Non Accredited vs Accredited Life Coaching Certification – Does it Really Matter?

Does it really matter if you attend an accredited life coaching certification program?  Some will say yes, and others will say probably not. 

Widely Recognized Coaching Accreditation Bodies

What does accreditation mean? If you ever attended college or university or any professional training in the United States, you may have heard about this term. Other countries may use it as well, and some sometimes use “Approved” or “Affiliate” to also refer to “Accreditation.” In most cases, these terms do not mean the same thing as Accredited. For example, some schools in the U.S. hold state approval or recognition status, meaning that they have been authorized to operate in that state and grant degrees but are not accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation means the school, or the educational program offered at an institution has achieved a level that meets or exceeds standards developed by experts in the field. For universities and colleges in the United States, there are three types of accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (US DOE): regional, national, and programmatic. Non-accreditation merely refers to programs or institutions not recognized as meeting prescribed standards or requirements. Now, as far as life coaching is concerned, the most well-known credentialing body that accredits coaching programs is the International Coach Federation (ICF). Others include the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE), and The International Association of Coaching (IAC).

ICF Certification VIDEO

(NOTE: If you’ve been asking questions about ICF Certification lately, then you need to watch this video. In the video, I’ll explain how to best get and use this ‘ultimate credibility advantage’. Click HERE now to watch the video.)

Is an Accredited Life Coaching Certification Necessary in The Coaching Profession?

The short answer is No! Because the coaching field is unregulated, i.e., there is no federal or state oversight of the coaching profession at this time, it is not mandatory or necessary to obtain an accredited life coaching certification

Having said that, it is always highly recommended by industry experts that individuals looking to establish themselves as reputable and successful professional coaches in the industry should obtain their credentials from training programs approved by recognized coach accrediting organizations. 

Here are some of the benefits of attending an accredited life coaching certification program

An accredited program offers:

  • Hundreds of training hours consisting of modules, peer work, and supervision in a structured yet simplified manner. It will provide individuals with suitable training that will equip them with the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to help clients.
  • National and global credibility and exposure.
  • Access to valuable resources and information.
  • Solid coaching competencies needed to become competent and effective as a professional coach.
  • Opportunities to help distinguish you from others, making you visible to your target clientele
  • Opportunities to build your  professional network with credentialing and accrediting bodies like the ICF and CCE. 

You can still succeed as a professional life coach with certification training from a nonaccredited life coaching certification program. However, considering the coaching industry’s rapid growth and the number of businesses using coaches today, wouldn’t you be more comfortable earning your certification from an accredited program? 

Today, several companies will not hire a life coach, a management coach, or business coaches unless they possess ICF credentials or credentials from other reputable accrediting bodies. Do not limit or restrict your opportunities. Accreditation does matter. It opens a wide range of options, making a difference, even in the life coaching profession. 

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Margaret K. Olubiyi
Life Coach
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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