How to choose the coaching training program that is right for you? Here are some questions that may help you to understand the rationale and make the right choice.
There more than 67 certifying bodies for coaching but the “gold standard” is still International Coach Federation (ICF). Formed in 1995, today the ICF is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high professional standards, providing independent certification, and building a network of credentialed coaches. If you plan to work mainly with corporate client, a recognized certificate may be required.
The coaching industry is at the verge of expanding with more and more people are hiring coaches to work with them on an ever-expanding range of issues. You can now find a coach for almost anything. This growth combined with an increasing public awareness of coaching has resulted in higher demands for accredited training and certified coaches. Clients want to know when they employ a coach that they are not just employing someone calling himself/ herself a coach, but that they have completed a rigorous training and accreditation process. The approval process involves a detailed analysis on the quality of the training, qualification and competencies of the trainers and the assessment process to ensure that the students enroll in the program are trained according to the standard of ICF core competencies.
There are 2 important criteria to evaluate, (1) Training Certification and (2) Coaching Credential. The training certificate is a good indicator to assess the depth of knowledge while the coaching credential will inform the trainer’s real coaching experience. The trainer who is conducting the program must complete some level of coach training and be credentialed by ICF or another recognized body. If the coaching industry suffers from any setbacks, it is lack of coaching specific training prior to claiming the title of coach. Having good training competencies and sound knowledge are not enough, it must be coupled with rich experience in working with clients. The trainer must be an active practitioner so that he can demonstrate how the theory can be applied and integrated into real life application.
Certification can shows that you have already completed the required training hours and have the sound knowledge and theory of practice but it does not necessarily guarantee that you have acquired the necessary skills to obtain the results. Participant applying for credential must complete the training hours and fulfill minimum client coaching hours. This is to ensure that the participants have real and substantial coaching experience. In non-licensed professions like coaching, credentialing is one surest way to ensure that the coach has acquired the knowledge and skill to deliver the results. Though certification and credential do not validate the proficiency and mastery of coaching, it can be a starting point for an international quality control standard and tangible criteria for client to choose their coach.
There more than 67 certifying bodies for coaching but the “gold standard” is still International Coach Federation (ICF). Formed in 1995, today the ICF is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high professional standards, providing 2311independent certification, and building a network of credentialed coaches. If you plan to work mainly with corporate client, a recognized certificate may be required.
There are 3 types of ICF Program Accreditation:
(1) Approved Coaching Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) with min. 60 hours coaching training
(2) Approved Coaching Training Program (ACTP) with min. 125 hours coaching training
(3) Continual Coaching Education (CCE)
There are 3 types of ICF Credentials:
(1) Associate Certified Coach (ACC): An Associate Certified Coach is a coach who demonstrates a beginning level of knowledge and competence in their use of coaching skills and also demonstrates a basic knowledge of the difference between coaching and other professions in the way they use their coaching skills.
(2) Professional Certified Coach (PCC): A Professional Certified Coach is a coach who demonstrates a clear knowledge of coaching skills, but is still somewhat dependent on tools from their coach training and still learning how to fully partner with the client and put all of the tools together in a way that serves the client powerfully. A PCC also demonstrates a firm knowledge of the difference between coaching and other professions in the way they use their coaching skills.
(3) Master Certified Coach (MCC): A Master Certified Coach is a coach who demonstrates a fluent and easy use of coaching skills in a way that powerfully partners with the client and serves the client exploration and learning. A MCC also demonstrates a clear and deep knowledge of the difference between coaching and other professions in the way they use their coaching skills.
In the early days, coaches shared two things: a passionate interest in coaching and for making a difference in the world through the “tool” of coaching. There was no particular “definition” of coaching and no particular guidelines or standards by which to judge the efficacy of coaching. As the ICF began to grow, it became apparent that the association needed to explore more fully what coaching is in such a way as to inform the consumer and clarify the integrity of the evolving profession. The association needed to be able to clearly evaluate the competency of a coach “in action,” as well as define the training standards that would get them to the level of competency.
In 1998, various ICF committees were formed to address the development of standards, ethics, definition of coaching, and more. Hence, the ICF Portfolio Exam committee was created. At that time, they were faced with 2 pressing issues:
1) ICF needed to agree upon and finalize strong and clearly articulated competencies, and,
2) ICF needed to be clear that the competencies that were created truly represented coaching.
The Committee invited the heads of all of the existing coach training schools (eight visible at the time), to participate in this project. These schools were: Hudson Institute, Newfield, Coaches Training Institute, Coach U, Coach for Life, Success Unlimited Network, Academy of Coach Training and New Ventures West. For the next year (1999), they came together and through their various theoretical bases of coaching, they had co-created and finally all agreed on, the competencies that are the core of coaching as we know it today. It was the first big step in the growth of coaching.