Download the Syllabus and Plan Your Program
We offer a personalized training consultation service. With absolutely no obligation you can speak to one of our Program Advisors about your study plans. All our Advisors are graduate coaches so they can speak with experience and authority about our programs and your coaching career. They will help you work out which program is best for you and how to structure it into your daily life.
Some Commonly asked Questions
We love questions! We know this is how we learn and grow and move forward!
So in the spirit of learning, we have selected some common questions and answers to help you further explore coaching, what it is and isn’t, and whether it is the right choice for you. And, if it is, how to join our certification programs here at International Coach Academy.
Do you have any other questions you want answers to?
E-Mail us email@example.com or have one of our coach training consultants contact you to talk about your coach training goals and how to go about becoming a coach or gaining coaching skills.
You’re searching for something in the back of a crowded closet. It’s dark in there and you’re having trouble managing a flashlight while moving the clutter out of your way.
Along comes someone who offers to hold the light for you, freeing you up to use both hands to find what has been eluding you. In this little story, the person with the flashlight is the coach. You, of course, are the person doing the searching and the finding.
A simple illustration but we think it captures the power of coaching in reaching our fullest potential. Coaches support people in meeting professional goals, fulfilling personal aspirations, exploring spiritual connection, and embracing greater health and wellness.
What is Coaching?
As a coach, we’re a mix of advocate, sounding board, cheerleader, accountability partner, truth teller, and brainstormer. We engage in conversation, or dialogue; helping our clients decide what is important to them. Then, flashlight in hand so to speak, coach and client co-create value-based goals and a plan to achieve them.
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.
At ICA our programs are based on this model of excellence. We offer a solid grounding in core coaching skills plus the opportunity to explore a specific coaching niche through study, community building, and connection with others.
A The Day In The Life Of A Coach
Listen to professional coaches, Merci Miglino and Karen Cappello, talk about their experiences with coaching. This call covers the most commonly asked questions such as how much can I charge, how can I find clients.
About Merci Miglino
Lifestyle entrepreneur, author and life coach Merci Miglino is former teacher, reporter, communications director and campaign manager. Merci is an alumni of ICA and now manages a successful practice as a life coach and is a Certified Professional Coach who regularly appears on TV, in print on the web.
A former university professor, financial and estate planner, Karen has a very successful practice as an executive coach and trainer and is a learning leader for ICA. Karen says ‘my life has always been lived by synchronicity’ and like most coaches, has always had a fascination with the stories of others, and loved to listen to people.
And for those of you who love TOP TEN lists, this is for you.
As a coach you will…
1. Support to discover the answers within him or her self
2. Clarification of values
3. Co-creation of a plan for how to achieve what the client really wants
4. A sounding board for new ideas
5. Support in making life-changing decisions
6. Challenge to expand their views beyond their perceived limitations
10. Resource of information
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation gives public recognition to training institutions that meet certain standards. It is as close as you can get to a guarantee that an institution will provide the quality of education it claims to offer.Accreditation assures the student that the institution operates on a sound financial basis, has an approved program of study, qualified trainers, adequate facilities and equipment, effective recruitment and admission policies, and advertises its courses truthfully.
Accredited programs or courses are those that have met certain standards.
Although it differs from country to country these standards are usually set by the industry body in cooperation with the appropriate training authority (in our case the International Coach Federation).
Training providers must then demonstrate how they meet these standards.
The requirements and standards also differ from country to country but they generally all include:
- Core competencies (i.e. the skills or knowledge deemed to be necessary to be competent in the profession)
- A discussion of pedagogy (i.e. the philosophy and method of teaching adults and learning that underpins the program)
- Adequate policies and procedures
- Qualified and experienced Trainers
Why is coaching accreditation important?
There is a range of views on the merits of accreditation. Ranging from “essential” to a “waste of time and money”.At ICA we believe that firstly any discussion about accreditation has to be industry specific. In other words, we think it is difficult to support blanket statements about accreditation due to the unique nature of programs and professions. So in the context of the growing profession called coaching, ICA supports accreditation for the following reasons:
- It fosters excellence.
- It encourages improvement through continuous self-evaluation and planning
It assures the educational community, students, the general public and other interested agencies or organizations, that an institution:
- has clearly defined and appropriate objectives;
- maintains conditions under which their achievement can be reasonably expected;
- appears in fact to be accomplishing them; and can be expected to continue to do so.
Yes, but does it actually matter? Do I need it to be a qualified coach?
Yes, accreditation matters. You are about to committ a significant amount of time, effort, and perhaps money to further your education and consequently your career as a coach.Accreditation will give you some guarantee that your money will not be wasted and a plus for attracting potential clients.
You may also be interested in changing or advancing your career which makes completing the requirements necessary to become a certified coach (ACC, PCC or MCC) with the International Coach Federation a great advantage. Practically speaking, attending an accredited school means you can bypass the lengthy requirements of the portfolio track and apply directly for certification.
Why Do We Care About Coaching Certification and Accreditation?
When we first began training coaches in 2001, we were not accredited school. We provided coaches with certification from our school, and at that time, coaching was a relatively new phenomenon. Most clients were more concerned with learning what coaching actually was, let alone whether their coach was certified.This has all changed. Over the last 7 years the coaching industry has grown at an incredible rate. At one point coaching was the second fastest growing profession in the world (next to IT).
More and more people are hiring coaches to work with them on an ever-expanding range of issues. You can now find a coach for almost anything – there are Career Coaches, Academic Coaches, Spiritual Coaches, Executive Coaches, Financial Coaches,’ Parenting Coaches…actually, the list is never ending.
This growth, combined with an increasing public awareness of coaching, has resulted in higher demands for accredited training and certified coaches. Clients want to know when they employ a coach that they are not just employing someone calling themselves a coach, but that they are in fact employing someone who has been through a rigorous training and accreditation process.
We believe that accredited courses are a critical element in the growth and development of any profession, and perhaps more so with coaching. For whatever reason there are two things holding the profession back at the moment. One is the fact that some people are claiming the title “coach” with no qualifications. The second is the cynicism that is sometimes directed towards the industry by the media. We see accreditation as vital in building the credibility not only of coach training schools but of the profession itself.
How do I know if I should become a coach?
In most cases you probably already are! Most common thing to hear is someone say they feel like they have been coaching all of their life but they just found out they could actually get paid for it. If you’re the person people turn to for support, encouragement and as a sounding board, then you’re a natural coach!
The most important thing is that you want to help other people improve their lives. Its all about your attitude.
Can I make a Living as a coach?
Absolutely; as an example, life coaches in the USA can charge between $350 USD and $400 USD a month for four weekly sessions. If you work in a niche, for example executive coaching, fees can often be $800 USD+, a month. As a coach, you can work full-time, or part-time, the choice is yours. Our Business Coach module will give you all the knowledge and skills you need to develop a successful, profitable coaching practice.
How do I identify and develop and coaching niche?
Working in a niche is becoming more important for coaches. It allows you to specialise in an area of coaching that you are passionate about; it can also help you to build up your coaching practice quickly and easily, and to charge higher fees. The good news is that for many coaches, niches evolve from the work they do with their clients.
By coaching as many clients as possible from the very beginning, a coach can develop a good sense of who they work
well with and who they do not want to coach at all. Examples of coaching niches include: health & wellness coach,parent coach, relationship coach, woman’s coach and sales coach.
How do I make the transition from my current job to becoming a coach?
First, we would suggest that you keep your existing job for now and ease into it. Train and learn as you go and build a clientele through referrals and networking. If you are in a related profession, like consulting or therapy for instance, you may find that the transition is even easier, given that you already have a network; it’s just a case of letting that network know that you’re now providing coaching as an addition to the services you offer.
Our courses are extremely flexible, the tele-class system allows you to fit your training around your life style; they also give you the ability to carry on training if you move country.
Our CPCP course is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Currently there are only about 30 schools that have achieved this high status. We do not force students to coach in one particular way. We allow students to develop their own model and style. This is very important if you want to coach in a niche.
Compared to other international coach training courses, our courses are exceptional value for money.
A teleclass is a live conference call. Each class is one hour long, with a trainer and between ten and 15 students. A teleclass is similar to a graduate school discussion: part lecture, part questions, part discussion. It’s very interactive; in some of the advanced classes, coaching takes place: one student is a coach, and another is a client.
Most coaches are coaching their clients by phone, so it makes sense to train by phone. All ICA courses are delivered by teleclass. Teleclasses allow you to train, to build up you coaching practice, and start to earn an income, all on a part-time basis. You will not have to take time off work, or give up your personal life to train with ICA.
The Coaching Industry
It is indeed an exciting time to be a coach!
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the area of consultancy and human development, of which coaching is a part, is expected to grow heavily through 2016.
At the same time, professional governing bodies, like the International Coach Federation (ICF), (www.coachfederation.org) are helping professionalize coaching by overseeing standards of practice, accreditation for coach training schools, and providing an industry-wide system for professional credentials.
According to the ICF
- Worldwide revenue produced by coaching is $1.5 billion (USD) per year.
- Full- and part-time coaches earn an average of $50,510 (USD) per year. Full- time coaches earn an average of $82,671 (USD) per year, and part-time coaches earn an average of $26,150 (USD) per year.
- 69 percent of coaches are female.
- The average coach is 46-55 years old, has coached for 5-10 years, and 53 percent have acquired an advanced level of education (i.e., Master’s Degree or PhD).
- The majority of coaches maintain 11 active clients at any given time.
- Coaching clients tend to be 56 percent female and 44 percent male and between 38 and 45 years of age.
In 2009, the ICF also released its findings** on the ever-growing number of individuals throughout the world that have experienced professional coaching in their lives.
In this survey, an overwhelming majority of the 2,165 individuals from 64 countries surveyed reported being “very satisfied” with their coaching experience and would repeat it. The top areas where clients felt the “overall positive impacts of coaching” were self esteem/self-confidence, relationships, communication skills, interpersonal skills, work performance and work/life balance.
And to make things even more exciting, coaching is opening up as never before. In addition the popular areas of Life Coaching, Career coaching and Business/Executive coaching, the profession is branching into many new and exciting “niche” areas, such as Parenting and Youth coaching, Spiritual coaching, Grief coaching, Relationship coaching, Diversity coaching and many more.
So there is plenty of room for expansion in a specialty niche that suits an individual’s background and training.
What is the difference between NLP and Coaching and how do they fit together?
The techniques and models of NLP are very useful within the framework of coaching. NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) originated by John Grinder, a linguistics Specialist, is best described by Robert Dilts in his article “What is NLP?” NLP provides tools and skills for the development of states of individual excellence, but it also establishes a system of empowering beliefs and presuppositions about what human beings are, what communication is and what the process of change is all about. At another level, NLP is about self-discovery, exploring identity and mission. It also provides a framework for understanding and relating to the ‘spiritual’ part of human experience that reaches beyond us as individuals to our family, community and global systems. NLP is not only about competence and excellence, it is about wisdom and vision.”
On the other hand, the term “coaching” is a larger umbrella that encompasses many techniques, methodologies and specialities, and NLP can and does fit underneath that umbrella too. A coach might be trained as an NLP coach and primarily utilize the NLP technique in his or her coaching, or NLP could be used as one of many tools that a coach uses based on the unique issues and challenges faced by their clientele.
Coaching vs Consulting
Coaching is often likened to consulting. However, there are distinct differences between these disciplines.
A consultant is usually a specialist in a given area. They are hired to give recommendations and provide solutions.
A consultant works with a client to solve a particular problem or to address a specific issue. Once the problem is solved or the issue addressed, the consultant leaves.
Generally, a consultant doesn’t get involved with areas outside of their specialty. Coaching uses a more holistic approach. With the client, the coach examines the situation, creates a plan of action, and works side by side to resolve the issue. The coach does not have to be an expert in the client’s business. The client is the expert. The coach collaborates with the client to create a solution using the client’s knowledge and answers.
While people, and companies, will often choose a coach who has previous experience or expertise in the field that they work in, the coaching methodology does not require this. Consultants however, build their businesses around the knowledge they have gathered over time in the specific field in which they then offer consulting expertise. They are expected to provide advice, information and anecdotes about the field. The coach, on the other hand, does not have the answers and does not claim to have them. They have the questions that allow the client to find their own answers and clarify their own values.
Coaching is not counselling. One of the most obvious differences between the two approaches is that counselling tends to focus on feelings and experiences related to past events, whereas coaching is oriented towards goal setting and encourages the client to move forward.
Coaching is action oriented. The focus is on where the client is right now, where they want to be next, and how to get them there. Counselling is a process in which the counselor, or therapist, helps you understand the causes for your problems and guides you through the process of learning to make good life decisions.
Coaching is future focused not exploring why there is a problem but rather how life, performance, career goals can be achieved.
Coaching is not therapy. One of the most obvious differences between the two approaches is that therapy tends to focus on feelings and experiences related to past events, whereas coaching is oriented towards goal setting and encourages the client to move forward.
Coaching is action oriented. The focus is on where the client is right now, where they want to be next, and how to get them there. Counseling is a process in which the counselor, or therapist, helps you understand the causes for your problems and guides you through the process of learning to make good life decisions.
Coaching is future focused not exploring why there is a problem but rather how life, performance, career goals can be achieved.
Talking via the telephone gives us a faster means of communication. Voice to voice training is the same as teleconferencing. You call a phone number you listen to everyone joining the call, the trainer leads the call and everyone talks when required or desired.
Thoughts are discussed and debated, ideas created, knowledge shared, friendships discovered, business connections made, skills practiced, learning enhanced, trust developed and global partnerships formed. Each time you call in you reconnect with people you are getting to know and who you are sharing your learning with. You connect with people all round the world.
You will find this call comforting because others on the call are aligned with you; they too want to learn the same thing. Very quickly a community is built, trust grows and so do friendships. As you learn you share with others, they share with you. Outside of these calls you continue to connect via a forum and other online technology. This keeps you in touch and further builds your relationships and learning.
You go away and practise this new skill with clients or colleagues. Your knowledge grows because you are taking on one skill at a time and then practicing it. Taking on many new skills all at once inevitably leads to losing the knowledge gained, as it is not possible to remember everything and then practice it all. You continue learning in this way for six months or more, one-hour calls once, twice or many times per week. Each call reconnecting you with others who you are building relationships with. You get to know your trainers, you talk to them in the forum.
In addition to practising your coaching skills you also get to experience learning in the same way that you are able to deliver your coaching. Many people now coach over the telephone. Learning how to coach in a phone based environment gives us a range of skills and experiences to offer to our clients – that is, we can be more flexible in meeting their needs and similarly more flexibility in being trained. The telephone also provides safety and anonymity in being coached and trained over the phone, there’s no one “staring” at you waiting for a reply as you process information.
Throughout your entire learning journey you are supported by people who are just a phone call away or just a posting in a forum away or even just an email away. You develop a global network that you have never had before. You now know that if you travel the world you have colleagues and friends that you can meet. Your community is global and expanding. When your studies are complete you stay connected to the community.
Business coaches will have run a small business, executive coaches have often been CEO’s or senior executives themselves. Although the coaching methodology does not demand this, there are two key reasons why it occurs:
- It helps to have an empathy or understanding of where the client is coming from, particularly in relation to culture and language. A corporate coach who has never heard of key performance indicators, or does not know the elements of a strategic plan will be more challenged.
- The second and main reason is to do with marketing. There is a saying in the coaching profession that all coaching is life coaching after the first 3 sessions. You may have been brought in to double sales, but you will find that very quickly the sessions become about relationships, communication, family/work balance and doubling sales.
How to become a coach
- Investigate. Research information concerning becoming a coach. Research the coaching industry, what kind of coach you want to be (what niche you want to practice in) and what kind of qualifications you need.
- Take a career quiz. The world-wide web is loaded with tons of free information on careers. Search the web for free on-line career assessments. Such assessments can help you align your career goals and aspirations.
- Network. Look for opportunities to join groups that focuses on your coaching niche area. Become a part of the community you would like to support as a coach, for example, if you want to be a parent coach, join a parenting forum.
- Talk with an other coaches. If you know someone who is a coach, send an email, letter or make telephone contact and let them know you are interested in what they do and would like to learn more. OR attend one of our free information calls.
- Consider shadowing a coach for the day. Contact a coach in your area of interest, ask to spend a work day with them to experience first hand “A Day In the Life of an Executive Coach”.
- Take Action. Register for an ICF Certified Coach Training Program. If you are seriously interested in the coaching profession, GET STARTED – TAKE ACTION. Register today with a a coach training school, accredited with the International Coach Federation.
Let us make a bold statement here before we get to the topic of niches.
As an ICA certified coach, you will possess all the necessary skill to coach anyone. Anyone.
Even people in professions other than yours, from different parts of the world, and whose goals share little in common with yours. That’s what makes coaching so exciting!
This being said, we recommend you explore a coaching niche.
Just ask yourself, “who do I want to coach and who will most easily connect with me as coach?”
The answers to these questions, will help you decide where to focus your often – limited resources – time, money and energy – so you can do what you set out to do: serve others with the power of coaching.
When you add your specific life experience to the power of the coaching process, you bring to it a passion and energy that helps potential clients connect with you in a more immediate way. We see it as a great way to match your gifts with the needs of the world.
So here are some possible niches you may already have going for you: – Your profession such management consultant, teacher, social worker, real estate agent, ex-patriot. – Your family experiences such single mother, working father, and positive parenting devotee, parent of child with autism. – Your pursuits such as travel, sports, health and wellness, spirituality, art and creativity. At ICA we’ll teach you how to use these experiences and passions to develop your own unique coaching model and coach you in building a market and business plan for your niche.
Master Certified Coach
The ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC) is an additional coach credential aimed at expert coaches.
The ICF requires coaches to complete additional coach-specific training that is predominantly around teaching coaching skills and a minimum of 2,500 coaching experience hours with at least 35 clients.
The International Coach Federation website has additional information about the requirements needed to become a Master Certified Coach.
Coaching is the best international career especially if you are an Expat
What is coaching?
The International Coaching Federation, defines coaching in the following way: “Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives.
Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful.
The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.” (ICF website, 2006)
Why is coaching the best international career for an expat or global citizen?
Coaching is the best international career because:
- You can be your own boss,
- Have flexible working hours,
- Work from anywhere that suits you
- Build up and keep your clients even if you move around
- Get paid for doing what you love best – connecting and helping people achieve their goals.
Everyone has skills and experiences they have aquired throughout their lives. Coaching allows you to build on your existing experience and networks to create an international career. You need to be a good listener and communicator, have a genuine interest in others, be self motivated and driven and enjoy seeing people change.
If you are an expat looking for a portable career, if you think of yourself as a global citizen; If you have been an executive, business manager, career adviser, teacher or consultant and if you get pleasure out of getting to know people and bringing out the best in people then coaching could be for you.
Come and join our international community of coaches and study for a globally recognised coach certification whilst connecting with coaches all around the world in a flexible, friendly and supportive environment.
Why train to be a coach at ICA?
- Comprehensive course material
- Coaching business building skills
- Be coached (included in program fee)
- ICF accredited coach training program
- Internationally recognised qualification
- High quality education at a competitive price
- Professional coach certification upon completion
- Flexible class scheduling – work at your own pace
- Practical coaching application within specific coaching niche
- Opportunity to build professional network with fellow coaches
- Our extensive coach training program offers both the theory and practice you need to help your clients manage challenges, gain greater self-awareness, and create the life they are committed to.
Somebody helped you get where you are today. They took an interest in you; shared their experience, wisdom and knowledge. They might even have lent you a hand, rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to contribute to your success. This person is a mentor, an experienced and trusted adviser. And therein lies the difference between coaching and mentoring advice.
A coaching relationship, on the other hand, is a partnership of equals. Its collaborative and co-creative – the coach is not ‘ahead’ but walks side by side with the client inviting client to draw on their own wisdom and follow their inner guidance. There are both formal and informal mentoring relationships. In a business setting, mentoring is a formal relationship that is established with someone who is an expert in his or her field. Like consulting, mentoring involves passing on the benefit of a set of specific experiences. There are also coaches, that work internally as well as on a contract basis, with employees of a company and organization.
How do you find the right coach for you?
In many ways, selecting a coach is a lot like buying shoes. You need to consider fit, style, price, and location.
With both shoes and coaches, the most important factor is a good fit, and the best way to ensure this is to “try on” several options and compare. Take advantage of complimentary coaching sessions offered by many coaches. See how well you “click” before committing to any paid sessions.
Coaching comes in many styles. You need to determine which is right for you. One-on-one? Group? Face-to-face? Telephone or email coaching? Again, setting up trial sessions can help you decide which is best for you.
Just as with shoes, coaches come in a range of prices. Shop around, and compare prices. Newer coaches may charge less, as they seek to establish their practices. Ask more established coaches if they offer a package or program righ tfor your budget and goals.
OK so, here’s where coaching is not like shoe stores. Location does not have to be a factor when choosing a coach. While face-to-face coaching works best with a local coach and for some clients, telephone coaching allows you to choose from entire world of coaches – in a different city, state/province, or even country.
On a practical level you need to:
Educate yourself about coaching by reading articles and blogs written by coaches so you know what to expect and what coaches can and can’t do.
Identify you coaching objective and work out what you want to accomplish in coaching your search criteria will be more focused, ultimately enhancing of chance of finding “the right coach”.
Look for Specialisation
Search for coaches who specialize in your areas of interests. Some examples may be career goals, business, leadership, communication skills, relationships, family life, spirituality, and much more.
Look for coaching events online or in person hosted by a coach. If you meet a coach at a networking event or during a seminar or speaking engagement, ask them for a complimentary coaching session.
If you know someone who has a coach such as a friends, family and colleague, ask them for a referral.
Look at coaching referral services and listserv or other groups. Coaching organizations and training schools typically have on-line forums for sharing information and advertising.
What should I look for when selecting a coach?
Here are some questions to consider during your selection process:
How many yeas of experience do thet have as a coach?
What coach specific training have they done? Do they hold an ICF Credential, or certification from an ICF accredited coach training program?
Coaching Specialty or Niche
What are their coaching specialties or client niche?
What specialised coaching skills, other skills or experience do they bring to their coaching?
What is their coaching philosophy? Does it fit with your ideas of the world?
What is the specific process they use for coaching? (How often do you meet and how are the sessions conducted?)
Coaching Success stories.
What are some specific examples of individuals you have coached who have done very well with your coaching process and philosophy?
What should you consider when making the financial commitment in coaching?
A successful coaching relationship requires both a personal time commitment, as well as a financial commitment. Fees vary by the level of experience of the coach and the practice area. It is very important to be as specific as possible about your expectations with your coach as well as the anticipated length of time you spend in coaching relationship.
If you are looking for coaches, you’ve come to the right place. International Coach Academy trains hundred of coaches per year to the very highest professional standards.
When you Join an ICA Program, you Join a Global Community
“Before I came to ICA, I was raising two kids as a single mother. Coaching has brought me to one of the most powerful and meaningful parts of my life. I skipped empty nest, rediscovering my own wisdom and intuition and a life centered around one of the most impactful services I can provide to my fellow man. The “ah-ha” moment, the thrill of watching others discover their own wisdom and answers is priceless.” Jeanne’s Website: www.straysthebook.comJeanee Webster (ICA Graduate, US)