Life Coaching Certifications: What to Look for, What to Ask

16th November 2018

Coaching, not just in the UK but globally, is a self-regulated profession. Therefore, it is crucial that you hold a professional coaching certificate if you want to become reputable in the field. There are some key things to look for.

What to Look for in a Coaching Certification

Not all coaching certification is created equa. The simplest and easiest way to be sure you are getting a coaching certificate which is ‘worth it’, is to choose a course which is accredited by the International Confederation of Coaching (ICF) and/or the Association for Coaching (AC).

The ICF and the AC provide the framework for a worthwhile coaching certificate. If you choose one accredited by them you can be sure you’re investing sensibly in your future career.

In addition, we believe that an excellent training of a coaching certificate should be more than basic classroom based learning, with a bit of role-play thrown in. We believe that a training should reflect three core coaching areas: knowledge, skills, and aptitude.

Knowledge: A transformational coach needs to gain the knowledge central to practising transformational coaching. So this will include a number of different knowledge bases, including: person-centred theory and practice; cognitive behavioural coaching; transactional analysis coaching; narrative coaching; and solution-focused coaching approaches.

Skills: All professional coaches need to have received training on certain skills, and have proven their adept use. These skills include active listening, questioning, empathic communication, how to give feedback, and how to set goals.

Aptitude: The coaching certification should also prove to be a reflection of an individual’s aptitude for this style of coaching. This means it should reflect the person-centred skills of relationships, self-awareness, self-disclosure, the confidence to work with the psychological and emotional aspects of a coaching relationship, and a high level of emotional intelligence.

The Questions to Ask About Coaching Certification

Armed with this knowledge, you are better positioned to start doing some research in to the different transformational coaching certificates available in the UK.

You should ask the following questions of each prospective course:

  • Is the course accredited? If so, with whom? How do they meet the accreditation requirements? Do they simply meet them on paper, or actively go beyond the basic accreditation requirements in practice?
  • How much opportunity is there for practice – both with other coaches and with clients? What supervision and observation are involved? How many hours are involved?
  • What training resources are included? Do you get unique and appropriate supportive texts from experts in transformational coaching?
  • How is the course assessed? Is it modular? What does this involve? How are you assessed for knowledge, skills, and aptitude?
  • What is my feel for the trainers? Do I feel I could build a working rapport?
  • When and where does the course take place? How flexible is it around work, family, and life? How long will it take?
  • What contact is there at the end of the course? Is there ongoing mentoring or support?

Coaching Certification with Animas

At Animas, we specialise in transformational coaching. Whilst all of our training, including our CPD training, falls within the wider context of transformational coaching, our primary transformational coaching certificate is our Accredited Diploma in Transformational Coaching.

As explained, being accredited by the ICF and AC is essential for trusting the quality and provision of your coaching certificate. We provide over double the Approved Coach Specific Training Hours required by the ICF so you can be sure that the course gives you the skills and credibility you need.

We go beyond the basics to provide a transformational coaching certificate – a true indicator of your potential as a transformational coach.

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