Do Life Coaches need to be ICF or ICA Certified?

Is an International Coach Federation (ICF) or International Association of Coaching (IAC) endorsement necessary to be a Life Coach?

The short answer is—no. However, it is a question that comes up time and time again and one that bears further consideration.

The field of Life Coaching is largely unregulated. What exactly does this mean? While there are agencies and certifications in place, the fact remains that anyone can hang a shingle and start coaching. Astounding? Absolutely.
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We at Seattle Life Coach Training take the business of coaching very seriously and believe in garnering a strong skill set before going out into the world as a Life Coach. With that in mind, our program is in alignment with the qualifications needed to become a member of the ICF or IAC, should one wish to pursue additional credentials.

Each governing board has a varying approach, as well as distinct requirements. Let’s take a quick peek at each.

Once you have completed 60+ hours of 125-hours of Life Coach training from Seattle Life Coach Training you can apply to become a member of the (ICF) International Coach Federation. The membership fee is $250.00 a year which will allow you begin the journey of ICF certification.

Let’s explore the three levels of credentialing they offer. However, please note that certification with either the ICF or the ICA is NOT a requirement in any state to practice as a professional Life Coach in the world.

The International Coach Federation (ICF) offers three credentials. Each level of certification also requires an additional payment.

  1. Associate Certified Coach (ACC) 60+ hours of training hours completed. Plus, 100+ hours of paid Life Coaching sessions.
  2. Professional Certified Coach (PCC) 125+ hours of training. Plus, 500+ hours of paid Life Coaching sessions.
  3. Master Certified Coach (MMC) 200+ hours of training. Plus, 2,500+ hours of paid Life Coaching sessions.

The International Association of Coaching (IAC) differs from the International Federation of Coaching (ICF) in that they offer two levels of endorsement based upon testing and coaching demonstration, as opposed to hours collected. An initial membership is required and additional monies are collected with each desired level of certification, which are:

  1. Certified Mastery Coach (CMC)
  2. Master Masteries Coach (MMC)

The bottom line is that you, as a coach, must choose what feels intuitively right for you and your business. A program that gives you usable skills and the confidence to take your gifts into the world like Seattle Life Coach Training (SLCT) is the first step, the second optional step may be professional credentials if that pathway is important you. Ultimately, based on personal aspirations, the choice is yours.

Being ICF or IAC certified really doesn’t make you a better Life Coach. What will make you a great Life Coach is learning and gaining the skills, tools, and resources to be powerful and effective.  When considering the field of coaching we highly invite you to first find a professional Life Coach training program that trains you to coach others in the world powerfully!

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