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Should you train to become a coach?


You may be an experienced manager or leader or have developed a range of skills through working in a helping profession - so what are the benefits of specific coach training?

Coaching is a profession with a specific skills set. High quality specific coach training enables you to become a skilled coach, increases your confidence, increases your professional credibility and the value of your service to clients.

It is well worth getting coach specific training as:

  • good training can aid your transition from another career or business into the coaching industry  
  • if you are looking to work with large organisations or government funded bodies it is useful to be able to give evidence of relevant professional coaching qualifications - and some agencies specifically require this  
  • some coaching professional bodies require you to have undertaken coach specific training in order to access specific levels of membership, credentials or accreditation - the International Coach Federation, for example.  
  • coaching is a highly competitive industry and appropriate coaching qualifications can give you a competitive advantage  
  • some coaching directories will not list your services if you have not had coach specific training  

If you are thinking about training, here are some useful things to consider:
  • do you want recognition in your own country or internationally - or both?  
  • do you want an academic focus to your training or a focus on skills development?  
  • do you want a face-to-face programme or flexible/online/distance learning?  
  • do you want to specialise in a particular area or work with specific clients?  
  • is the training flexible enough for you to build on as you discover your area of focus/niche  
  • how much practical experience and feedback on your coaching do you want from your training?  
  • what is in place to assure the quality of the training?  
  • what teaching qualifications or experience do the trainers have?  

It is also useful to choose training that is recognised by a professional coaching body - as this will give you a foundation for credentialling in the future. Credentialling is the process by which the professional body assures itself of your experience, skills and training and can give you both feedback on your professional abilities as a coach and also confirm your skills by a specific designation or letters after your name. This gives you professional recognition from your peers and can give potential clients confidence in you abilities and your skills set. As many people offering coaching do not have this recognition from a professional body - it can give you a competitive advantage.

Sonia Thomas is a professional coach, based in London in the UK. She also delivers international coach training courses and runs an international Peer Coaching Programe. Visit to find out more about coach training and sign up for a free guide "Thinking about Becoming a Coach?"

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