So you have decided to become a business coach and now you are wondering what certifications you need. Searching the internet, you have discovered that the business coaching industry is not regulated and you don't really need any specific qualification or certifications.
Yes, much to our dismay it is true! There are no official licenses or certifications required to start practicing your new profession as a business coach. However, that does not mean that you should disregard any training, certification or qualifications, as this could hurt your credibility and hinder your business when you start out.
As a business coach, your clients will look at your level of experience and access your business acumen to see if you can really assist them. Most business coaches will have had some level of training and experience in management, marketing or commerce. A diploma or degree in business studies, commerce or psychology will add to your credibility.
People feel reassured when they know they are working with someone who has the knowledge and experience to guide them in navigating the challenges they face in their business. Your personal success story is perhaps your most powerful credential.
In a global study, businesses were asked what they look for in a business coach and 68% rated business experience highly, 48% rated validated client results, 33% want coaching credentials, 29% rated accreditation, and 28% wanted their business coach to have a university degree in their field.
Training and Certification = Credibility
There is no doubt that you need to invest in professional training or a certification program. We are not talking about a two day workshop. We are talking about a comprehensive training programme that will equip you with all of the skills that you need to coach business owners to success as well as operate, market and grow your own business.
As a small business owner yourself, you will act as human resources manager, IT manager, marketer, finance officer, accountant and customer relationship manager amongst others. You need foundational skills in each area of your business. So, you will need to look carefully your skills and experience, and decide where you need to focus to address your skills’ needs.
Importantly, a great business coach needs good people skills. A great business coach is also good at teaching. Just because you are successful in business, it doesn’t mean that you know how to teach and mentor. The good news is that coaching can be taught.
Where to Get Business Coach Training and Certification
As a new coach, it is challenging to choose which training programs, certifications and/or qualifications to complete to position yourself, and your coaching business for success.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) offers the gold standard for coaching credentials but it does not provide the training. The ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.
ICF Credentials are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Achieving credentials through ICF demonstrates a coach’s commitment to integrity, understanding and mastery of coaching skills, and dedication to clients. ICF also accredits programmes that deliver coach-specific training. Completing an ICF-accredited training programme is an excellent way to build the skills and credibility you need as a business coach.
Business Coaching Franchises
A search on Google will reveal several business coaching training and certification programmes in Australia and New Zealand. Several business coaching franchises offer training and certification, with the top ones being ActionCOACH, Focalpoint, The Alternative Board and Max My Profit. Business coaching franchises are not created equal when it comes to training, support or mentorship so it is important to do thorough research before you decide which one to go with.
On the subject of mentorship; the most successful coaches will tell you that one of the best investments you can make in your development as a business coach is to work with a coach who managed to build the type of business that you would like for yourself – someone who shares your vision, your ethos and gets the type of results for their clients that you would like to get for yours.
ActionCOACH Training and Certification
ActionCOACH is the world’s number one business coaching franchise with more than 25 years of experience. When you become an ActionCOACH, you are instantly part of an established, credible and trusted community of business coaching experts. The training is unparalleled, the ongoing support is unmatched and the access to the library of ActionCOACH’s proven systems and processes will set up your coaching business for success.
Your training as an ActionCOACH is divided into four parts, covering every aspect of running your own business and to becoming a fully-fledged, capable coach. Your orientation begins with the Global Foundation Programme that runs concurrently with the Regional Foundation Programme which will equip you to set up your business and use the ActionCOACH systems effectively.
This is followed an intensive 10 day transformation certification programme conducted by MasterCOACHes who have extensive experience in running their own businesses and as well as coaching business owners. Post induction training and support continues with a structured online programme thereafter.
You can also participate in various programmes such as the Upskills Programme, the Pay It Forward Mentoring Programme and the Support Buddy Programme which is especially beneficial for new coaches seeking to connect with other coaches. As a new coach, this level of training and support will place you streets ahead of your competition.
So whilst the business coaching industry is not regulated there are a few credible training and certification programs that you can take up. Just ensure you take the time to do thoroughly due diligence of all the opportunities available and what they have to offer.