March 17, 2022 by Amanda Reill
On its best days, coaching can feel like you’re performing magic. The troubles, anxieties, and confusions that come to you through your clients can be healed and remedied through your collective hard work and self-reflection.
But all the best fantasy stories teach us that magic is a craft — something that needs to be learned, honed, and shaped to be powerful. Life coaching is the same way. Coaching is also a craft, and it requires constant cultivation to be used to its greatest heights and most profound depths.
Continuing Coach Education, or CCE’s, are the way that coaches continue to refine their skills and gain additional certification or expertise.
The pursuit of CCEs implies that you’ve already obtained certification. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is considered the gold standard in coaching education. They break certification into three tracks in ascending order of time and credits needed: Associate Professional Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC).
Certification is not required to be a life coach. But if you put in the work and obtained your ICF credentials, you’ve gained both a considerable feather in your cap and a profound responsibility to maintain the highest standard of coaching skills.
ICF credentials are valid for three years before they need to be renewed, and obtaining CCE’s is an excellent way to spend that time. To renew your certification when the time does come, you will need 40 hours of CCEs spread across four categories.
We’ve covered our thoughts on the importance of life coaching certification in a past blog post, but it’s no secret that life coaches who don’t pursue certification are in the minority. The ICF found in a 2020 study that over 90% of life coaches globally are accredited in some way, whether through a professional organization or university. And what’s more important: around 85% of clients worldwide expect their coaches to be accredited.
CCE’s, beyond being a requirement to maintain your certification, come with a lot of distinct advantages:
Coach Training EDU provides courses that satisfy many requirements in the Core Competencies category, along with two different one-on-one mentorship tracks. You can find more information about our CCE courses here. The ICF provides a free online course in Coaching Ethics, which you can find here.
Beyond that, the ICF has plenty of other ideas for further education that counts toward your CCE hours, and some of them are a bit more hands-on than a class. The list of approved sources includes serving as a mentor coach, developing training curricula, publishing writing or peer-reviewed research, special projects, and even self-paced learning (be aware that all of these must be approved by the ICF before they can be applied to your required hours). There are lots of ways to attain CCEs, and you’re sure to find several that work best for you and your needs!
If fairy tales taught us anything, it’s that magic that isn’t cultivated and practiced eventually dies. Learning doesn’t end when you reach certification — it’s a lifelong process that we should all work toward. Life coaches, most of all! We witness firsthand how personal development can change a person’s life forever. Whether you’re just getting started in the life coaching field or you’re an experienced coach, we can all benefit from the magic of becoming a student again.
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