Are there credentials I need to be a coach/consultant? This is a question most of us ask themselves. To become successful business cosultant and find a job. You need some skills and preferably some certifications from bodies such as the ICF.
ICF stands for International Coach Federation. This international body has been formed by professionals who are practitioners of business and personal coaching. It is a non-profit organization of individual members and is the biggest resource for business and personal coaches. People or agencies, seeking the services of a coach, can approach it to solve their business related problems.
A business coach is a professional who assists clients by facilitating the improvement in the performance of their business through specialized coaching skills and acts as a catalyst for overall development and growth of the business.
Coaching is an arrangement of a continued relationship between the client and the coach, in pursuit of achieving the goals and aspirations of the client. With the help of information supplied by the client, along with whatever information he can gather personally, the coach helps the client to realize organizational and personal goals much faster than would have been otherwise possible. The coach does this by increasing the level of awareness of the client, inducing him to become more responsible. He advises and helps the client by furnishing him with the necessary tools, lending support in their implementation, while also offering regular feedback.
Coaching is a field of the specialist. Any organization or person that needs the services of a professional coach would want to be sure that they get a person with the right skills and competence. They also need to be assured of his professional integrity because he would be allowing the coach access to confidential details of his business, without which it would not be possible to formulate corrective plans.
The ICF has developed a Code of Professional Standards for its members. It has also devised a university accepted accreditation system to standardize the credentials of its members. This would help prospective clients in choosing the right person for their needs.
A coach certified by the ICF is someone who has received professional training by the standards set by it. They are given coaching skills according to the ICF Competencies and Code of Ethics. A certified coach is then adjudged proficient in the knowledge and use of coaching techniques along the standards defined therein. It also means that the coach is accountable to the ethics and standards set by the ICF.
There are three levels of Coach Credential Certifications from the ICF. Basic certification requirements for each level are as follows:
a. An Associate Certified Coach (ACC) requires 60 hours of coach specific training, and100 hours of coaching experience with clients. He must satisfactorily complete the oral exam and agree to adhere to the Code of Ethics as outlined by the ICF.
b. A Professional Certified Coach (PCC) requires 125 hours of coach specific training, with 750 hours of coaching experience with clients. Satisfactory completion of written and oral exams is necessary. Agree to adhere to the Code of Ethics as outlined by the ICF, and to continue professional development by renewing credentials every three years
c. A Master Certified Coach (MCC) requires 200 hours of coach specific training with 2,500 hours of coaching experience with clients. Satisfactory completion of written and oral exams is required. Demonstrated leadership within the profession is necessary. Also, the agreement to adhere to the Code of Ethics as outlined by the ICF and continued professional development to renew credentials every three years is called for.
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