So, Shakespeare’s famous quote has been circling in your mind and of late you’ve been contemplating whether or not you should go pro and become an Associate Certified Coach.
While it’s not mandatory for a coach to be certified, some statistics show that it is probably worthwhile to get certified:
· 77% of coach practitioners agreed that clients expect them to be certified or credentialed (2016 ICF Global Coaching Study).
· 83% of consumers who experienced a coaching relationship reported that it was important for coaches to hold a credential (2017 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study).
· Consumers are more likely to recommend a coach who holds a credential than a coach who does not (2017 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study).
So how do you go pro and become an Associate Certified Coach?
The best step is to get certified through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). ICF is the gold standard in coaching. It not only provides a Code of Ethics that sets the quality of practice for all its members, but it is also dedicated to advancing the coaching profession so it ultimately becomes a way of life for communities. And it provides the method, structure and support one needs to establish a professional coaching career.
The ICF equips its members with various training programs and competency-building initiatives. Its progressive credentialing system employs a mix of evaluation measures including rigorous interviews, examinations and assessments.
It lays down the following three tracks with corresponding requirements in terms of education and coaching practice.
· To be an Associate Certified Coach, one must have completed at least 60 hours of training and a minimum of 100 hours of coaching practice.
· For the Professional Certified Coach credential, one needs to have undergone at least 125 hours of training, and 500 hours of actual coaching practice.
· The highest level is the Master Certified Coach level, where one is required to have finished at least 200 hours of training, and 2,500 hours in coaching practice.
The Associate Certified Coach credential is suitable for:
· New coaches entering the coaching field and wanting to be backed by professional certification.
· Existing coaches looking to bolster their credibility with professional certification.
· Organizations that want to train their employees and cultivate a coaching culture.
There are essentially 3 paths to the Associate Certified Coach credential:
· Following an ‘all inclusive’ coaching training program at an accredited organization (Accredited Coaching Training Program = ACTP) and successfully completing the exam at this organization.
· Following an ‘à la carte’ (modular) program and successfully completing the exam at ICF (in English).
· Following the portfolio route – a sum of your own expertise, training and experience – and successfully completing the exam at ICF (in English).
Coaches who have earned their ICF credentials become part of an elite and self-regulating group, serving as standard-bearers of the coaching profession. These ICF credential-holders can wield significant influence in expanding and professionalizing the coaching practice in their respective parts of the world.
As a life coach you will need excellent communication and listening skills, a positive mindset and the ability to encourage and motivate others. You must also enjoy working closely with people and also be flexible. More specific skills may be required if you decide to work in a particular area of life coaching. Training will develop your skills and is likely to give you more confidence but certification certainly will boost your credibility.
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community