Periodically I see coaches on social media discussing the value of credentials. For new coaches doing the work to pursue credentials it can be discouraging to read “no one has ever asked me if I have credentials.” Sometimes the loudest comments are those that seem to devalue credentials.
For many coaches, the value of credentials is personal. You are investing in excellent coaching education for the purpose of growing your skills and serving your clients with excellent coaching. You want to let your clients know that this is who you are. Your credential verifies this for your clients. Your greater sense of confidence and credibility also strengthens the service you offer your clients.
That said, the truth is that coaches are asked for their credentials by potential clients and for possible contracts and jobs. Last week, I received a job posting from LinkedIn in my inbox. Meta has researched and is hiring a Head of Coaching to lead their coaching strategy. Yes. That Meta. Facebook and all the related entities. And what are the first two minimum qualifications listed?
- 12+ years experience within a Learning and Development organization
- ICF accredited coaching certification
You may not want to work for Meta. But the impact of Meta is undeniable – an organization with 10K employees and global reach. And they are asking for ICF credentials. Meta has researched and understands what it means to recruit professionally trained and verified coaches.
If you’ve heard me speak on the topic, I have said that in the 17+ years I’ve been coaching, the four largest contracts I’ve received required that I had either completed ICF accredited training or had my ICF credentials. Yes. ICF credentials are asked for and required for some key opportunities.
I do not believe that every Christian coach needs professional credentials. However, it might be that you are called to be prepared with credentials for opportunities that God has planned for you. If pursuing credentials is how God has led you, be encouraged. And congratulations on all the work you are doing to invest in your calling!