How Do I Gain Credible Life Coach Certification?

by Wendy Buckingham

From Linda in the United States

I'm interested in getting a life coach certification; however, I do not know if I can just take the exam. I have a bachelor’s degree in human services and psychology and a Masters degree in applied psychology with a specialization in industrial and organizational psychology.

I'm not sure where I stand and would appreciate any advice on steps to take from this point.


Great question Linda. To get a credible certification as a coach you will need to have had some coach specific training.

This can be through taking an accredited coaching course with a school or university that will issue its own certification.

With the school or university you will get their certification at the completion of the course, often whether you have done any actual coaching or not.

However, most independent coach credentialing bodies (that is not attached to a school or university) who issue certification will also require you to show a certain number of hours coaching experience as well as taking their exam.

With your background I feel you would be looking for an add-on to your qualifications rather than learning about coaching from scratch.

So best way to go could be by doing a post graduate course, based on your prior learning, so it is worth checking out universities for this for either campus or distance studying.

Try typing in “post graduate coaching courses” in Google or your search engine and seeing what comes up that could work for you.

I'd also suggest you have a look at this page and its links on certification

Include in your research visiting the web sites of the various in independent coaching organizations and see what their requirements are. Here I list and give some information on some of these

Some are just coaching communities, but other on the list such as the ICF and the ACC offer certification and you can download the criteria and application forms.

Hope this helps.
Wendy
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And from Natasha in Australia

I am starting my 2nd year at uni doing social science, majoring in coaching!

I really would like to start my own coaching small business but I am confused on how I do so!

I have contacted a few schools and they have told me that I don't need to fully complete my studies to start as a life coach....is this right?

Also, as a life coach do I need to belong to an association of any kind? I realize perhaps for support but otherwise I'm not so sure!

My passion is to help people as much as I can! Considering that I am only 28 I would like to have my niche as young women, 16-28! To start with! Any advice or help will be great!


Most of what you ask Natasha I have answered through pages on the site, so can I suggest you visit these pages below my answer and see if they, or the links they connect with give you the information you need.

I am a little confused that you are looking for a school, as I would assume your university course would be providing the coach training.

I agree you don't need to fully complete your training before you start to coach - in fact practicing coaching as soon as possible is part of that training. You may not want to start charging in the beginning as you put what you are learning into practice, but you do want to get out there and do it rather than just theorize.

Maybe you can "twin" up with another person on your course. It is also a good idea when you first start coaching to have a mentor coach.

Regarding joining a life coaching association. This is just an option and you need to check out what the association is offering. However if you want to get an ICF qualification belonging to that association is a requisite.

I would also suggest you join the business social network LinkedIn and then join some of the coaching forums. You will then get a feel for the profession and see the sort of questions asked and answered. There is a lot of junk and promotion on LinkedIn, but also many gems. If you do this let me know and I will recommend some forums that are useful and on track.

All the best for the success of your coaching career. Check out the information on the links below and do let me know how you go.
Wendy Buckingham

Life Coach Certification
Choosing a Life Coaching Association
Help starting your coaching business




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