Why become a coach?
You are here because you are interested in training with the coaching training organization that resonates the most with you. Your reasons for coaching will have a bearing on what type of training you will select, so spend some time determining what is important to you.
Your Goals and Hopes
What is it that brings you to coaching? What do you expect to get out of it? People have a variety of reasons, from a deep desire to help people to the idea that coaches make lots of money. Write down a list of reasons you want to become a coach. Include everything you can think of, such as:
Prioritize this list, as it will have a bearing on the training you select. Be very honest in making and prioritizing your list, as this decision has far-reaching consequences, and you must be sure you are embarking on this journey for reasons that are powerful for you.
In looking at this list, think about what kind of coach you might want to be: Executive Coach, Leadership Coach, Team Coach, Life Coach, Wellness Coach, etc. Currently many businesses, governments and organizations understand about executive, leadership and team coaching. Building a business around life coaching, wellness coaching, and any coaching that works with individuals can be more challenging. Coaching is not as well-known as other professions like therapy, general medicine, or law. You will need to spend time and energy marketing to fill your roster. Remember that coaching is a relatively new profession and so you will spend time educating potential clients.
Note that ICF is working hard to educate the public, and has support for their members to build their coaching. businesses.
What program is best suited to your needs? If you want to be a professional coach and dedicate yourself to your new profession, the optimal and most widely recognized training is a 125+ hour certification course with a program accredited by ICF called ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program). Note that it is not required to have a certification in order to attain a credential.
If you want to learn coaching tools because you use coaching in your role as a manager, consultant or therapist, and don’t plan to dedicate a major portion of your energy to coaching, a good approach might be a program that will give you enough training hours to attain a credential, such as an ICF ACSTH (Accredited Coach Specific Training Hours).
Be sure the program you are interested in is accredited by a regulatory organization such as ICF, EMCC, AC or CCE before signing up! For ICF, you should see the logos for ACTP, ACSTH or CCE on their website. If you want a full Certification program, look for the ICF ACTP logo.
Radiance offers ICF Accredited Training Programs: ACTP, ACSTH and CCE.
Your budget is also a factor. In the U.S. you can expect to pay $12,000 - $18,000 USD for a full certification ACTP program in North America. If certification is not necessary for you, the ACSTH program will be less outlay upfront. A consideration with that approach is that it can be as expensive or more so in time and even money to attain a credential, as the coach will need to be mentored (about $1,000 USD in the U.S.) over a period of 3 months, and will need to send in recordings to be assessed by ICF, which currently is taking up to 12 weeks.
Radiance Partners, LLC offers payment plans to help with tuition, and ACTO, the Association of Coach Training Organizations offers a scholarship program for qualified individuals.
If you’ve done your homework, you should have the information about length of each program you’re considering. Be thinking about how that timeframe fits into your current workload, your long-term goal, and your expectations.
You will need to plan how you will support yourself during training. Most people take training while they are still working, and gradually phase out of their current job to their coaching work once they build their business to the point that can support their lifestyle.
Be realistic when planning your coach training, and ensure you have enough time and money to continue through to graduation.