Is There a National Coaching Certification?

New coaches and individuals looking to enter the coaching profession may wonder if there is a national coaching certification. In a one-word answer – No.

Coaching Certification
Coaching Certification

The Rise of Life Coaching

Life coaching has come a long way in the past few decades. The profession was not well known by the public, and perhaps even seen as somewhat of a scam many years ago. However, thanks to the work of excellent coaches across the country, and to organizations like the International Coach federation (ICF), life coaching is now recognized as a viable profession, and something that has the power to help millions of people enhance and improve their lives.

No Certification Needed to be a Life Coach

Not only is there no national coaching certification, you don’t need any type of certification or degree to practice as a coach in the United States. You can hang out a shingle and call yourself a life coach!

Life Coaches and Massages

Years ago, the massage industry grew rapidly, and many massage technicians weren’t licensed. There were, of course, many massage businesses that were just fronts for prostitution, but even legit massage technicians often started out without licenses.  This made for an even larger discrepancy in skills and success than would be usual for any industry. But, the massage business has matured, and most individuals would not consider going to a masseuse or a masseur who is not licensed.

Now, I’m not equating massage with life coaching, but the coaching industry is experiencing the same sort of trajectory. Individuals seeking out coaches are beginning to look only for those who have a certification, or a series of certifications and accreditations. They want to make sure the coaches they pay are trained and have passed certain requirements.

No National Certification Needed, But…

Since there is no national coaching certification, coaches should pursue certifications from coaching programs that have been accredited by national organizations such as the ICF. This will provide potential clients will a measure of assurance that the coach has at least pursued the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective coach. This will also provide coaches will the skills and knowledge needed to effectively work with clients and to ultimately provide the outcomes they are seeking.

Do We Need a National Coach Certification?

The answer to this question may depend on your political affiliation – some may think that federal oversight is needed to regulate the industry, while others may feel that states or governing bodies offer sufficient protection for consumers. But, regardless of the side you identify with, coaching certification of some type if becoming increasingly more important for both the comfort of clients and the success of coaches.

It is unlikely that a national coaching certification will be needed to become a coach any time soon. But, local and state regulation may be coming in the future. Right now, coaches need to worry about being trained by a good coaching program, and having certifications that are germane to their specialties. More and more potential clients will be looking for these before they hand over their hard-earned money!

By the way… you’re invited to claim your FREE step-by-step “30-Days to Become a Coach” video toolkit. Just go HERE now to get your 30-day coaching blueprint videos.

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

Click here to subscribe

Facebook comments:


  1. Giovanni Rasso says

    I do hope I get to have the other certifications needed. This is one of your finest works Fred.

  2. Nathan says

    These days people wont take you seriously unless you’re certified but its also true that when one becomes a coach there isnt necessarily a certification to be handed out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.