The Ultimate Introduction To Coaching Certifications

Everything You Need To Know About Coaching Certifications & How To Know If You Should Get One or Not

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The Ultimate Introduction To Coaching Certifications
coaching certifications

Once upon a time…

There was once a young man who was motivated to give his best in everything he did. He was a high school teacher and he was on the fast track to becoming a head teacher at the school. 

As a future leader, he had been introduced to the power of coaching and he was looking forward to making a real difference in the lives of every single student and teacher he connected with.

Then the unthinkable happened… the young man was fired from his job. It was a complicated, political move that involved a new boss who arrived unexpectedly at his school. This woman wanted her own handpicked team and he wasn’t a part of her plan.

So, she fired the young man and he was devastated.

a man and woman looking at a laptop
a person standing on a rock

With his heart broken and his dreams crushed, he took the only path he thought he had available to him… he travelled to a faraway tropical beach to recover.

He wanted to get away from the unfairness of it all and that terrible feeling of failure. He wanted to put himself back together again and he thought that a few weeks in a warm, sunny environment, some yoga and self-coaching and reflection would do the trick.

So, there he was, on a gorgeous beach in Thailand, a pack of coaching cards with insightful questions in his hand. He was ready to go deep into himself and figure out what he wanted to do next.

But life had different plans for this young man.

Strangers started coming up to him, asking about the cards. “What are those?” and he’d reply “They’re coaching cards.” They’d say, “Can I play?” Before he knew it, the young man was coaching people on that beach and he felt deeply fulfilled and incredibly happy. That’s when he realized, “This is what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I want to be a coach!”

a group of people running on a bridge

That young man on the beach was Rich Litvin and he went on to become one of the most respected and sought-after coaches in the world.

He got his start on that beach in Thailand and since then, Rich has built an unshakeable reputation around bringing in real results and life-changing transformations for his clients (and his client list reads like a who’s who of politicians, athletes, and artists!).

This is a story about how a truly dedicated coach -- someone who wants to be of service, someone who wants to make a real difference -- can get their start just about anywhere…

Rich Litvin
What Are Coaching Certifications?

What Are Coaching Certifications?

Coaching Certifications are usually programs that include professional training. Beginning with coaching, these programs also aid to get in touch with other professionals in the field, your colleagues. Moreover, some coaching courses also ask their students to work on themselves, leading to personal development.

As Rich Litvin's example, you don't need a coaching certification to get started as a coach, but many people also consider a credential to be a security, given that someday the life coaching industry could also be regulated. 

Some certifications help you become members of credentialed organizations. These help you stay in the loop in by helping you keep your fingers on the pulse of the industry.

However, you need to be aware of the fact that despite all of the positives, these ‘best coaching certification programs’ fall short. They fail to equip coaches with any effective coaching techniques or skills.

Therefore, choosing the right coaching certification is very crucial. For that you need to give yourself time and space to weigh the pros and cons of each certification program.

Should You Get A Coaching Certification?

Should You Get A Coaching Certification?

You’ve probably thought about that before and you’re not alone.

The coaching certification vs no certification “debate” has been going on for quite some time, and the jury’s still out on the “right” answer.

This Guide isn’t designed to answer that question for you because everyone’s situation is different and unique. Of course, there are many advantages to getting a coaching certification online, but there are also many cases in which you don't need such an investment is not necessary to become a great coach.

What we will provide in this Guide is all the key information you need to answer that question for yourself, so you can make the right decision for you.

So, if you want to discover whether becoming a certified coach is right for you right now and how to choose the best coaching certification program, then you’re the perfect place!

Ready? Let’s roll!

Get a Coaching Certification… Yes or No?


Get A Coaching Certification…
Yes or No?

Let's start by going through the pros and cons of each approach - the getting a certification vs the not getting a certification - based on common beliefs and assumptions most people have about each option.

The “no-certification-necessary” approach

Some people believe that coaching is about just that… coaching.

They believe that becoming a great coach is about doing the work in the field, so to speak.

It’s about finding people to coach and then coaching them… a lot like Rich Litvin did on that beach in Thailand.

They believe coaching skills – like other practical skills such as riding a bike or teaching school or creating art – is all about getting out there and doing the thing you want to be good at.

In this line of thinking, the longer you take to learn about coaching and think about coaching rather than actually do coaching, the longer you’ll take to become a great coach.

the no coaching certification approach

Information isn’t action and action is what’s going to take you up to the level you want to be at as a professional, transformational coach. It's all about coaching, coaching, and then coaching some more!

The no-certification-approach believers tend to consider that every coaching certification program out there falls short on active training. And it's the active training which will eventually enable you to become a master coach who creates consistent results for clients.

This, in other words, these programs do not provide the student coach with the necessary practical training. So, they skip the money and time investment of certifications, and just focus on learning different methodologies and skills, and putting their learning into action. 

The “pro certification” approach

Many pro certification folks are firm believers that coaching certifications are critical and starting out as a coach minus a certification is 100% unacceptable. Others consider certifications crucial if you are brand-new in the industry and have no idea of where to get started as a coach.

They can’t imagine anyone who could possibly do a good job as a coach without formal training.

They also believe that becoming a certified coach boosts credibility, which instantly puts a coach with certification way ahead of everyone else in the industry. These are especially those who have specific target audiences where having a credential can help them enroll and get authority, such as business coaches and health coaches.

the pro-coaching certification approach

Plus, their thinking goes that a powerful certification program helps student coaches add proven-to-work coaching techniques and methodologies to their coaching toolkit, and this is a huge benefit and confidence-builder, especially for brand-new coaches as mentioned above.

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Before we dive deeper into this Guide, it’s important to understand where you’re at in terms of your beliefs and ideas about coaching and being a great coach. 

The following questions will help you gain clarity around where you are now as a coach or potential coach.


Why is being a coach important to you? Why do you want to become a coach?


How do you plan to improve your coaching skills throughout your career? (eg: take courses and trainings, read books, coach more clients, etc)


How much time do you want to invest in improving your coaching skills?
(how many hours a week)


What do you think are your client’s expectations around certifications? Do they prefer to work with a certified coach? If you’re brand new, what do you think your clients would prefer?


What is your area of coaching expertise or if you’re just starting, what kind of coach do you want to be? (career coach, health or nutrition coach, life coach, etc.)

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