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How do you select an Executive Coach training program?

Posted on June 19, 2010 at 10:48 AM

How do you select an Executive Coach training program?

If you are interested in getting trained and certified as an executive coach, you’ve probably started doing some research about the various coach training programs that are available. It’s possible that the sheer range of options can cause some amount of confusion! As a professional from the Indian corporate sector, the following guidelines will shed light on what to consider when selecting a coach training program.


Some of the factors you need to consider in selection of the program include:


(i) recognition by ICF (International Coach Federation,;


(ii) delivery option – face to face or via teleclasses;


(iii) experience, expertise and location of the faculty teaching the course;


(iv) support as you complete you 100 logged coaching hours for ACC (750 for PCC);


(v) mentor coaching for the ICF oral exam; and finally


(vi) guidance to start your coaching practice either as an external coach or within your organization.


Each of these factors is discussed briefly below.


(i) It is essential that the course that you are considering is accredited by the ICF. To get the ACC credential you need to do a program that provides at least 60 hours of ICF accredited training; for the PCC you will need 125 hours of accredited training. Programs that are not specifically approved by the ICF may not be the best investment of your money as they will not be considered by the ICF for your credential.


(ii) While the teleclass delivery is an effective methodology, often the timings are suited for international audiences. In essence, you’ll have to get up at odd hours to attend class. Many such programs also extend over months thereby taking time to complete. If you are a working professional or an independent consultant, you’d want to consider an option that maximizes your use of time by intense face-to-face classes held over 2 – 3 days. Check if the vendor offers personalized options to suit your crazy schedule.


(iii) Faculty credibility is possibly the most critical decision factor. If you plan to work in the executive coaching space, you want to consider faculty who have the experience of having worked in the Indian corporate sector – both within as employees and from the outside as consultants. Executive coaching is a specialized domain. The course contents, tools, and other materials should reflect this specialty. In addition, faculty should be practicing executive coaches so that they can share the benefits of their experience with you. Since coaching is influenced by culture, ensure that your faculty can relate to your culture and its nuances. They should know how coaching processes need to be adapted to be culturally congruent.


(iv) Completing the required training hours is only one step towards getting the ICF credential. The other two steps are the completion of logged coaching hours (100 hours for the ACC and 750 for the PCC) and mentor coaching. Check if your training provider supports and mentors you while you get your coaching hours logged.


(v) According to ICF, before you take the ICF oral exam, you need to undergo Mentor Coaching. In this process, you need to spend 10 hours with two ICF credentialed coaches who will mentor you for the oral exam. At the end of the mentor coaching, you need to have two reference letters that need to be submitted as part of your exam application document. The majority of training programs do not build in mentor coaching in their offering. Getting this separately adds a significant cost to your training. Be sure that the program offers you at least two ICF credentialed mentors who will give you the reference letters as part of the mentor coaching.


(vi) Getting trained and credentialed starts you on this journey. As an external consultant, you’d want to know how to build up the coaching practice or as an internal coach, you’d possibly want support in helping you build a culture of coaching within your company. Check if the vendor will support you by sharing appropriate tools and their expertise in practice building.

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