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I'm now an ICF certified professional coach!

Image credit: International Coaching Federation
Image credit: International Coaching Federation

I'm pretty pleased with myself at the moment.

I just received notice from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) that I can officially call myself an Associate Certified Coach. This concludes about 18 months of training, mentoring and practise.

What is professional coaching?

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Where did I start towards my professional coach accreditation?

Back in November 2020, I commenced my Certificate IV in Workplace and Business Coaching course through Open Door Coaching. This 5 day training was followed by me working my way through 15 modules, plenty of assignments, and 10 hours of mentor coaching. I completed this part at the end of February 2021. All up this was an estimated 70 hours worth of training and mentoring, a requirement set by the ICF.

I signed up as a member of the ICF in March 2021. I had to log over 100 hours of professional client coaching experience before I could submit my application for Associate Certified Coach. The application also included a recording and transcript of a coaching session, and was concluded by an extensive knowledge assessment.

Why go down the path of formal coaching certification?

I see coaching people as integral to what I do as Agile Coach. As much as helping people work using agile methodologies, changing their mindset is at least equally important. The skills I've learned over the past year and a half will help me be a better Agile Coach.

The ICF words this nicely:

"Coaching helps people tap into their potential, unlocking sources of creativity and productivity. As a professional coach, you will have an opportunity to create positive change and achieve extraordinary results"

There are numerous coaching related courses available. I wanted to complete an accredited course and get an internationally recognised accreditation. The ICF has been around for over 25 years, and has members in over 150 countries and territories.

What is the difference between Agile Coaching and Professional Coaching?

It sounds so similar, but there are important differences between the two roles. In a previous post, I wrote about the Agile Coaching Competency Framework. It shows the different 'components' that make a solid agile coach. These include: Facilitation, Teaching, Mentoring and also Coaching. So, Professional Coaching is an important building block.

Where to next?

I've already started my next development activity. This training and mentoring program looks at bringing it all together, and to organically flow between teaching, mentoring and coaching. I'll tell you about that another time!


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