Coaching Credentials: The Low Down

During a mastermind group of 30 professional business coaches and consultants, who had all been coaches for over 5 years, the discussion turned to the credentialing process for coaches. NOTE: A recent Google search of the Internet revealed over 215 coaching schools.

What was interesting to note is that this mastermind group was unusual in that everyone had surpassed the industry average of making more than $20,000, exceeded 10 paying clients and 1/3 made more than $100,000. (Source: Stephen Fairley, author of "Getting Started in Personal and Executive Coaching") And the real kicker was not one of those on the call had ever been asked for their coaching credentials. The only time any of the group had been asked about their coaching credentials was by other coaches.

With the continued growth of this billion dollar plus industry, it appears that innovative individuals have decided to take advantage of those who wish to become coaches and provide a certification process. After all being certified automatically means that you are more credible and can deliver better results? If this was true, then why do most coaches (53%) make less than $20,000 a year?

Possibly, the answer is a lack of a proven process. Certification programs may offer the techniques and some tools, but do they have a proven history that consistently demonstrates securing results for their clients? I doubt it given that the majority of coaching schools are relatively new and even established schools that offer executive coaching programs are new to this field.

If you are thinking about becoming a coach do your research. Before you spend thousands of dollars on that coaching certification program, ask the following questions:

1. Do over 60% of your certified coaches make more than $50,000? (Note: For this mastermind group, this is anywhere from 10 to 15 minimum clients per year.)

2. What type of results do their clients receive? (Note: The process that this mastermind group uses generally doubles results in 30 to 90 days.)

3. Can the same process be used in a variety of industries? (Note: This mastermind group has coached individuals including a U.S. Senator, Fortune 500 executives, high school and college students, small business owners and housewives. The industries range from manufacturing to high technology.)

4. Do proven, high quality tools support the process?

5. Are testimonials available from both graduates and clients?

Executive coaching is a rewarding career. Just be careful that you don’t reward others before you understand the dynamics within the explosive field. You just may be paying for something that is not necessary and putting your dollars in someone else’s pocket.


SMB coach, sales and organizational culture authority, Leanne Hoagland-Smith is the People and Process problem solver for forward thinking leadership who want to dramatically improve their business and sales results. What this looks like differs for each SMB and why a phone call to 219.759.5601

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