Coaching Certification: How Important is it?

Depending on whom you ask, some would say that coaching certification is important to have, while others would say that it isn’t. When considering your options, there are questions that you might want to ask yourself and then based on your answers decide whether pursing that particular designation is needed right now, or can be pursed later.

Why Do I Need to Have Coaching Certification?

One word:


Many would argue that you cannot possibly operate this type of business unless you have completed a coaching certification program. Depending on where you get this designation, there may be some level of prestige and benefits attached to being certified.

For example, one of the more popular organizations to offer coaching certification is the International Coach Federation (ICF). They have 3-levels –

1. Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

2. Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

3. Master Certified Coach (MCC)

All these designations are very impressive, but here’s the catch, you must have a certain number of client hours in order to apply, plus, there are application and examination fees to consider. Make sure you do your research to determine the right program for you. Finally, remember that ‘credibility’ does not come from having a piece of paper.

Can I Start my Own Coaching Practice Without Certification?

Can you just skip your initial certification for coaching and just get started with your coaching business?


Everyday people from different industries such as mental health, human resources, sales or business development, decide that they want to coach and hang their shingle without announcing “Hey, I’m coaching certified!”

Instead, they draw on the experiences they have acquired in their specific field. They most likely have experience interacting with people on various levels, and perhaps have been commended for the way they can hone in on the specific issues, and more importantly that people find it very easy to talk to them about their concerns.

You’ll find that anyone who provides coaching does it because that is their passion, and they possess the skill and knowledge to do the job. Don’t wait until you have acquired certification before you start your practice – of course, follow the ethical guidelines for coaches, but provide the service that others are looking for now and get your credentials later.

Will my Client Care if I am Certified or Not?

If they do and you don’t have what they are looking for, they will go to someone else. That’s ok, because the majority of individuals looking for coaching don’t care about the packaging, they care whether or not you can help them solve their problems. That’s more important to them than finding out if you are certified.

Getting certified as a coach is not crucial in the grand scheme of things, but it can be of benefit later on in your practice. Look at the process as continuing education. You get certified to hone your skills, learn and incorporate new techniques, and become part of the larger community of certified coaches.

The bottom line, coaching certification is not the be-all-end-all of your dream job. If this is your passion, don’t wait, pursue it now. As you gain more experience and want to move into training or consulting, or you have the money to get certified, then do it! This will certainly add a nice touch to the experiences and hard work you have already gained over time.

Eudine Herbert has a Master of Education Degree with a concentration in Counseling Psychology and Management. She trained and became a certified mediator through the American Center for Conflict Resolution Institute at Lakewood College, specializing in family and small business mediation. Eudine is the principal mediator at Herbert Mediation Center, where she also provides coaching for parents & teens, and couples considering divorce.  Visit the website for more information at:

Eudine Herbert,
Certified Mediator – NACM
Guest Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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