Coaching Certification…Do I need it to become a coach?

Do you need coaching certification to become a coach?  Fortunately, the answer is no.  I say that because the ICF (International Coaching Federation), which is the primary certifying body for coaches worldwide, will not even look at your application until you have at least 250 hours of PAID coaching under your belt, and that’s for the first level.  Think about it.  If you are just starting out and coaching 10 hours/week… you are very fortunate.  But even at this rate, it will take at least 6 months.  And for the most prestigious level you will need at least 1000 hours, which would take you a year if you are coaching 20 hours a week… allowing a generous 2 weeks for vacation.

So it looks like if you are relying on getting your coaching certification from the ICF so you can have the confidence to become a coach and fill your coaching practice, you need another plan.  The most practical method would be to find a coaching training program, that includes sales and marketing so when you complete your training you will have the tools to find clients you can coach.  The confidence part?  A good part of that will come with a training program that includes coaching others and getting specific feedback, and the rest is a matter of getting out there and coaching a lot of people.  And if your clients are getting results from your coaching, they won’t worry about whether you are certified or not.

Get a coaching certification in RESULTS.

Since having a coaching certification is not really connected to getting clients, you can choose whether to get certified or not based on your philosophy, instead of perceived need.  Coaching certification is a step toward creating a standard within the industry, which could potentially benefit us all.  Some believe that certification may become more important in a few years from now, so keeping track of your paid coaching time is a good idea… and until then focus on the training you need to become a coach.

Colette Seymann

JTS Advisors Accountability Coach

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