Selecting a coach training program can be confusing. There are hundreds of coaching programs, educational institutions and virtual organizations that offer coach training and certification.

The curriculum differs vastly and many programs use their own home-grown theories, models, methodology, tools and exercises to support coaches who will then be able to use this material to support clients. And then there are the advertisements that pop up and claim to offer quality training. Are you sure they are what they say they are? It’s challenging to discern between what is a valid or reputable program and what is just noise.

We think you should know this: with opportunities abounding and the demand for coaching increasing, you can become any type of coach—an executive coach, a leadership coach, an organizational coach, a career coach, a life coach, a wellness coach, a spiritual coach, a team coach, you name it!

When you decide that you want to attend coach training and become a coach, we would first recommend to you that you go through this list of initial questions. This is not a comprehensive list, rather a way for you to begin thinking about how you can evaluate programs and decide what works best for your personal goals and ambitions.


  1. Coaching goals
    Why do you want to be a coach? What type of coaching do you want to do? And what kind of clients do you want to serve?
  2. Coaching philosophy
    What is the primary lens through which you want to view coaching (e.g. organization/systems-based, leadership, holistic/ontological)? What theories and disciplines are you interested in learning about and what type of instructors do you want to support you in your learning process?
  3. Peer group and alumni community
    What type of community do you want to belong to? Is it important for you to grow your network locally, nationally and/or globally? What alumni opportunities are important to you?
  4. Continuous learning environment
    How do you prefer to learn (e.g. virtually, in person, in small groups) and how do you want your program to support you? What type of coaching practice do you want to be included in the program?
  5. Personal growth and transformation
    To what degree are you seeking self-transformation? Are you ready to take a deep look at yourself as part of your coaching journey?
  6. Coaching credentials and reputation
    How important is it that a program offer credentials? How important is it that a program be ICF (International Coach Federation) accredited? How important is reputation to you and to your target clients?
  7. Training location and logistics
    What format works best with your schedule (e.g. virtual/in person, monthly, weekends/weekdays/other)? Do you have the time, money and resources to travel to the program location? How will a program in a specific location serve your coaching goals?
  8. Time and effort required
    Do you have the time and energy to make the commitment to a coaching program? Is now the right time to enroll in a coaching training program?
  9. Cost
    What is your price range (considering the payoff of finding clients to coach during and/or after the program)?
  10. Support in launching a coaching business
    How important is it for you to learn how to start a coaching practice as a part of your training program? What tools and resources do you need to support your future coaching practice?

Many coaching programs are out there – choose wisely.