If you are thinking about becoming a business coach you’ll eventually have to ask yourself the question,  “Do I really need a business coach certification to be successful?”. 

And the simple answer is no.

You don’t have to be certified before offering coaching services. The certification does however provide a host of valuable opportunities.

Is the Certification important?

As coaching continues to grow and expand, having a coaching certification will also continue to rise in importance. The more coaches there are in the world, the more your clients will demand that you rise to achieve the highest standards. 

According to a study done by the International Coaching Federation in 2020, the value placed on training and credentials is becoming increasingly important.  Both to coaches and managers/leaders using coaching skills.

Some statistics found by the ICF:

  • 99 % of coaches report that they have completed some coach-specific training. Increasingly, training is obtained through programs accredited by a professional coaching organization.
  • 93% of managers/leaders using coaching skills have received some coach-specific training
  • Large majorities of both coach practitioners and managers/leaders using coaching skills agreed that individuals or organizations using coaching expect their coaches to be certified or credentialed. 

How to get a business coach certification

There are many franchises and organizations around the world who offer coaching courses and training programmes.

Usually, the courses will be offered online, spanning over a couple of weeks. You will need to enrol, pay your joining fee and then complete the relevant coursework to receive your final certification. 

Top tips for choosing the best training programme:

Know what you want 

Start with establishing your end goal and make sure you choose a certification that provides you with the skills you need.

Select experienced mentors

When trying to learn something new, the best teachings will always come from experienced and talented coaches in their field. Make sure that the facilitators of the course actually have real-world coaching experience. 

Select a program that follows coaching industry standards  

You want to choose training that is competitive to others on the market. If a course is telling you that you can become a professional within a few days, or after one workshop, definitely be sceptical. Nothing worthwhile is that easy. 

Select the right schedule that fits your lifestyle. 

Be honest with yourself about ho much time you are able and willing to set aside for training. There is no point in paying for expensive training if you are not going to have the time to complete it. Try finding an online course that does not have time restrictions and that you can finish at your own pace.

What qualifications do you need?

There is no one standard for business coach qualifications. Business coaches often come from a variety of different educational backgrounds. These span from degrees in business, human resources, or even psychology. However, coaches aren’t legally required to be licensed, so there is no general standard for coach education.

Business coaching is essentially about relationships. As such, to be successful you will need to rely both on your personality as well as formal training. Coaching is increasingly occurring via virtual communications, which comes with expectations for you to be up to date with technology and trends. Taking the time to train will give you the tools to navigate the many dynamics that you will be asked to address in your business coaching relationships.

Degree LevelNo established degree level; some have advanced degrees
ExperienceVaries; one certification program requires a minimum of 100 hours of professional coaching experience
Certification and LicensingVoluntary certification is available through professional associations – licensing is not required

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Society for Organizational and Industrial Psychology Inc., International Coach Federation, New York Times

Advantages of having a business coach certification

If you are new to business or the coaching industry, a course is a great way to ensure you have a solid foundation. It’s a good introduction to the industry and will give you a clear understanding of exactly what is needed of you in a coaching role.

Having the certification will give you a professional boost, and will make you stand out from the rest. Your clients will be assured that you know what you are talking about, and you will have the confidence to charge what you are worth. Immediately you come across as more legitimate and knowledgable. 

While the initial coaching certification costs can seem daunting, keep in mind that potential clients will be quicker to trust you and will pay more for the services of a certified coach.  

Sometimes we’re faced with situations that we just don’t know how to handle. But, when you’re part of a community of certified coaches, you’ll have access to an entire circle of peers, mentors, and friends who you can call on when you’re feeling particularly blocked.

Problems with Business Coach Certifications

Many coaches feel that once they have received their certification, the hard part is over and the will immediately start receiving clients. Unfortunately, this is not true. Receiving your certification is just the first step, and then the hard work really begins!

Do not rely on your certification to make you successful, you still need to put in the hard work to get clients and show them that you are worth their time and their money.

Our Profit Coach certification

Our certification equips you with the necessary knowledge needed to become the best coach possible. We then also guide you through obtaining your first clients, setting yourself up as a coach, and supporting you through your first few months.

Zander Woodford-Smith

Founder Business Coach Academy, Co-Author International Best Seller "Better Business, Better Life, Better World. Coaching Tools used by over 20,000 people.

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