Before going through a life coach program you should always make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Every programs is run differently so you should always make sure you're choosing one that will be suited to your capabilities. You should ensure that you're being trained in an accredited program by qualified instructors. This article will explain what credentials you can obtain in the life coaching profession and how they can help you in your career.
International Coach Federation (ICF)
Life Coaches are well qualified if they have credentials from the International Coach Federation. These types of coaches have received rigorous training that was developed by a committee of experts. The organization was formed in 1995 and has grown to be the premier organization with over 19,000 members. It has a reputation for setting high standards of coaching and for ensuring coaches perform their work with a high level of professionalism.
Types of Credentials
There are three major types of credentials that you can gain through a certified life coach training program. These are the 'Certified Certified Coach', 'Professional Certified Coach' and the 'Master Certified Coach.' Bear in mind that these are top level qualifications and will require varying degree of experience before you can undertake them. The process is explained below:
Associates Certified Coach (ACC)
Currently there are two ways to qualify for this credential. The first being an ACTP application; you must have completed an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) which involves getting 100 hours of client coaching experience and 2 reference letters from qualified coaches. The second way to apply is through what's known as the Portfolio Application where applicants are required to have additional hours of training and work experience under a qualified Mentor Coach.
Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
The PCC is for the proven coach who has accumulated 750 hours experience coaching clients. You apply the same way as you would for the Associates Certified Coach credential by submitting a portfolio or completing an ACTP credential that is a year long. As in the ACC, the PCC portfolio credential is available for applicants that can show evidence of additional training.
Master Certified Coach (MCC)
This is a special type of certification which not many people have. The requirements are the most difficult and time consuming requiring 2500 hours of client coaching experience but it has a lot of prestige around the world and will help you to charge substantively more money. In addition, reference letters from 3 mentor coaches are required along with satisfactory results from an oral exam.
Above are some of the most recognized credentials available to life coaches. Gaining the credentials above requires hard work. But with each advancement you'll be able to justify charging higher prices and have an easier time obtaining referrals. A client will most likely review the experiences and credentials of all prospective life coaches before they make a decision. You should always have this in mind and be prepared to improve your portfolio and skill set as much as possible. Achieving any of the above will designations will allow you to be seen as an expert and authority as a life coach.