Tracy Tresidder MEd PCC and the Professional Standards Committee ICF Australasia

Deciding on a coach training program involves some careful consideration. Cost is one consideration and other things to consider are: 

  • the quality of the material;
  • the learning methods; and
  • the pathways to a credential that a program provides.

Here are some questions to assist you in your due diligence.

1.What is your experience as a coach?

  • Are you a complete beginner, or have you some experience that you want to build on? This matters because some programs have an RPL process (Recognition of Prior Learning) and some do not.

2.What Teaching Methods are used?

  • Some programs are delivered in intensive blocks of face to face learning, others are fully online. Some others use a blended learning approach.
  • Do you prefer blocks of study or regularly spaced out over months with a weekly commitment?

3.What can you commit to in terms of time and focus as well as financially?

  • Like any educational pursuit, coach training takes time, focus and money.

4.Does the coach training program provide a pathway to a coaching credential?

  • There are 3 credentialing paths that an individual can seek through the International Coach Federation (ICF):

i.ACTP Path (Accredited Coach Training Program)

ii.ACSTH Path (Approved Coach Specific Training Hours)

iii.Portfolio Path

  • If the coach training program has an ACTP or ACTSH accreditation the pathway is more direct. See the website for more information
  • If the coach training program is not accredited by ICF, you will apply via the Portfolio Path as the program may still be recognised. You will be required to show robust documentation, i.e., You must provide a concise class outline or syllabus that summarizes the names of classes/modules to ensure the program provides coach specific training
  • Accreditation by an industry body such as the International Coach Federation (ICF) is an indication that the training meets global standards for coach training

5.Does the coach training program provide an evidence base?

  • For coaching to develop as a profession, training should include the evidence base underpinning the teaching theory and knowledge base that informs the coaching. Refer to the Australian Standards document in the references.

6.What reputation does a program have?

  • Buyers of coaching are savvier than they were 15 years ago. Due diligence can include asking alumni of the program and the buyers of coaching about their knowledge of coach training.

7.Are the instructors well qualified, experienced and contributing to the field?

  • Are they a member of the ICF or other coaching professional association?
  • Do they promote and engage in coaching supervision

For further information or to speak to someone about this please contact the ICF Australasian Professional Standards Committee


Australian Qualifications Framework:

Cavanagh, M. (2011). Handbook: Coaching in Organisations. Sydney: Standards Australia.

Co-Active Coach Training: 5 questions to ask when choosing a coach training program Things You Need to Know.pdf 

International Coach Federation credentialing page:

International Coach Federation: Selecting the right coach training program

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