Why is certification important? If no states require licensing for coaches, why does certification matter to you?
Yep, it’s true that there are practicing life coaches who have never had professional life coach training. They may be successful in business and they may be good coaches, but they’ve never pursued training or ICF certification and they don’t plan to.
No, they aren’t violating any state regulations at this point. That doesn’t mean you as a coach are free and clear from any possible interest from your state’s governing body. In some states coaches have faced challenges – in particular where their work may be perceived as counseling or therapy (just to clarify – that’s not a good thing). The ICF has info available on these issues. You may also want to check with your local ICF chapter to learn what other professional coaches in your area know about these issues in your state.
So why do you care about becoming certified?
Well, increasingly it matters to clients – including churches and ministry organizations. Judy Santos, founder and director of the Christian Coaches Network, reports that even in the Christian community, potential clients and hiring organizations are more frequently seeking coaches with ICF credentials.
Also, many think that licensing of coaches will become required in the future as the profession matures. So the training decisions you make now could have implications in the future regarding your ease and ability to gain licensing.
What about ICF? It’s true that in the big broad coaching community there are political “camps” with various opinions on ICF. A few other professional organizations have surfaced. But the reality is that ICF has been around the longest, and with 10,000 international members it does set the professional standards.
Why should Christians life coaches care about ICF? Tomorrow I will re-publish an article here – one written by Judy Santos and originally included in the Christian Coaches Network Member News June 2006 – that will address this question.