after completing the course

  • Past students saying they didn’t feel confident in supporting families after finishing the program

Want a sneak peek inside our Sleep Consultant Academy course?? Checkout a FREE module here.

Qualified Instructors with a Variety of Expertise

Another consideration to look at is who is doing the teachings.

  • Is it one person? Or is it a team?

  • Do they bring in experts in certain fields?

  • Are those experts trusted individuals?

We (Ashely and Katelyn) have 10 years of experience in our own sleep consulting businesses – we know a lot about sleep and a little about everything else. That’s why we bring in experts to help cover the other things that will help our graduates be well-rounded and make the most of their business.

Because the thing is, you will come across cases where what’s going on with a client’s sleep has deeper roots, and we want you to be prepared.

Maddie, a graduate from the Sleep Consultant Academy, recently shared in our private Facebook group, “Ashley and Katelyn, I feel like your course just really encompasses ALL aspects of just…everything parenting related. I am so grateful I took this course to help others and have just felt really equipped throughout this whole process even though I am just beginning. Thank you.”

While we will never judge an individual or condemn a course based on who is teaching it, when looking at the instructors of the course, here are a few potential red flags:

  • Qualifications of experts aren’t listed

  • There aren’t a variety of instructors teaching on the lessons

  • The experts don’t have much experience, especially in regards to course content

Choosing a sleep consultant certification program is a decision that we recommend you thoroughly research, especially if you plan on creating a business as a sleep consultant.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the program to ask questions to ensure it’s the right fit for you. If you’d like to discover more about The Sleep Consultant Academy, we invite you to book a discovery call with us!

Sleep consultants can literally save lives, and we are excited that you’re considering pursuing this field!


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