This page contains a comparison of coaching certifications as well a more detailed description of the different experience levels of Coach Central Coaches.

Comparison of Certification Programs

Coaching is a young profession that is growing quickly. One of the growing pains in our profession is the challenge of establishing norms for what constitutes a Certified Coach. The following table illustrates the dramatic difference in the hours involved in obtaining certification from 3 different coaching schools. The first school* has gone through the process of obtaining accreditation from the ICF.  The other two ( who will remain nameless), have not.

The quality of the training your coach has received will affect the quality of coaching your get. You deserve to work with the best coach for your needs.

*( The ICF accredited school used for this illustration happens to be CTI - The Coach Training Institute. For a complete listing of all the ICF accredited schools go to ICF ACCREDITED SC

Component of Certification ICF Accredited School* Coach School 1
(Not ICF Accredited)
Coach School 2
(Not ICF Accredited)
In Person Training (hours) 116 0 0
Small Group Telephone or Web-based Sessions (hours)  37.5 <20 36
Directed Self-Study (hours) 25 0 24
Supervised coaching sessions 9 sessions with 3 different Certified Coaches  1 0
Written Test Yes No No
Oral Test Yes Yes No
Minimum Client Coaching Hours 100 NA NA
Minimum time with a Mentor Coach 3 months NA NA

At Coach Central we only refer clients to experienced professional coaches who have distinguished themselves within their profession to be the very best at what they do. (Literally the top 10% of their profession.)  These coaches are further divided into 2 levels of training and experience. All our coaches are members of the International Coach Federation and are bound by the ICF's ethical and professional practice standards.

Mentor Coaches - These are our most highly trained and experienced coaches, the top 3% of the Profession. 

Each Mentor Coach has completed basic and advanced coaching courses and graduated from an ICF accredited school, has worked with a Mentor coach for at least 3 months, completed a rigorous ICF accredited certification process including multiple supervisions (in which their coaching is supervised by a more senior coach) with at least 3 coaching instructors, passed a written and oral examination, and has been coaching for at least 2 years. 

Many Mentor Coaches also possess world class expertise in a number of specific coaching disciplines such as leadership training, relationship skills, coach training, marketing, practice building, career transitioning, emotional intelligence, marketing, business development, team building, etc.

Certified Coaches - This is a true Professional Coach, fully trained, highly skilled.

Like Mentor Coaches, all Certified Coaches have completed basic and advanced coaching courses and graduated from an ICF accredited school, have worked with a Mentor coach for at least 3 months, completed a rigorous ICF accredited certification process including multiple supervisions with at least 3 coaching instructors, and have passed a written and oral examination. While not as experienced the Mentors, each Certified Coach has been coaching for at least 1 year.

All Our Coaches

All our coaches are screened by Coach Central staff, and are expected to maintain an unblemished record of delivering solid service and value to their clients and commit to ongoing professional development.  Client satisfaction levels are routinely tracked and used to re-qualify coaches. We are very picky about who we choose to invite into associating with Coach Central. We only want kind, smart, people with integrity, who are passionate about what they do and are as highly trained and experienced as possible. 

Here are some observations on the key features of the best coach training programs.  These are our opinions arising out of the experience of having sampled a multitude of the coach training programs ourselves and having worked with many other coaches.  We find:

  • In person training is far more powerful than distance, web-based, or audio-tape learning.

  • The process whereby a new coach has their coaching supervised by a variety of Certified Coaches provides exceptionally valuable feedback and learning, and creates better coaches.

  • While some people come to coaching with great gifts and relevant experience, it does take about a year of training to learn and master the specific set of skills that constitutes Professional Coaching.

The ICF has taken on the challenge of granting accreditation to coaching schools.  Thus far only 11 schools (out of the many hundred) have achieved accreditation.  For a complete list of these schools, please see the ICF site at:  ICF ACCREDITED SCHOOLS.  Finally, even among these training schools there are significant differences in coaching philosophy, training approach, course content, and the quality of instructors.  Anyone considering coach training would be well advised to do their homework.


If you are ready to select a coach and arrange your complementary coaching session, please click on the following link, and send your contact information to Coach Central.  We will do our best to get back to you within one working day. LINK TO REQUEST FORM

To obtain more information on any of our services, discuss your specific coaching or training needs, please feel free to call us toll free at:
  877 212 1922


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