Jerri Udelson, MCC, says, “When I started National Coaching Week (which later became International Coaching Week) in 1999, I had no idea that it would soon take on a life of its own. I really am delighted that this Week is becoming a focal point for both publicizing coaching worldwide and providing the public with a sense of the possibilities that coaching offers.”  To learn more about International Coaching Week, CLICK HERE for Jerri’s website.

During this 13th annual International Coaching Week observance, I’m posting on Five Things to Know About Christian Coach Training.  Here is Post 3:

Questions about certification and accreditation are probably not the most important ones.  At least, they are not the first questions to ask.  Most importantly, make your initial questions about what your unique vision is and how to clearly identify what you’ve been called to do.  This is a great time for you to work with a coach.  Determining what you believe God has called you to do will reveal your answer to other questions like whether certification and accreditation are important for you.

Sorting out the meaning and value of the various types of certification offered, and that of accreditation of schools, is challenging.  It is primarily important to know that the terms “certified” and “accredited” mean different things in different conversations.  So expect to confront a learning curve if you decide to evaluate this for yourself.  Many schools offer proprietary certificates and titles – with widely varied requirements amongst schools.  The current professional standard for certification and accreditation is found with the International Coach Federation (or “ICF” at www.coachfederation.org).

There is no “one size fits all” answer to the questions about certification and accredited training.  One can point out that it’s possible to be a coach without certification and without attending accredited training.  That is very true.  Furthermore, there are examples of successful coaches who have never had formal coach training of any kind.

To offer you a personal example, the ICF accredited training I took mattered to an employer who contracted with me for coaching and consulting services.  The Christian coach training I chose was part of the fulfillment of the vision God had for me.  The question for you then becomes, what training (accredited or not) and then what certification (if any), is necessary for you to fulfill the unique vision to which God has called you?