You finished your coach training course and were awarded a coaching certification.  Congratulations! 

Now, why would you want an additional credential from the International Coach Federation (ICF) or the Christian Coaches Network (CCN)?  What is the value of a credential from a source independent from your training school? 


Training programs often offer “certification” to their students for completion of certain requirements. From program to program, the requirements vary greatly. These certifications may also be referred to as “credentials.” There is no current standard for the certifications that programs offer. Anyone can offer certification and name it what they please. For example, there are several certifications available, each from different organizations, called “Certified Christian Coach.” The requirements for each of these “CCC” certifications are different.

Requirements for the various certifications available may include attending classes (the number of hours widely varies), practicing coaching (again, the number of hours required varies widely), mentor coaching or “being coached” (hours and/or duration of time varies), reading and writing assignments, letters of recommendations, and knowledge and skills tests. Some certifications can be obtained by video training and independent study only, while others require significant voice-to-voice instructor contact.

Certifications or credentials awarded to students by training programs may represent stellar training and excellent proficiency – or they may not.


Credentials awarded by ICF and CCN are independent of any one training program.  These organizations provide external and objective validation of training programs and coaches.  ICF and CCN credentials identify coaches who have met the same rigorous professional criteria although they may have taken classes from different training programs.


Some coach training schools provide training that will lead to both a certification from the school itself and at the same time will apply toward a third party credential from ICF and/or CCN.  If this is your goal, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you are charting a course that will get you the results you desire.  Find help in my book, The Complete Guide to Christian Coach Training – 2014 editionhere.

Learn more on this topic: 

The value of third party credentials is highlighted in Dr. Keith Webb’s excellent recent post which includes Four Reasons to Get Your Certification From An Association.

For more on credential requirements for each organization go to the ICF website and the CCN website.

Some of this post is adapted from my book The Complete Guide to Christian Coach Training -2014 edition – which you can find here.


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