The Evolution of Coach Certification

Certified Coach LogoThe Certification Preparation course at the University of Houston's Executive Coaching Institute last weekend was a transformative event - not just for the participants, but for Mattison and me! Twelve coaches spent 24 hours together over three days, teasing out the meaning of "great coaching" and courageously stepped up to the plate again and again. It takes heart to do that and when you bring together fearlessness, generocity and a love of coaching, you get magic.

Mattison and I are recovering from our writer's cramp and are just now fully realizing how big an impact this event has had on us. It's still just sinking in.

A minor downer is an email I just received from a former client who is an absolutely brilliant coach. She just got her certification results back from IAC and they didn't pass her. She scored above 80% on both sessions, but too low on one Proficiency. Bummer! She'll have to submit one more recording.

The thing that bugs me is that I know another fantastic coach who had the same experience recently - and same Proficiency! I asked to listen to her two recordings and from what I heard, I would have been thrilled to pass her. The sessions weren't flawless, but they were truly masterful.

Whoa! Is the IAC raising the bar? Fortunately, Mattison and I knew they were taking a pretty strict view of this Proficiency. and we coached our participants around it. About half the sessions passed our standards. It'll be interesting to see what the IAC does with them.

After spending a long weekend with the Proficiencies and new Masteries, I'm more blown away than ever at the power of great coaching to transform both the coach and client and literally create a new world. I'm so thankful that the IAC exists, because it gives coaches a wonderful incentive to become the best they can be. Here's what one coach, whose two sessions passed the IAC, wrote:

"Anyone who is committed to his or her own greatness as a coach needs to take this course. The profession will be enhanced immeasurably as a result and the way this would effect humanity is awe-inspiring!" - Kristi Arndt, IAC-CC

I've listened to a lot of coaching sessions since I did the "Lead Certifier" thing in 2004-5. Coaches are getting better and that's a very good thing!

Here's what I'm curious about: Is the IAC raising the bar because the quality of the applicants has improved? Some time ago, they revealed that they only pass about 25%. Is that still true?

Coaches adapt pretty quickly, so I don't have a problem with the IAC raising the standard, as long as they don't narrow down the style of coaching that is acceptable. I'm all for high standards, which reflect well on all of us, but narrow standards could reduce the number of clients who can be helped.

And of course, all of this is subjective. Nobody's right or wrong. The perfection is in what we learn from each other.

As long as we're all free to be ourselves, while practicing our brilliance to transform the lives of others, coaching will grow as a force for positive change. I hope the IAC will fully communicate with us on any changes in their standard. ;-)

Here's my favorite testimonial from last weekend:

"Go do it! It will change your life & those you work with! Hold on to your pants and shoot for the stars :)" - Jan O'Brien [Update: Jan is now an IAC-CC]

The question we're getting is when will we do another Certification Prep? We honestly don't know, but we're thinking about it.

In the meantime, the Seven Secrets of Certification practicums are going strong. they are basically the same thing, but in virtual form. A new group will start next month.

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