CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL COACHING- FAQ

        Welcome to Coaching! This is an exciting specialty niche opportunity for therapists and human services providers. GROW Training Institute has developed a CPC Certificate Program for individuals and professionals who desire to become Certified Professional Coaches.  Designed for competency for  Life Coaching, Business/Executive/Corporate Coaching, Virtual Coaching, and Online Coaching.

        My goal is to answer any and all questions you may have about coaching, and motivate you to pursue this exciting profession without fear. There is a wealth of resources available to you, to assist you in this pursuit. There is also a wealth of personal satisfaction and fulfillment that can come to you when you are assisting others in goal achievement (and seeing their happy results!).

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for independent legal advice or consultation.


Coaching has become increasingly popular in the last decade, and continues to soar as a profession. One reason is that people are living longer, and are seeking to find more meaning in their lives that will propel them through the rest of their lives. Another reason is that people are becoming more affluent, and many can afford the luxury of an assistant to help them turn their dreams into realities. Another reason is that our world is becoming more competitive, and in order to succeed, many people need the extra support that a coach can offer.

Part of the reason coaching offers such a huge potential for therapists is that there is a large segment of the population who might never hire the services of a therapist, but who would access the services of a personal or career coach, because of the absence of “negative stigma.” In fact, there is a positive stigma associated with coaching due to the fact that it has been widely accepted in the athletic and business worlds. Coaching is now the foremost method of training in the corporate arena.

The following are definitions of coaching by various professional associations:


  • GROW Training Institute (GTI): Assisting clients in goal achievement.

  • International Association of Coaches (IAC): Empowering clients in ways which create structures for sustainable personal growth and professional improvements.

  • International Coach Federation (ICF): An ongoing professional relationship that helps people produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses or organizations. Throughout the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.

Coaching is defined here as the practice of assisting people with goal achievement. Therapy also helps people with goal achievement. Jay Haley is quoted as saying “Most clients just need coaching.” According to James Prochaska, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Changing for Good, there are over 400 psychotherapeutic modalities currently being practiced by mental health professionals, and coaching is simply one therapeutic modality. It can be employed as a therapeutic tool within the practice of counseling and psychotherapy, or it can be employed separately as its own service.

The difference is that coaching places more focus on the future, where the client wants to go, and assists with practical steps to get there. The aim of coaching is to move the client forward as quickly as possible. The idea is that once clients begin to take positive action, they feel better and more motivated to continue on their new path. Small successes encourage larger ones. Therefore, the emphasis is more on movement than insight.

While coaching can be done under the umbrella of “therapy,” therapy should not ever be done under the umbrella of “coaching.” Coaching sometimes employs therapeutic techniques, but it is NOT therapy. When a therapist decides to become a coach, it is recommended that he/she set up a completely separate business, and the two businesses should be maintained as separately as possible.

It is important to note that all clients come to you with a presenting problem. Coaching clients, no matter how successful they already are, do have a problem! They need to get to the next level of success in their lives and they have not been able to do it on their own, or have not been able to do it as quickly as they would like, or they feel that coaching would get them there quicker or more effectively. The “key” is to determine the level of “angst” about the problem. If there is a high level of emotional distress, the client should first be referred to therapy/counseling. Once the distress has subsided, they can again be assessed for coaching.

At the time of this writing there are no certification or licensing requirements that I know of for the practice of coaching. Anyone can become a coach. You must keep in mind, however, that there is a federal law that states you must be competent in any service you say you perform. What “competency” is may be ambiguous and debatable. In my opinion, licensed therapists do not need to invest thousands of dollars or take years of additional coursework to become sufficiently trained as coaches. However, they do need to have some form of “proof of competency” as in specialized education and training. Below I have listed ways for you to become competent as a coach. Furthermore, therapists may not hold out to be able to perform a service outside their scope of competency. For psychotherapists, coaching is simply another therapeutic modality, and is covered by most professional liability insurance plans (check with yours just to be sure).

Here are excellent ways to build your competency in coaching:


  • Continuing education courses

  • Read books by other coaches

  • Attend professional coaching conferences

  • Supervised training with an experienced coach

  • Mentoring during the initial stages of coaching

  • Receiving coaching for yourself from an experienced professional coach

  • Experiencing the practice of coaching

According to a workshop I recently attended by Pamela Richarde, current President of the International Coach Federation (ICF), there will not likely be certification requirements in the near future. This is because the government prefers that professions be “self-regulating” whenever possible. Professional regulation is normally handled by each state individually, so it would be a state by state decision. Usually states do not get involved in regulating a profession unless or until there are liability issues and ramifications.

However, there will probably eventually be credentialing requirements by some states. There will most likely be a grandfathering period, to give coaches who are not certified time to get certified. Then at a later time, they may provide criterion for the coach certification programs or the certifying organizations, i.e. a specified number of training hours. GROW will do everything in its power to provide this criterion if such regulations do occur.

There are many benefits to you to become a certified coach. Mainly, it gives you more confidence and more credibility. The general public does not know very much about coaching, but since the fees are quite high, they may want to know what your education, training and experience is. Being “certified” gives the consumer a higher level of safety and comfort. People in general (even businesses and corporations) do not care so much who you are certified by, they just want to know that you are certified.

Benefits to Therapists of Becoming Certified:


  • Increase your practice income

  • No geographical limitations

  • Attract higher functioning clients

  • Bill w/ credit cards – get your $ easier and quicker

  • More affluent clientele

  • Expands your referral network

  • Fee-for-service – no insurance billing

  • More satisfying & fulfilling work

  • Qualifies you as an expert

  • Provides credibility

  • Work from home by phone & Internet

There are dozens of coach certification programs throughout the world. The primary benefits to GROW’s program is that it is the fastest and least expensive way to become certified that we have found. Our belief is that human services professionals are in the most advantageous position to become coaches since they already have most of the education, training and experience they need. They simply need a few classes on how to transition their skills into coaching, and some experience providing and receiving coaching. We feel we provide all the necessary training for professionals to practice coaching ethically and competently.

Most other coaching schools require hundreds of hours of “tele-training” and/or seminars and workshops. All of GROW’s training can be done by home study, at your own pace. GROW’s CPC costs only a fraction of what other training schools charge. Certification is renewed annually at a fee of only $85 and requires no additional training (subject to change).

Benefits to Therapists of Becoming Certified by GROW:


  • Least expensive program!


  • Get your name on our website directory!

  • Fastest and easiest program available!


  • Promote yourself at our seminars for free!

  • Become certified in only 50 hours!


  • Get CE credits at the same time!

  • Get client referrals from GROW!


  • Highest quality training available!

  • Coach other GROW applicants! Established & reputable company!


  • Excellent customer support!

GROW’s CPC program is not approved by the ICF www.CoachFederagion.org or any other coach association.  It is not required for a coach training program to be approved by any entity, and the general public (including businesses and corporations) do not usually ask about this, nor do they know what/who the ICF is.  In order for a Coach Training Organization (such as GROW) to become approved by the ICF, we would have to require a minimum of 80 hours of face-to-face or voice-to-voice training.  Even if we only charged $40 per hour for this training, it would cost the participant an additional $3,200.  For most providers, this cost is much too high, and the training much more exhaustible than necessary.  GROW's mission is to provide the most comprehensive training at the lowest cost (under $1,000).

While we do incorporate the ICF’s standards and competencies in our program, we also incorporate the standards and competencies of various other coach associations.  

The association we belong to is International Association of Coaches (IAC) which is the world’s largest coach association.  I have researched all the associations, and have found this one to fit my coaching style and needs the best.  IAC was originally founded by Thomas J. Leonard, who is well known as the “leader” of the coaching world, and who also founded Coach University.  Their website is www.CertifiedCoach.org and it includes loads of free, excellent information!

GTI has been approved by the CCE (Center for Credentialing and Education) Board Certified Coach Program as an approved coach training provider. If you are considering becoming a Board Certified Coach, once you have been certified as a coach by GTI, you can apply to become certified by the BCC for a nominal fee and passing their exam. See details on their website www.cce-global.org/BCC. There are many coach training programs to choose from that are approved by the BCC, however, many of our GROW Certified Coaches (who have attended other Coach Trainings) have told us that our program is the least expensive and highest quality of all the programs available.

Since there are no definite ethical/legal guidelines for coaching at this time, it is recommended that you follow the ones set forth by the ICF and the IAC.  Mental health professionals should also follow those set up for their licensure/certification. This way, the therapist/coach can be certain he/she is following the rules. There are recommended ethical and legal guidelines provided by many coach associations. I have included two of these (IAC and ICF) in Chapter Two of my course, “Ethical Considerations for Therapist-Coaches.”

        I'm sure if you've shopped around, you've found a huge difference in the prices of Coach Certification Programs.  Some programs are over $20,000.  Most are in the $4,000 range.  Most of these programs are very intensive, require 60 - 2,000 hours of live, video group, or telephone group training.  They are designed for the lay person, the beginner, who has no formal prior education or training.  Many of them are approved by Coach Associations such as the International Coach Federation (ICF).  Many of them are excellent programs!

        GROW's program is just under $1,000.  You might be one of those people who thinks price = quality, and immediately opt for the more expensive program.  Of course, that would be silly, but by the same token, you shouldn't immediately opt for the least expensive program.  You need to find out WHAT is offered, how much time it will take, how much time you need to spend at a live training, or scheduled online or phone trainings, and what the requirements are to "pass" the program.

        I've attended trainings offered by many other programs, and here are the main differences I've found between GROW's program and the most of the more expensive ones:


  • GROW is not approved by the ICF, but is approved by the CCE.  (We don't believe clients care much about "who certified you or "who" your Certification was approved by.)

  • GROW's program is 60 hours compared with anywhere between 60 and 2,000 hours.  We don't accept "lay people off the streets."  We require that you already have some significant education and/or experience in Human Services.

  • GROW's program offers ALL training in 5 home study courses -- online or by text -- your choice.

  • GROW does not require a final oral or written exam.  Each course with a quiz, and 75% is required for passing each quiz.

  • We feel that one of the most VITAL aspects of a coach training program should be regarding how to PROMOTE yourself as a coach.  One of GROW's required courses is specifically about how to PROMOTE your coaching business, and all our other courses give you loads of practice building tips -- sample forms, letters, ads and scripts. 

  • GROW's program is 60 hours, and you can complete it as quickly as you like, or take as long as you like.  It's all up to YOU.

        So if you feel you need more extensive training than our program offers, by all means -- go with the more expensive program!  If you feel the higher priced program will give you more credibility or status, that's fine too.  If you feel you learn best in a live, person-to-person format, go with that.  If you have the money, and other programs seem to be a better fit for you, GREAT!  I just don't want you to wind up with a Coaching Credential and a great big pile of debt to go along with it.  Remember, to be successful, you're going to have to also invest in PROMOTING yourself as a coach, so if the training program causes you to go broke, you won't have anything left to promote yourself.  You could be the BEST coach in the Universe, but if NO ONE knows you exist, it doesn't do you or anyone else any good.

        In the final analysis, it's what you think is best for YOU.  Call me or email me if you'd like to discuss which program is best for you. 
Lyn Kelley           growpublications@yahoo.com           702-901-4193


Decide NOW to revive your career and increase your income.
 Coaching is the BEST way for mental health providers, healthcare providers, and human services professionals to stay viable in the next decade.
“Nothin’ to it but to do it!”