Does a coach need a coaching certification?

March 24, 2021

Lately, I have been getting questions from my community and they are mostly surrounding one main topic. 

They were all about coaching certifications...

Mainly, I was being asked if you need a coaching certification to become a coach and if it was really necessary to start a coaching business?

Although it would be easier for me to give them a solid “yes, you MUST have it”, instead I return the question with a set of questions. “Well, it depends. What kind of coach are you wanting to become?”.

You see, I myself was a coach for 8 years without a certification. But then I got to a point where I realized that I wanted to do this for life. It wasn’t just another coaching program I was selling, but I wanted to build this as a career.  I wanted to impact clients and their lives in a more impactful way.

I wanted to learn, and I knew that the next step was to become a professional certified coach.

Proper coach training courses taught me the methodologies that have been tried and tested by thousands of coaches before me. It also helped me realize the importance of being a competent coach that holds his or her ethical standards at the highest. The training, practice, and mentorship through my coaching school, Flow Coaching Institute, allowed me to be the coach I am today and to provide the absolute best for my clients. It helped me to hone in on my existing talents as a coach and mold it into something a lot more professional, intentional and effective.

If coaching is a career path you have chosen, and you want to consider walking this path for some time, I want to suggest you become certified. Not just any certification, but I would strongly recommend getting trained by a school approved by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

I want to share the main benefits you might gain by going through a ICF-approved certification course: 


Benefit 1: Being Equipped With The Right Methods, Tools & Skills Needed to Successfully Coach Your Clients

A proper certification process will teach you the core competencies you need to become a professional coach. You will learn tools, skills and methodologies that have been researched, tried and tested to ensure that you provide the coaching your clients need. Of course learning it isn’t going to be the magic trick - you have to PRACTICE what you learn. A good program will make sure you practice what you learn, so that you can improve your skills as a coach. 

Benefit 2: A Supportive Community 

Being a member of the ICF community and your coaching school gives you access to resources and connections that will last for a long time. Be sure to choose a school that really cares about you as a person, and not considers you as just another student for their online certification course. The other coaches you meet in your courses will become your friends, supporters, accountability partners, and fellow confidants. The trainers and facilitators will become your mentor coaches, so pick wisely and choose the school that will truly grow you. 

Benefit 3: The Ability To Attract More Clients 

This is another amazing benefit I believe only ICF coaches get to enjoy - credentials that are recognized at large. 

You wouldn’t visit a doctor or a lawyer that wasn’t certified, would you? That concept certainly applies here as well. Companies worldwide are seeking coaches for their employees and I’ve noticed that there’s a rising trend for online platforms that cater to this need by connecting coaches to clients. Almost always, these companies ONLY hire ICF-certified coaches. Your credentials will give the immediate trust your clients need from a coach.

Sure, you can definitely start a “coaching” career and be successful without the official certification. However, if this is a passion of yours that you want to continue pursuing for the long run thus considering it more of a career path rather than a hobby, I strongly suggest you getting professionally certified by a program recognized by the International Coaching Federation. I am so glad that I made the choice to invest in my coaching career. I wish you too will think deeply about your future, and choose the path that will best benefit you.