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Coaching Certifications Abound

July 17, 2008
Related Topics: Behavioral Training, Career Development, Employee Career Development, Featured Article
Credentials are one thing HR directors can look at when interviewing prospective executive coaches. But they also should consider that there’s no universally recognized accreditation organization that approves the burgeoning coaching training business, according to the American Management Association’s 2008 coaching survey.

    The oldest coaching accreditation program is run by theInternational Coach Federation, a trade group. The ICF has a code of ethics, learning standards and tiered qualifications, including the master certified coach credential, which requires 2,500 hours of coaching.

    Other organizations that support coaching training are theWorldwide Association of Business Coaches,International Consortium of Coaching in Organizations and theInternational Association of Coaching, according to the AMA report.

    However, support for the ICF and other old-school coaching programs has waned in recent years, as more executive coaches opt to attend education programs offered by universities and other organizations, according to a separate 2008 survey of 1,292 executive coaches and corporations that hire coaches conducted by Sherpa Coaching, which runs executive coaching training programs. Universities that offer such programs include Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, Stanford and Penn State.

    The American Management Association also offers two three-day, non-certificate coaching training courses in multiple venues around the country, including "Coaching: A Strategic Tool for Effective Leadership."

    Whether it’s a short training course or a full-blown certification program, some type of training is better than nothing, says Edward Reilly, the AMA’s president and CEO. "There are skills to coaching that aren’t necessarily intuitive and can be improved if you pay attention to them," Reilly says.

    On the flip side, "For some people, no matter how well they pass tests, it won’t make them good coaches," Reilly says.

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