Coaching Credentials

Becoming Certified

Getting Certification is Essential to Coaching Success

Like any professional, a good coach should hold certain credentials. Certification is usually not distributed by traditional schools, but rather by professional institutions and government.

The International Coach Federation accreditation program is the top banana. It’s a three-part system ranging from an associate’s degree equivalent (Associate Certified Coach) to a master’s degree equivalent (Master Certified Coach). Like many business programs, it requires a combination of classroom learning and practical experience. This is a global certification. The Internet has enabled us to work with just about anyone without having to physically travel to their location. This can be an important benefit that will allow you to expand your customer base dramatically.

Types of Certification

If you want to keep that global edge but aren’t sure if you’re ready for the ICF program’s level of rigour, you might opt for something like the Certified Professional Career Coach program or the International Association of Coaching program. The credentials you get from these are also internationally recognized, although typically not as well-respected. Still, if you’re just getting started in the field, they make a good compromise option that will give you a good foundation to build on later.

If you know you only want to offer your services within a specific country, though, you might be better off seeking your accreditation from a national institution instead. For example, Canadians might choose to look into the National Coaching Certification Program. This is a program offered through the coaching association of Canada. It has a strong focus on sports coaching, but it is applicable to all kinds of contexts. It is likely to be the choice of Canadian clients.

Certification is for Everyone – not just coaches!

Lastly, there are other organizations that exist to fill in specific gaps in a coach’s knowledge base, too. The Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence certifies coaches as well as all kinds of professionals and people who want to hone their interpersonal skills. They also offer a range of additional certificates that make a nice addition to any coach’s resume. So much of this job involves effective communication that brushing up on your people skills is never a bad idea.


Become A Coach