The large number of options in professional coaching certification may make it difficult to choose the most suitable one. With most programs sounding similar it may become challenging to make out the difference. Here are some tips that will help you to choose the most suitable program.
- Mindset, skillset and toolset
A coaching program that offers you training by covering the specific areas of the mindset, skillset and toolset is most important. In other words, you need to be conditioned to become a coach. You also need to be equipped with the right kind of skills to fulfill your duties as a coach. And finally, you need to be trained in the right kind of tools to discharge your responsibilities as a coach. Choose an institute that covers all these three dimensions.
- Approved by the federation
Coaching certification can put you right in the middle of an unregulated field, and that means anyone can go ahead and establish their own certification program. It is always better to go for programs that are approved by coaching associations. These third-party associations examine and then approve or reject a certain program. The largest professional association in the world is the ICF (International Coach Federation). This coaching association provides an external validation of the programs and the coaches involved. Therefore, get into a program that is approved by the ICF, because if it isn’t, then you may not be sure of what you are getting into.
- Choose a training program that suits you
Different professional coaching programs have different approaches. Choose a program that suits your requirements, this way you will be able to relate to the training better. For instance, if you need to improve only in certain areas, then you can opt for Coach Specific Training. However, if you need to enroll for comprehensive training, opt for comprehensive training.
- Get Foundational Coaching Before Opting for Niche Training
Build upon your foundational knowledge and expertise before you opt for training in niche areas. This will ensure that your expertise is well rounded and fully equipped to meet any requirements of participants. Reputed training centers will certainly not offer you the opportunity of enrolling for advanced/niche training if you lack the requisite foundational knowledge. Certified coaching programs have certain pre-requisites for specialization and you will have to fulfill the same before you can enroll for one.
- Be sure that you are aware of the credential paths
There are three different paths to credentialing. Associate, Professional and Master Certified Coach. Be sure of the path that you intend to pursue. Before you actually choose one, make sure that it will meet your requirements. Most importantly, check out the pre-requisites for the credentialing. If you are unaware of the pre-requisites, it will help if you can clarify the same from the training center before you conclude the formalities.
- Look for a center that helps you to sell your services
It is important that you learn to coach well after pursuing professional coaching certification. Not only should you develop the abilities and professional expertise to handling the training programs, you also should be in a position to sell your services. In other words, you should be in a position to market your services better. Therefore choose a training center that will help you in developing these soft skills in addition to empowering you with professional expertise.
- Do not assume that mentor coaches are verified
Learn all that you can about Mentor Coaches before you seek the services of any. It is important t understand that ICF will not validate the qualifications of mentor coaches and if you are led to believe that availing the services of a mentor coach is a route to credentialing, then you may find yourself in a very difficult situation. The ICF clearly states that listings of mentor coaches are only for information and not an indication of validated qualifications.
Choosing the right center and the right program is obviously key to success as a coach. Therefore, ensure that you make the right choice. ICF is considered as the gold standard in accreditation mainly as a result of the resources on offer and the methods followed in instruction. To fully leverage the benefits of this superior coaching standard, it is necessary to make the right choice of program and to devote adequate time to complete the program.
It is also important to remain credentialed all the time. One of the highlights of ICF accreditation is the fact that members need to remain updated to remain credentialed. This helps in raising the bar and participants of coach training programs need to fulfill obligations which will not only help them to remain credentialed, it will also help in improving knowledge and expertise.