In today’s world, there are many paths to becoming a Life Coach. You can choose to take a course through an educational institution, you can enroll in an online training program, you can take a free training…or (since there aren’t currently any regulations in place for people to become practicing Life Coaches) you can even bypass any formal education altogether and rely on books and the trusty internet to teach you the Life Coaching basics. But are all paths created equal?
The answer is no. Your knowledge, skills, ability to help clients create desired change, and overall career readiness can vary greatly depending on the training path you choose.
That’s why at Health Coach Institute, we recommend that anyone who’s serious about launching a successful Life Coaching career complete a comprehensive certification program that has been accredited by a third party entity (meaning it has passed a rigorous review process and provides a robust curriculum that covers core coaching competencies).
But before we dive into the importance of accreditation, let’s first touch on what certification is and why you need it.
Life Coach Certification: Why You Need It
Life Coach certification is the process by which someone is trained and deemed qualified to coach clients professionally. Typically, once someone completes a Life Coach certification training, they’re presented with a certificate or other formal documentation to confirm they’ve met the program’s expectations and gained the knowledge and skills to help others transform their lives.
Certification is an important first step to establishing a successful Life Coaching career for the following reasons:
- A comprehensive training will give you a solid coaching foundation to ensure you’re fully prepared to help clients get the results they desire.
- Most reputable trainings include invaluable business and marketing tools and resources to help you launch a lucrative career.
- You’ll graduate a trusted expert with the knowledge, confidence, and proof of expertise to help potential clients and employers.
What Is a Holistic Life Coach Certification?
Much is being said these days about the benefits of holistic Life Coaching—a type of Life Coaching aimed at treating the person as a whole. When a client comes to a holistic coach with a specific challenge, the coach looks at every area of the client’s life that could directly or indirectly be contributing to the obstacle they’re faced with. A holistic Life Coach works with a client across mind, body, and spirit to help them make changes in all 3 areas, thereby improving their overall quality of life. A holistic Life Coach certification provides thorough training to help coaches develop the skills, expertise, and techniques necessary to assist clients on a multi-dimensional level.
How Accredited Life Coaching Certification Programs are Different
Now, you may be thinking, Okay, I can see the benefits of certification but what does it matter if the program I select is accredited or not? In a nutshell, if a training has been accredited, it has essentially received a seal of approval that it will deliver everything you need to provide the highest quality coaching to clients. When you select from a list of accredited programs, you can feel complete confidence that you’re setting yourself (and your future clients) up for long-term success and that the education you’re going to receive will be top-notch.
In the world of Life Coaching, the International Coach Federation is the leading global accreditation organization who has set the standard for coach trainings. Known as the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches, ICF is internationally recognized for its work in the following areas:
- Developing coaching core competencies
- Establishing a professional code of ethics and standards
- Creating an internationally recognized credentialing program
- Setting guidelines through accreditation for coach-specific training programs
- Providing continuous education opportunities
Through ICF, a coach practitioner can receive credentialing or a training program can become accredited. Since this article is concerned with the latter, let’s take a closer look at how programs become accredited.
In order for a Life Coach certification program to become accredited, a school must submit an application and also provide detailed information on operational standards, course offering, faculty and staff credentials, and much more. Depending on the type of accreditation they’re pursuing (ICF offers 3 types), the school may also need to meet a minimum number of student contact hours, include opportunities for mentorship, and also provide additional documentation for review. ICF then audits the materials, scrutinizing every detail to make sure the training meets their high standards for coach training.
How to Select an Accredited Life Coach Certification Training
If you opt to go the accreditation route, the easiest way to determine which trainings are accredited is to go directly to ICF’s website. Click here to search their database of ICF-accredited training programs.
If you’re already considering a school and you’re wondering if they’re ICF-accredited, keep an eye out for ICF’s logo (which should be boldly displayed on their website and marketing materials to indicate they’ve met ICF’s requirements) or contact their admissions staff directly to find out what, if any, accreditation their training program has obtained.
Once you’ve gathered a list of accredited training programs, it’s time to compare them to determine which is the best fit for you, your needs, and how you like to learn. To help make this sometimes overwhelming process go a little smoother, click here for more information on how to compare certification programs (including a handy list of the top 20 questions to ask).
Learn More About Our Dual Life Coach Certificate Training Program
If you’re interested in learning more about Health Coach Institute’s Life Coach training program, click the button below now to speak with a Clarity Coach.