Who determines if someone is a coach or not?

Well, no one.

There are many coaches out there who classify themselves as such without any kind of proper training in the field. There is no true governing board and no requirement for professional licensure as with many other fields.

Then, there are many out there who over-train and never really dig into the career. They may take training after training, and have certifications a mile long but no true results-driven practice. They are technically a “coach” as defined by the programs they completed but perhaps don’t have the mojo you need to get you where you need to go.

According to the ICF, a global organization who has placed its umbrella over the coaching industry:

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.

As the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches, ICF confers instant credibility upon its members. ICF is also committed to connecting member coaches with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their careers.

ICF offers the only globally recognized, independent credentialing program for coach practitioners. ICF Credentials are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Achieving credentials through ICF signifies a coach’s commitment to integrity, understanding and mastery of coaching skills, and dedication to clients.

ICF also accredits programs that deliver coach-specific training. ICF-accredited training programs must complete a rigorous review process and demonstrate that their curriculum aligns with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics.

You can find more on their site, – but I think you get the idea. Yes, there is a board who is trying to herd coaching along as a professional. However, it is not a requirement to belong to this organization.

So how do you know what is right for you? A good coach likely has a balance of many things. In our opinion, some sort of certification should be one of them. Without it, novice “coaches” end up taking you down a path of mentoring, consultation and advising you along their journey instead of truly coaching you through.

At CORALIFE we focus on career-oriented and life-enhancement coaching leading to a well-rounded individual. We do not let our certifications get in the way of passionate results. If at any time our sessions cross the lines of coaching to other professional services we will let you know and let you decide the path you want to take. We offer sessions in mentorship, advising, and consultation but make no mistake, those paths are not true coaching and should be labeled as such.

Contact us at any time for a 20-minute consultation where we can try and determine if we are a good fit for your needs. There is no obligation to seeing if the shoe fits! Submit a quick form today –