Coach Training Study Options

Accreditation vs Certification

Accreditation is something that does not happen to people it happens to a program. Programs are accredited by industry bodies and the Industry body that International Coach Academy has chosen to align with and have coach training programs accredited through is the International Coach Federation (ICF).  The ICF is the largest and most recognised global industry body.

And then there is certification which is something that you as a coach would want to have in almost all circumstances. If you go through the certified or advanced programs and graduate you are considered a Certified Professional Coach CPC. And that is recognize around the world by the ICF and others who are looking for you to have that designation. And on your business cards you can put CPC for Certified Professional Coach.

We chose to align with the ICF over country specific bodies because Coaching is a global profession and the ICF continues to be the most established and globally recognized peak body. Clients want to know they are not just employing someone calling themselves a coach, but that they are in fact employing someone who has been through a rigorous training and accreditation process.

Coaching is Global. A very high proportion of graduate’s, more than 80%, coach on the phone and some do all their coaching on the phone. What that means is that your market is not just the market where you live, you can coach anyone from anywhere by tightly defining your niche.  Coaching has no boarders or boundary.

Coaching is not Regulated. It’s not like therapy, psychology or psychiatrist which are regulated in most countries around the world. There is debate in the US about this but coaching is currently not regulated.

Coaching is a relatively new Discipline. It’s been around for a while. ICA has been train coaches for 15 years and its more developed in some countries than in others. It’s established as a field and it’s established as a profession. But in terms of a methodology or discipline it’s quite new and its draws on a range of other philosophies of discipline like emotional intelligence, organizational psychology, appreciative inquiry, cognitive behaviour therapy and some parts of psychology like positive psychology. So it brings in a whole range of thing.

These are the reason we have aligned our coach training with the ICF.

Firstly the ICF is global and growing with chapters all around the world. The ICF had the most robust list of coaching competencies which helps when coaching is not a regulated industry. So it’s very important to be aligned with the biggest industry body which gives some check and balances and to provides some sort of consistency and sign of quality throughout the world.

Coaching is a new discipline and one of the things that is not popular is ICF policies that they don’t recognize prior learning. If you are a therapist or a teacher and you come to the coach training often we find that people want to get some credit for the training they’ve already done in their psychology course in their teaching degree. The ICF is quite adamant on that. You might already be skilled in active listening but your listening within the context of the therapist and so re-learning that within the context of coaching is different.


Do I need to be Certified?

You don't have to be certified to be a coach however being a Certified Coach adds credibility to your coaching practice.  Many organisations such as Ford don't hire coaches unless they are certified and in many countries especially in Asia it is expected that professional coaches be certified.


What is Coach Certification?

Some schools offer coaching theory without any practice. Other schools don't include coaching supervision as part of the program which can leave students out of pocket hundreds of dollars if they need to find an accredited coach to undertake their supervision.  Some schools don't offer the required number of coach specific training hours needed for ICF credentialling and some schools require students to pay extra for books, cds and study materials.  So do your home work and enroll in a coach training program that is accredited by the International Coach Federation and one that includes the required number of coach training hours and one where coaching supervision is included as part of the course.


Why Become a Certified Coach?

The fantastic thing about being a professional coach is that you can actually coach from anywhere. It is the idea job for an expat or for someone wanting to work from home or balance work and home life. As a coach you can coach face to face but many coaches coach over the phone which means your potential client base is global. Choose when to coach so that your work fits in with your life and not the other way around.


Do I Need to Train to Become a Coach?

There is no mandatory requirement to train to be a coach. Anyone can hang up their shingles and call themselves a coach and some organisations offer coach training programs which can be completed in a few days but in our opinion this is not enough to make you a professional coach.  The peak body which represents the coaching profession is The International Coach Federation and their credential is recognised world wide.  If you complete an ICF accredited coach training program and to become a Professional Certified Coach, you will have completed 125 hours of Coach Specific Training in an Accredited Coach Training Program.  This training is based around the core coaching competencies as set out by the ICF.  You will also have completed 10 hours of mentor coaching and have logged 500 hours of coaching with at least 25 clients.  So to answer the question of whether you need to train to be a coach, the answer is the ICF recommends at least 125 hours of coach specific training.

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Not all Coach Training Programs are equal

Some schools offer coaching theory without any practice. Other schools don't include coaching supervision as part of the program which can leave students out of pocket hundreds of dollars if they need to find an accredited coach to undertake their supervision.  Some schools don't offer the required number of coach specific training hours needed for ICF credentialling and some schools require students to pay extra for books, cds and study materials.  So do your home work and enroll in a coach training program that is accredited by the International Coach Federation and one that includes the required number of coach training hours and one where coaching supervision is included as part of the course.


Heather Skomp<br/>Life Coach, UNITED STATES

When I got to meet in person two of my ICA student and friends – one from Germany, and one from Vancouver, We met up in Washington state for a weekend and had the best time ever! The friends I have met in ICA are worth their weight in gold.

Heather Skomp
Life Coach, UNITED STATES

Can I Start Coaching Whilst Studying?

Yes you can start coaching whilst studying to become a Professional Coach. At International Coach Academy we offer peer coaching where you would firstly get to experience what it is like to be coached and be the client. You can then start coaching your peers and applying the skills and techniques learned in the classes.  When you feel confident enough you can start coaching people outside the ICA community. We suggest coaching clients within your network to start off with and work your way up.

Do I Have to Register With Anyone To Practice Coaching?

The coaching industry is a voluntary self regulated industry.  Coaches should adhere to the the The International Coach Federation code of ethics but there is no legal requirement to do so and no legal requirement to register as a coach.  You can become a member of the ICF by paying an annual fee and once you have met the coach training, supervision and coaching hours set out by the ICF, you can apply for the designation of "Certified Professional Coach".