To Credential or Not to Credential: Deciding on Your Professional Pathway

To Credential or Not to Credential: Deciding on Your Professional Pathway

With the expansion of the coaching industry, coaches embarking on their coaching training are weighing up the value of earning an ICF Credential for their practice. Because the coaching industry is unregulated, it is optional to obtain a credential to practice as a coach. However, there are many personal, professional and ethical reasons why a coach would choose to belong to a professional association such as the ICF.

Credibility – most hiring organisations are looking for coaches who have undergone robust training, are effective, and are accountable for outcomes. Additionally, third-party coaching organisations are increasingly asking coaches to be credentialed. These organisations can be a great stepping stone for new coaches who wish to gain experience and expand their coaching business.

Competence and Ethics – when training is completed through an ICF Accredited Coach Education Program specific attention is paid to the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics. The Core Competencies provide a framework for ensuring coaches have the skill and depth of coaching knowledge to work effectively with clients.

Client Trust and Safety – knowing the boundaries of coaching and the line between coaching and other helping professions, such as therapy and mentoring, keeps both the coach and the client safe. It allows the process to remain focused on coaching-specific outcomes and ensures the coach can recognise, understand and implement appropriate referral processes for the client if required.

Professional Development – credentialed coaches are required to invest in continued learning and development, along with accessing support such as Mentoring and Coaching Supervision to ensure they are delivering the best value for their clients as well as maintaining their own levels of personal wellbeing to offer safe and insightful coaching experiences.

Confidence – having a credential and belonging to a global organisation that supports coaches to be their best inspires confidence and a sense of achievement. When coaches feel they are achieving in their work and expanding their knowledge and capabilities they work more confidently with their clients.  

Networking, collaboration and learning opportunities – the ICF provides a platform for coaches to access information and professional development, belong to Communities of Practice, engage in Thought Leadership, serve on ICF leadership teams, and much more that can enhance the coach's profile, visibility and confidence.

Accredited Coach Training Schools committed to the continuous professional development of their graduates provide ongoing opportunities for coaches to expand their learning and connect with other coaches.   

In summary, gaining an ICF Credential demonstrates the coach’s commitment to excellence in coaching and testifies to the coach’s ability to demonstrate high professional standards, knowledge and skill for the best outcomes for the client. Additionally, the coach has access to a wide variety and number of resources and support for their ongoing development and success.

As an experienced coach educator, mentor and coaching supervision partner I help coaches develop their skills and confidence.
If you are wondering what path to take for your coaching career feel free to connect with me at for a chat.

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