Do I Need Life Coach Certification or Not?

by | Mar 13, 2012 | New Coaches Start Here | 2 comments

I am often asked by people considering life coaching as a career if they need to have some sort of life coach training and accreditation to call themselves a life coach. The answer really depends on the type of life coaching jobs you do.

For example, if are submitting tenders to run coaching and training initiatives within large organizations like government departments, you will most likely need to comply with a strict set of guidelines to even be considered. Tender guidelines often “highly recommend” that you and your team have some sort of training and industry accreditation. On the other hand, if you are coaching people from within your community, your clients probably won’t mind if you are accredited or not so long as you deliver the results they expect.

I recently wrote to the International Coach Federation (ICF) who are the industry authority for coaching and asked them their view on life coach accreditation. Here is what they said, “There are no regulations on calling yourself a life coach. You don’t have to have any formal training to do so. There are no laws saying you can’t be a coach unless you have training and a degree to do so.”


I recommend going to life coaching school

The Coaching Institute (TCI)

I got my life coaching diploma from TCI.

Most of my peers have got some sort of training certificate through a life coaching school and start coaching clients while they are completing their training. If you are interested in life coaching at all and can afford to do some training, I highly recommend it. If you pick a good school, your life coaching training will change your life forever in ways that you can not imagine right now. The techniques you will learn will help you become a better happier person AND you will have a new marketable skill!

I have heard of people who life coach without any formal life coach training but in these cases they are really more of a mentor (someone who advises based on their experience) than a life coach (someone who guides clients to discover their own answers). The two approaches are really very different from each other.

If you are looking for a life coaching school, the International Coach Federation has a nice search tool for locating all the ICF accredited life coaching training programs all over the world. Of course, there are more schools out there that are not ICF accredited. If you want to find those, your best bet is to search  Google (unless you know of a good list I can recommend?).


  1. Nathalie Clarkson

    I agree with you 100%. If you’re looking at life coaching as a career, it would surely be to your advantage if you receive formal training. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Debbie Kessler

    Because I have a master in ministry with Christian counseling, my degree validated my education. My marriage coaching business is more like a ministry because I minister to people through a very tender and delicate life experience. My business is so different than a business coach or a speaker coach. However, I noticed that I could be a more powerful marriage coach with adding proven methods to my coaching. I now attend I found methods that works so well with couples. My favorite is the “Play 2 Win” method. I understood the method so well, that I used this method to create my new intimacy coaching package. I believe we should become the best at what we do. People are counting on us to offer quality when they spend their money to hire us.

Submit a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hit the ground running with these 5 Simple Tools