Which Coach Path is Right for You?

Patricia Wilson | June 1, 2022

The answer – it depends on what you are planning to do with your coach training. The International Coaching Federation has 3 different paths: ACTP, ACSTH and portfolio paths towards accreditation. Read on to learn what course is right depending on whether you want to be a full-time professional coach or are adding coaching as a skill to your leadership style;

If you plan to become a full-time professional coach, choose ACTP

Choose the ACTP path. The best ACTP programs are offered by universities such as Ryerson, UBC and Royal Roads. You will learn the theory and practice of coaching with academic rigour and end up with a qualification that will meet the International Coaching Federations standard for ACC and PCC accreditation including 125 hours of coach training and 10 hours of mentor coaching. This will save you money in the long run as you will not have to submit recordings as part of the accreditation process.

You will also have access to the university’s resources including library, student support service and financial assistance. Most importantly, if at some stage in the future you decide to enter a higher degree program, you will be able to transfer your university credits to other institutions.

The downside is that you will have to put a little extra effort into the application process and complete assignments. A small price to pay for excellent training. The cost for a 6 month program ranges from $8,000-$10,000 in Canada.

If you are adding coaching to your consultancy business, choose ACSTH

The ACSTH path is for those who aren’t planning to pursue ICF accreditation and want to acquire coaching skills to add to a consultancy business. In this case, you are not planning to set up a coaching business. These courses are offered by coaches. You can generally take one course at a time at your own pace.

The advantage of this path is that you don’t have to go through a rigorous application process, complete mentor coaching (required in ACTP programs) or produce assignments.

Before signing up for any of these programs, check the credentials of the instructors, read online reviews of the course and find a coach friend to discuss your options with.

Interestingly, the cost of an equivalent 125 hours of coach training without mentor coaching and the benefits of a university-based course is not much lower that the ACTP path costing $8,000-$9,000 in Canada.

If you are adding coaching to your skill set – choose Portfolio

If you are a leader, manager, HR professional or someone interested in coaching, this is the path for you. You have no plans to coach for a living and are using the skill to help you manage others.

The advantage of these level 1 coach certification courses is that they offer 60 hours of coach training with optional mentor coaching. Which can be applied towards the portfolio or ACSTH paths. During the training you will learn the theory and practice of coaching over 3 months. If you decide you want to do more later, these coach training hours can be applied towards ACC accreditation, and you can find your own mentor coach using the ICF mentor coach directory. They are taught by professional experienced coaches who are usually experts in the type of certification they are offering. These courses typically cost $3,500-$4,000 in Canada.

At Think Agile Leadership Coach Training Academy, we will talk to you about your plans and help you find the right path for you. Our Certificate in Leadership Coaching is designed for those adding coaching to their skillset. For more information visit our academy page

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