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How to Get a Coaching Certification

By Cheryl Grace Myers

You have the opportunity to make a real difference in someone's life when you choose a career as a coach. You can get a coaching certification at an approved coaching school without a lot of time or money investment, unlike other allied health students who practice similar skills. Coaching is not a regulated field or overseen by any local, regional or national body. However, a global organization sets the quality and integrity thresholds within the coaching field and its educational programs therein.

How to Get a Coaching Certification

Consult a coaching school accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). The ICF is global organization or regulating body that sets the quality and integrity of the coaching field. Other accrediting agencies do not have the accepted recognition like ICF, and other organizations are either new and unaccounted for, or substandard at best.

Determine what kind of coaching career you want. Learn about the other branches or specialties within the field of coaching. Each field of coaching specializes in a demographic, such as a life coach, a career coach, or an executive coach. Although some of the fundamentals of coaching may be the same, essentially they are different.

Determine which school is best for your coaching field. Coaching schools online is convenient and economical for some students. Those who take classes at local or distant training sites get more hands-on experience, but it may cost more and secure reasonable transportation and accommodations for those attending events and workshops held out of town. Use the Resource box for more information on coaching schools.

Check the school's credentials. Often, students become victims of diploma mill swindles. Organizations that pose as accreditation agencies or other legitimate institutions, forfeit the integrity of the coaching institution, along with other fine industries. Check the ICF accrediting website for information about a particular coaching school.

Be sure you meet the prerequisites before apply to the school. You may need a high school education or meet other criteria. The school may also charge an application fee, and if you do not qualify for the coach training, you lose the money spent on those fees. Check with each school for more information.

Contact your local community college for coach training programs. Some courses may enhance graduates or professionals with continuing education credits. Other schools offer graduate programs for those interested in a career as a coach, as opposed to a professional in any industry with coaching skills.

Complete your courses as required for your coaching curriculum. Once you graduate from an approved school, you have the credentials and certification from a respectable accrediting agency.

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