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The International Coach Federation would have you believe that you must obtain ICF Certification to be respected as a life coach. But those who understand the industry they simply know better.
Coaching has become a respected profession, and by looking at its popularity, many people want to hire or become a coach. As a result of which we have seen and learned a lot about what is possible with a life coach salary. This indicates that life coaching is now becoming a proper profession. However, anyone who wants to be a life coach gets confused about whether they need a certification or not to be one. When you dig a little deeper, you will know that there is no need for certification. However, the question is why ICF certification is not necessary for a life coach. In this article, we will try to find the answer to this question.
What is ICF Certification?
Before finding out why certification is not necessary to be a life coach, let’s briefly overview what of ICF. ICF or International Coach Federation, which is the only globally recognized professional certification for coaches. ICF can help coaches to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and commitment to depicting a high level of ethical and professional standards.
However, to get ICF credentials a coach should follow complete coaching training meeting ICF standards. It helps coaches to connect with clients in thought-provoking and creative processes. Thus, allowing them to maximize their professional potential.
There are three levels of coach credentials in ICF, which are:
Associate Certificate Coach:
To get an associate-level certificate, a coach requires at least 60 hours of training and 100 hours of coaching experience.
Professional Certificate Coach:
You must fulfill 125 hours of training for a professional level certification and 500 hours of coaching experience.
Master Certificate Coach:
And lastly, they offer master certification, which requires 200 hours of training and 2,500 hours of coaching experience.
Also, read this Article on Life Coach Niches
Why ICF Certification is not necessary to become a Life Coach
Although ICF has a proper coaching certification, a globally recognized institute, however; you can still be a life coach without a certificate. There is no debate that getting an ICF certificate is not necessary to be a coach. However, the question is why it is not required to keep in view the huge surge in the popularity of coaching. Moreover, people also recognize it as a proper profession.
The main reason is that the field of coaching is largely unregulated. However, many people get confused about how it is unregulated. We cannot deny the fact that anyone can become a coach without any degree or certificate. Currently, there are no agencies or government authorities that regulate life coaches like mental health counselors. To be a counselor, you need to pass state licensing exams and get a counseling license to accept clients legally.
On the contrary, the only thing they need is to hang out a shingle and call themselves coaches when it comes to life coaches. Life coaches are free to continue their practices as long as they don’t pretend to treat mental health conditions like PTSD or Major Depressive Disorder.
The key reason why ICF certification is not necessary is that there are no regulatory authorities or regulations for life coaches.
However, another important fact we cannot deny is that having a certificate from a reputable source can add credibility to you and your position and possibly help gain clients’ trust.
How to Become a Life Coach without Certification
Before starting our discussion, you should first know that there is a difference between becoming a life coach and starting a life coaching business. Life coaching and life coaching business are two different things.
Becoming a Life Coach:
If you want to become a life coach, it does not necessarily mean that you are going to run a coaching business. However, there are certain things one should ‘do’ and ‘have’ to be a life coach. These include:
- You should love to help people. If people seek out your help and advice in their despair and challenging time, then congratulations, you are eligible to be a life coach. It means people trust you.
- Another important thing is you must-have coaching skills, including people skills, communication, passion, goal-setting, creativity, and problem-solving and progress management.
- Besides, you must be a good listener and have the ability to ask questions to give them help.
- And finally, be able to set up a structure to support changes.
If you possess these skills and can fulfill the responsibilities of a life coach, you can be a coach even without certification. However, it sometimes gives people the idea that you are only doing it as a hobby.
Difference between a Certified and a Non-Certified Life Coach
There is a single word answer to the difference between a life coach with or without a certificate—the Certification.
We have already mentioned in the above section that you can be a life coach without certification. The only requirement for a life coach is to possess coaching skills. But the question is then why people go through the trouble to get a life coaching certification. Because there are certain benefits that come with a certification and to enjoy them, you should get a certification, like gaining your clients’ trust.
Usually, coaches seek certification because they believe that this makes clients fall out of the sky. They might think that certification is a magic line, and everyone will automatically hire them. However, it contradicts reality because coaching is not like a regular job. It is a very sensitive job where you are selling invisible services. Therefore, these services aren’t bound by a certification. Coaching is all about the experience that comes with time.
However, there are certain conditions that require certification. These are:
- If you want to coach full time for a corporation.
- If you will coach executives or perform government coaching contracts.
- In case you have a successful coaching business and now want to be in the profession for a long time.
- To learn new and specific coaching skills.
Life coaching is one of those professions that don’t need certification and degree. Anyone can be a coach as long as they possess coaching skills like compassion, problem-solving, etc. the primary reason why ICF certification is unnecessary is that they are not any regulatory authorities for coaching. Check out our Facebook Page and Group for more info.