Choosing the right Life Coaching Association can be difficult. Here are some tips to find the best one to support your professional career.
And if you are asking “Why do I need to
join one?” then also read more about the benefits of membership and see a list of coaching associations to research and choose from.
1. Independence is the key
Make sure the organization is truly "independent" and is not not just a front to lead you to a specific coaching school. Just because it has "institute" "federation" or "association", in the name, there is no guarantee of independence.
2. How well do they promote you?
For instance some associations, including many branches of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), do not give their members the opportunity to have their profile listed in the coach referral section of their web site unless you are credentialed as a coach through them.
Other associations may allow you a profile as a coach without their credentialing so you do at least get a chance to have your profile seen by prospective clients as soon as you join.
3. Do they have a referral system?
An organization may have a system for prospective clients to be given as leads to member coaches. Several prospective clients came to me through the ICF referral system so belonging to an association that has this benefit can be an effortless marketing tool. But check whether the benefit is for all members or just for the coaches the association has credentialed.
4. Is mentoring or supervision offered?
Some life coaching associations have a list of qualified mentors or supervisors. These are experienced coaches who help candidates with their credentialing aspirations.
There are coaches who specialize in running groups to prepare coaches for credentialing. For more information on Coach Mentoring and Supervision.
5. How restricted is the associations membership?
Is the membership you are considering open to associated disciplines such as training or counseling at any level. This can be a real advantage in broadening your contact base, maybe for alliances and cross referrals.
6. Check the benefits
What sort of community benefits are offered? Such things as chat rooms, blogs, conferences, ongoing skills training or free or discounted indemnity insurance may be important to you.
7. Is it truly international?
Does the association cater for an international community with webinars and online communications. Check if the member benefits offered apply to the country you live in?
For instance, there may be discounted indemnity insurance as part of the membership that may not apply unless you are in the country of origin.