[Blog] Do I Really Need My Coaching Credentials?

May 16, 2022


by Coach Robin Buttler

Having received my coaching certification through Dream Releaser Coaching (DRC) in 2010 and becoming Credentialed through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in 2017, I am often asked if it’s necessary to become credentialed. Because I’m annoyingly honest, my reply usually begins with, “not necessarily.” There is usually a blank stare or silence in response. Why in the world would I answer that way, especially when I am one who officially provides the 10 hours of mentoring required to become credentialed? Well, read on.

Many of us know coaches who don’t hold a credential but have a coaching business with an adequate number of clients. Shouldn’t we be able to do this without taking on another label? DRC is accredited through the ICF and so we’re receiving our program training from an accredited program. Isn’t that enough?

Yes, our experience and skill as coaches takes us a long way, without having the additional initials beyond our title. However, we have to consider the bigger picture of how those initials could propel us within our profession, and individually as well. Becoming credentialed IS a significantly wise decision.

The coaching industry is rapidly growing. I’m sure you’ve seen the programs that are popping up all around you and are noticing the different levels of commitment required to call yourself a coach. This takes away from the competencies and ethics that qualify a coach. Coaching is not formally regulated legally, so the benefit the ICF Credential provides is the immediate recognition that you, as a coach, have obtained a combination of accredited training, coaching hours, approved mentoring, assessments and compliances that make you a qualified coach.

Organizations are requesting your Credentials. According to research findings, corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations are increasingly requesting, and some requiring, that all coaches they work with hold an ACC, PCC, or MCC credential from ICF. ICF states, “many won’t even look at you without it, and some have gone so far as to inform coaches they have worked with for years that they will need to obtain an ICF credential in order to renew contracts or to be considered for future engagement.” It is essential for the coaching profession to continue to advance by showing commitment to the highest levels of training and ethics.

Those seeking personal coaching are seeking the credentialed professional. In the same way we research the licensing and credentials of the lawyer, accountant, or teacher we subject ourselves to, that is becoming the process when one is seeking a life coach. When friends and colleagues refer people to me, their comments always include something like, “I let them know you are not only an experienced coach who is relational and trustworthy, I make sure they know you also have your Credentials through the ICF.”

You deserve to grow as a coach. The most common purpose of coaching is to motivate, support, and encourage our clients to continue stepping forward toward their goals being set and met. We hold them accountable to growth, continuing education, expanding their businesses, improving their relationships, securing their financial positions, and more. When we, as coaches, continue to develop our coaching skills in order to serve our clients to the best of our ability, we are advancing the coaching industry, improving ourselves, and achieving our goals. We are entrusted with people who are making important decisions that could significantly impact their lives, careers, and families, assisting them as they step forward into lifetime goals and away from what has held them back.

Holding an ICF Credential reflects your level of commitment. Specifically, you’re sending the loud and clear message that you are providing the highest quality of professional care available in the coaching arena.

Take those steps! Become credentialed!

Dream Releaser Coaching begins the next semester on June 27th! For those wanting to become a life coach, register for Track 1: Coaching Essentials and begin the path of becoming a certified life coach. For those who have completed our DRC program and would like to begin the credentialing process, register for Track 5: Professional ICF Credentialing. Check out the website at  


I would be honored to answer any questions you may have. I can be reached at [email protected]. .

For individual or group coaching, check out my website at  

or my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/robin.lagrow/.


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