There are two reasons to become a certified coach.
#1 – To improve your coaching skills so that you can better serve your clients
Many coaches get hung up on getting a credential as if the credential itself is most important, but that is really the cherry on top. As you study and apply core coaching competencies under the guidance of a mentor coach, you will understand the competencies at a deeper level and in a more masterful way. And the better we become at applying coaching skills and the core competencies, the better service we are likely being to our clients, which is really what’s most important.
As you move up the credential ladder from ACC to PCC to MCC, your understanding of applying coaching skills will increase too. But only if you participate in consciously understanding the competencies and applying them.
#2 – To open doors to opportunities not available without an ICF credential
There is another reason to become an ICF credentialed coach. My personal experience is that it has opened doors for me to be considered for work that I would never have been considered for. I can directly relate having an ICF credential with being given opportunities for coaching work that wasn’t available to non-credentialed coaches.
For example, in 2003, I was sought out by a company because I had the PCC credential and I ended up on a project that paid me $27,636 for coaching work. Then in 2006, when I had my MCC credential, I was recommended for a coaching project that ended up paying me over $220,000 for the next few years.
There are global companies who now have key senior personnel trained as coaches. Many have received coach-specific training and have their ACC credential. They understand what coaching is and are aware of the ICF Credentials. Some request an ICF Certified Coach as they know they have been through a certification process with common coaching knowledge.
There are government departments (at least in Washington, DC) that require an ICF Credential to work with their people.
As more people take coaching training who work inside large companies, the more that the ICF certification is going to become a requirement to contract or work with that company.
You don’t know what work you are not even being considered for if you don’t have an ICF credential. There have been many more opportunities given to me because of my MCC credential too. One is that I’ve been an ICF Assessor since 2005 and that experience continues to help me grow my coaching skills as I listen to and evaluate coaching candidates from around the world.
Now, the ICF credential will open doors, but it is still who you are, your experience and rapport with the client or organization that will influence whether you get the job or contract. But don’t discount the growth available to you as a coach by engaging in understanding and applying the core coaching competencies, and what new opportunities may be opened up for you.