The coaching field is experiencing a big boom. In fact, according to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the industry is expected to experience a 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022!
This influx of coaches is an amazing step toward improving the health, wellness, and personal development of people all over the world. With the rise of the coaching industry, it’s inevitable that more training programs will crop up, all promising to train the best future coaches. More choices is great—but can also be confusing!
One of the most pressing questions future coaches will encounter when choosing a training program is whether or not they should enroll in an accredited training program.
While it’s not required that Life Coaches receive an education from an accredited program, at Health Coach Institute, we do recommend it. We think that anyone who’s serious about launching a successful Life Coaching career should 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).
We’ll talk about why we think that’s important in much more detail below, but first let’s talk about what accreditation is and why it matters.
Why Are Accredited Life Coaching Programs Important?
A training school or program becomes accredited when an independent organization or governing body grants it official authorization. As such, its graduates will be deemed qualified as professional coaches. When you enroll in an accredited Life Coach training program, you’ll know that you’re receiving a sound education that includes a comprehensive curriculum, taught by top-notch trainers.
An accredited program has essentially received a seal of approval ensuring that it will deliver everything students need to provide the highest quality coaching to clients. When you choose an accredited program, you can feel complete confidence that you’re setting yourself (and your future clients) up for long-term success.
If you want to become a stellar Life Coach who empowers clients to make lasting, transformational change, a great accredited training program can help set you apart from other coaches out there. In short, a great training program will help you become a masterful coach.
One of our Clarity Coaches would love to tell you about Health Coach Institute’s world-class
Who Accredits Life Coach Training Programs?
The ICF is the gold standard in coaching accreditation for training programs. It’s the world’s leading organization, striving to advance and improve the coaching industry, offering credentialing for both training programs and coaches.
ICF works to:
- Develop core competencies for the coaching profession
- Ensure coaches and training programs adhere to a code of ethics and standards
- Maintain an international credentialing program
- Set accreditation standards for training programs
- Provide opportunities for coaches to participate in continuous education
Through ICF, a training program can become accredited, giving that program a competitive edge both in its content and its standing in the industry. ICF accreditation gives a program unquestioned credibility.
The ICF has three accreditation tracks: All Inclusive Programs (ACTP), A La Carte Programs (ACSTH), and Continuing Coach Education (CCE).
ACTP programs are considered “all inclusive” training programs, which offer start-to-finish coach training. A minimum of 125 student contact hours, mentor coaching, and a performance evaluation process are required for ACTP approval.
ACSTH programs may or may not offer start-to-finish coach training programs. A minimum of 30 student contact hours are required for ACSTH program accreditation.
CCE programs are considered supplemental and advanced education for those wishing to acquire new learning and/or those who are interested in renewal.
When accrediting a program, the ICF evaluates a number of different factors, all of which should illustrate that the program will help students maximize their personal and professional potential.
Each of the three accreditation tracks have different requirements, but in general, some of the things the ICF looks for in a program include information about:
- Ethical guidelines and professional standards
- Establishing trust and intimacy with clients
- Being open, flexible, and confident with clients
- Effective communication
- Powerful questioning
- Making interpretations that help clients gain awareness and achieve results
- Planning and goal setting
- Managing progress and accountability
The ICF also evaluates mentorship opportunities, the number of hours students participate in learning, the course list, faculty and staff credentials, operational standards, and more.
Selecting an Accredited Life Coach 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. The right program should check everything off your wish list and also feel like “home.”
At Health Coach Institute, our 8-month training program teaches students the art, science, and business of Life Coaching so they can build rewarding careers transforming lives. To learn more about our professional training, click the button below to schedule an appointment with a Clarity Coach today.