“Why become an ICF Certified Coach?”
Why become an ICF coach is a question that every aspiring coach asks himself/ herself at the outset of the training journey. In a world of self-acclaimed coaches, why pay for training and accreditation, one may wonder. This question, I have asked myself at different juntures and have been asked by many others who want to pursue, or are curious about coaching. If I had to sum it up in one word, for me, it is ‘freedom’. I got to this in parts and I am still on the journey.
What is an ICF credential?
The ICF credential stands for knowledge, accountability and a strong ethical code when it comes to professional coaching. ICF sets the Gold Standard of Professional Coaching. As ICF states- “Anyone can call themselves a coach. But ICF-credentialed coaches are professionals who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Additionally, they adhere to strict ethical guidelines as part of ICF’s mission to protect and serve coaching consumers.
An ICF Credential is a professional certification indicating that you have met specific standards and requirements designed to develop and refine your coaching skills. It is an indication that you are dedicated to upholding strong principles of ethical behavior in coaching. An ICF credential shows your clients and peers that you are committed to the coaching industry and to developing yourself as a coaching professional.
ICF offers three credentials, corresponding with the quantity of education and experience required to earn it-
- Associate Certified Coach (ICF – ACC)- Completed 60 hours of coach specific education and 100 hours of client coaching experience
- Professional Certified Coach (ICF – PCC)- Completed 125 hours of coach education and 500 hours of client coaching experience
- Master Certified Coach (ICF – MCC)- Hold or have help a PCC credential, completed 200 hours of coach specific education and 2,500 hours of client coaching experience
Now that we know what ICF credentials are. Let us further understand why do we need to be an ICF certified coach.
Why become an ICF certified coach?
Holding a credential- especially an ICF credential- is extremely important for today’s coaching clients. The 2022 Global Awareness Study found that 85% of coaching clients say it’s important or very important that their coach holds a certification or credential. Earning an ICF Credential provides you with instant credibility and increased visibility to prospective clients.
Further, you will find the following reasons compelling too-
- Transforms you as an individual. The course not only provides you with an ICF Credential but also instills in you a proactive and optimistic outlook which helps you make the best of every situation!
- Enables you to develop the right attitude and skills that would help you place yourself in the market
- Enhances your credibility factor which in turn ensures customer satisfaction
- Places you in an ever-expanding network of coaching professionals wherein you learn from your experience and that of others
- Translates into enhanced productivity as the client feels psychologically secure around you
- Ensures increased Return of Investment with researches showing that globally people prefer an ICF credentialed coach over a non-certified coach
Now that I have answered that question, let us get on with my story.
When I first started my ICF – ACC journey the gift that coaching gave me was a foundation and structure. Both may not seem like glamorous goals for a professional course. While we all know how essential it is, we stand and appreciate the beauty of a building rather than the strength of its foundation.
Coaching has various competencies and every competency has been carefully placed in an order to serve the client. If our life was to be viewed in a Socratic manner as the pursuit of questions and our journey the ability to answer them. Then doesn’t a life well lived require that we ask the right questions and ponder over them? An appropriate question, I believe, opens doors to different possibilities in life and hence can change the course of our narratives, view on life, decisions, and life path itself.
When I decided to sign up for the ICF – PCC certification, I found myself back with the question of Why Coaching? What was the need for it? The competencies were no different, The structure was the same. I then sat with the question of why ICF – PCC? The answer to this I got in a coaching session myself – Freedom.
It’s just like a speech that needs to be rehearsed before going on stage so one can be present, like an actor who becomes completely thorough with the script and their character sketch so they can be, without thinking or analyzing – just flow. Likewise, my ICF – PCC journey is to get to that stage of freedom to flow. It comes with understanding the length, breadth, and depth of the questions and competencies.
To conclude, Eric Weiner in his book on philosophy rephrases the Socratic thought really well when he says- “An unexamined life is not worth living and an examined life that doesn’t produce practical results isn’t worth it”. To me coaching definitely leads to practical results through continuous & daring examination – making life worth living.
Having decided that you are going to become an ICF certified coach, come learn with us! All roads lead to Regal Unlimited. We will see you soon!
You can go through our website for further details on the ICF approved coach training programs.
Best wishes for a transformational journey…within yourselves, and the certification, of course.
I found value by doing ICF-ACC (and now ICF-PCC) with Regal Unlimited – trust me, you will find it too!