Are accredited life coach schools all they claim to be? Is accreditation worth the money? What should you know before you spend one dime to become a coach? What should a client look for when seeking a life coach?
So Many Coaching Schools, So Many Choices
Because there are no real standards in the coaching profession, schools just seem to pop up like weeds in your garden. There are coaching programs that will offer a credential after two or three hours of training. Does that sound like someone with the proper training to be coaching clients?
There are hundreds of coaching programs online; too many choices sometimes means a greater chance of choosing the wrong one. Too many choices only means better choices if those choices (programs) have the right stuff to train their students.
Accredited Life Coach Schools – Does it Matter?
Some people take courses through an accredited life coach school and find the material boring, unrelated to their segment of the coaching industry, or lacking good mentor coaching. Other people take courses through a coaching program that is not accredited, and find the classes stimulating, informative, and interesting.
It’s the design of the classes, the customer service, the flexibility, and the teachers which make a coaching program work. Accredited life coaching schools that are worth the money must offer the most up-to-date coaching theories, skills, and information.
Marketing Hype and Accreditation
What makes it difficult for people to find the right coaching program is the hype. Schools throw out words like “accreditation” and “certified” to make them sound more professional. Some schools are only accredited because a group of coaches got together and accredited their peer’s schools. Just like with politics, in which hype and hyperbole have distorted the truth, marketing hype has distorted the reality of coaching programs.
Yes – Accreditation Does Matter
The quality of coaching varies dramatically and it’s hard to tell how good a coach is until you take a session or two. One of the best ways to select a coach is to see if they have been accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF offers independent certification that is considered the benchmark in the industry.
So – even though accreditation can sometimes be meaningless, it still matters. Look for the ICF stamp of approval, or a certification from the International Association of Coaches (IAC), another governing body in the coaching industry.
Coaching accreditation or certification, if given by one of the prominent organizations in the industry informs the potential client that a coach has at least made an effort to learn the skills necessary to be a coach, and taken a life coach program that offers knowledge and training designed to provide the core competencies needed to be an effective life coach.
In the end, does it matter if you have gone to one of the many accredited life coach schools found in the world? Well…yes and no. The most important factor to a prospective or current client is – can the coach help me find the outcomes I seek? So, accreditation isn’t an answer for this question.
However, accredited life coaching schools should be able to teach the skills needed for you to give your clients the outcomes they want. So – they just might matter after all!
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