Tips on How to Find the Right Coach Training Program

by Coaching Out of the Box

There are many options when it comes to finding a coach training program whether you are looking to become a coach or learn coaching skills. In fact, there are so many options it can be difficult to know which coach training program is the right one for you. This article provides important information and practical tips to help you sort through the multitude of options, so you can find the best program for you.

Where to start

Before starting a coach training program, it is a good idea to do your research, talk to your network and answer a few questions. First you need to determine what type of training you need, then how much training you should complete. You’ll also want to know your budget and timeframe. Knowing these upfront can help you narrow the choices down and streamline the process.

How do you become a coach?

What is required to become a coach? The short answer is, it depends. To more fully answer this question, it is helpful to first understand more about the coaching profession.  

The coaching profession is currently unregulated so there are no set requirements that one must meet before becoming a coach. It is up to the individual to determine how much and what type of training to complete. The exception, if you want to obtain a coaching credential such as the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coach Federation (ICF) you will find very specific training requirements.

The amount and type of training needed to become a coach depends somewhat on your goals and the type of coaching practice you envision. Coaching is multidimensional and is best thought of on a continuum. On one end of the continuum are trained, professional coach practitioners who work as an internal or external coach. On the other end are individuals who want to learn core coaching skills to use in their profession. The type and extent of training needed can vary dramatically depending on where you are, or where you want to be, on the continuum. Get a better idea of the coaching continuum by looking at the figure below, courtesy of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Coach Training Program ICF

So, if there are no formal training requirements to become a coach, what training should be completed? While there are ‘coaches’ who have no formal training (not recommended), most practitioners as well as managers/leaders using coaching skills have gone through some type of training program. As you do your research you will find that a wide variety of coach training programs exist. Make sure you know the answer to the following questions;

  • Is the program accredited from a professional coaching organization?
  • Does the program satisfy some or all requirements for earning a coach certification or credential?
  • Does the program offer approved coach specific training hours?
  • Does the program offer Continuing Coach Education (CCE) credits?
  • Is the training done in-person, virtually or a blend of the two?
  • How many in-class and outside the classroom hours will be required?

What skills do you need to be a coach?

When most of us think of coaching, we think of someone who has excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire and motivate. But being a good coach goes much further. According to the ICF, coaches should possess the following core competencies;

  1. Establishes ethical guidelines and professional standards
  2. Establishes the coaching agreement
  3. Establishes trust and intimacy with the client
  4. A coaching presence
  5. Active listening
  6. Powerful questioning
  7. Direct communication
  8. Creating awareness
  9. Designing actions, planning and goal setting and managing progress and accountability

How much does it cost to become a coach?

Of course, the answer to how much it costs to become a coach depends on your goals and the training path you decide to take. Factors that determine the cost of a coach training program include accreditation, duration and format. Costs for a coach training program typically range from a few hundred dollars for a single course up to $10,000 or more for an accredited, intensive, in-person program that meets the requirements for obtaining a coaching credential.

Do you need to be certified?

Currently the coaching industry is not regulated by any country or state and coaches are not required to have specific training or credentials. However, more clients expect their coach to have completed formal training / obtained a credential and more coaches are getting the coach specific training needed to meet this expectation.

If you are interested in a convenient, cost-effective coach training program connect with our Program Advisor or view our courses.