Last week, I passed my exam to obtain this new credential Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and it was a tough 3-hours long exam.
My first certification with the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI) helped me get most of the work done but it all started back in 2021. So, I wanted to take some to celebrate this milestone because it was a long journey to get there and I'm so proud of myself! 🎉
ICF describes Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential-holders as coaches who have trained at least 60+ hours (I did 200 hours through CTI) and have at least 100+ hours of experience coaching individuals (I'm at 150+ hours).
"They have demonstrated knowledge and emerging proficiency in the application of the ICF Core Competencies, Code of Ethics, and definition of coaching. Earners show a commitment to high ethical standards and have demonstrated, through rigorous assessment, professional competence in their work with clients."
I wanted to share with you my shiny new badge but I also wanted to outline a few reasons why I think it's important to hold credentials.
Can anyone call themselves a coach? The answer is yes. This is an unregulated profession so even individuals who do not have any training can call themselves a coach. And, this can have consequences on clients.
I think it may be relevant to redefine what coaching is here to make sure we all have an understanding of what we are talking about. ICF defines it as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."
Which is very different from therapy or mentoring for example. Yet, there is a lot of confusion for many people when it comes to explaining the difference between them.
That's why there are a few situations I wanted to highlight. I've included below the ones in which I believe it is crucial to have had at least some sort of training:
When and how to recognized when there is a conflict of interest (there are many complex situations that you wouldn't have thought about without studying them)
When and how to recognized when the client is going through something that require therapy (knowing when you're not qualify to address some of your clients' challenges)
When and how to create and keep trust & confidentiality
When signing 3 ways agreements with Sponsor, coach, coachees - These contracts can be very complex and coaches play an important role in designing the structure & expectations with other parties
Dual roles - when wearing 2 hats (e. g. internal coaches that have also another role in the company)
Maintain professional integrity, ethics, values and morals
Did you know that according to the 2022 Global Consumer Awareness Study, 85% of coaching clients say it’s important or very important that their coach holds a certification or credential?
And you, what do you think?