ICF certification is the globally acknowledged gold standard for professional coaching. ICF credentials are benchmarked standards that indicate the professional ability of the individual – knowledge, levels of skill, and a methodical approach to coaching with the highest ethics. To complete the training program and earn the credentials, professionals need to make informed decisions regarding the path to ICF credentials and the institute of choice. These two decisions will impact the outcome and the eventual certification. One of the most popular and preferred choices adopted by professionals is enrolment in an ACSTH coaching program. Here is a granular look at the program.
Differentiators of ACSTH
While there are three options for acquiring ICF credentials, ACSTH coaching is a flexible option. The program is basically an option that permits participants to complete the stipulated number of training hours and apply for certification. The program is itself approved on an hourly basis and can be either a full coach training capsule or a part training capsule. This is regarded as one of the most flexible and convenient methods among the ICF certified coaching programs.
Approved Coach Specific Training Hours Program in a nutshell
ACSTH programs are basically training sessions that are designed to meet the requirements of a coach who wishes to be eventually certified. The requirements in an ACSTH program cover three aspects – the minimum number of hours, the content, and the exams. The applicant needs to put in at least 30 hours of training in the program, which should be specific to the coach training. The training sessions need to comprise content/classes that deal with the ICF Code of Ethics and the ICF Core Competencies. The examination needs to follow the portfolio model – wherein a life coach who aspires to be certified needs to have undergone a stipulated duration of training. To receive Associate Coach Certification, the applicant needs to have completed 60 hours of ACSTH, while an aspirant for Professional Coach Certification needs to have completed 125 hours of ACSTH. The training also needs to include coaching experience, association with a mentor coach, references from certified coaches and will also involve an exam. The documentation in support for programs for Associate Coach Certification requires 100 hours of coaching experience, while in the case of Professional Coach Certification, it needs to be 750 hours.
Top reasons that work in favour of ACSTH coaching programs
Multiple reasons make ACSTH a preferred option over others include the following:
#1 Flexible and customized training for achieving milestones enroute to certification
Rather than be straitjacketed into a program that may not be to the liking of participants, the ACSTH program offers a great flexibility, leaving the participants free to choose the mode of completion of the coaching program. For instance, a participant may want to take up one capsule course at a time and proceed to the next when he or she is ready. This gives participants the options of timing the completion of the coaching as per schedules. This level of customization and flexibility is unavailable elsewhere and this makes ACSTH a great choice. This is more of a goal based coaching program, where milestones are achieved enroute to certification.
#2 Choice of mentor
A mentor may be one of the best in the industry, but it is important that the mentor and the student are on the same page. Different students require different approaches and this is itself the underlying concept of coaching. With ACSTH coaching, students get to have a mentor who would be a better asset and guide to the student. This flexibility is unavailable in other programs where the students do not have options. This choice of coach is perhaps one of the bigger advantages of this coaching program, in addition to being an affordable option.
#3 Faster method to certification
Other programs lock in the participants to a fixed period, following which certification is granted. With the ACSTH program, it is possible for students to quickly get certified. The credits based system permits students to receive certification on completion of modules and finally complete the required number of credits for receiving ICF credentials. The staggered approach is also the fastest unlike a full time program that can sometimes take as much as two full years before a student receives some form of certification. The choice lies in the hands of the participant.
Overview on choosing the right coaching programme
The above aspects offer insights into the ACSTH program and the path to ICF certification. While zeroing in on the right coaching programme, there are a few tips that will help participants to receive the best results. The primary considerations need to be the accreditation body, the program that one is enrolling in, the methods of training and the support offered by the coaching institute. These factors will determine the success of the coaching program and will ensure that certification is not of mere trophy value but of real value to the participant.
- Accreditation body: There can really be no compromise on this. An accreditation body that has a reputation, and commands the respect of industry should be the ideal certification of an aspirant. Across industry, certifications that are regarded as the gold standard often result in the mushrooming of other bodies. The safest and most prudent option would be to go with a body that is respected and regarded as the benchmark.
- Program: The program needs to be chosen after careful consideration of career goals. Additionally, it is important to take an informed decision of the chosen program. For instance, the time that can set aside for 100% involvement, the career path and plan chosen and the costs.
- Training methods and support: Training methodology and support offered by a centre are of great importance when it comes to acquiring knowledge and value form the coaching program. It is therefore necessary to choose a program where the methods adopted for imparting training is superior. Choose a centre that has earned positive testimonials from past participants about the nature and extent of support.