Choosing a Professional ICF Coaching Course
These are my top 5 features when choosing a professional ICF coaching course.
1. Recognised by International Coaching Federation
This was number one on my list when choosing a professional ICF coaching course. If you want to have a serious career in coaching then you need to become accredited by the ICF. As a non-regulated industry the ICF is as close as it gets to a regulatory body. The quickest and easiest way to follow the ICF accreditation pathway is to undertake a recognised course and then meet the required level of practical experience.
Check out the video for a nice easy way as to how you can use the ICF website to find recognised course providers.
If you are juggling your professional ICF coaching course and training with a full time job, then flexibility is going to be a key consideration. Course providers that have a slick online set up and good support mechanisms are going to fare better in this regard. A good course will have a core element of actual coaching practice between course participants. Although this is likely to happen over the phone, just be prepared to accommodate other peoples schedules. In my case, the course that I chose offered a great online portal and opportunity to work through the non-practical elements almost at your own schedule.
3. Good mix of Practical and Theory
As mentioned above, coaching is a practice based discipline. If your professional ICF coaching course only offers theory, then you will be paying a lot of money for what you can probably get in $100 worth of books. You need to be practicing tools, theory and techniques as you learn them in a safe environment that offers constructive feedback to help you get better.
4. Good mix of NLP and Pure Coaching
There are many different ways to teach coaching and many different coaching paradigms out there, yet a common syllabus will involve pure coaching blended with elements of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). A course that grounds you first in pure coaching processes and techniques and then builds on that with NLP techniques will make more sense and will be easier to follow.
The absence of coaching theory and evidence based coaching in a lot of courses is a much wider topic beyond the scope of this post.
5. Good support and Face to Face Opportunities
A well designed course is going to feel like a good experience. The trainers will all be high quality (ideally with master coach levels of practical experience) and there will be a nice support mechanism in place that allows plenty of discussion and feedback as well as encouragement and forming relationships with other learners.
Check out the below video, which shows you how to find recognized course providers as well as an inside look into my coaching course