Working with a coach provides an opportunity for you to address personal challenges or work towards key goals with the support of an expert. A coach may also be a sounding board or offer you an alternative perspective on difficult issues.

Life Coaches – A life coach may work with you to achieve greater clarity and confidence, supporting you as you work through personal challenges, and move towards a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

I felt completely lost when I lost my job. Working with my life coach helped me to find a new sense of direction. I clarified what I really wanted out of my career and together we set small, medium and long-term goals. Most importantly my self-belief began to recover – my confidence took a real knock after the redundancy, but working with my coach helped me to see that I still had an awful lot going for me!

Hazel Finch

Business Coaches – A business coach works with a businessperson or team to address challenges or improve aspects of the business. Business coaches may also offer life coaching to people who find that personal problems, such as finding a work-life balance, spill over into the workplace.

Executive Coaches – Executive coaching focuses on improving individual performance and achievement within the workplace. It may involve skills development, learning and growing personal awareness.

One to one performance coaching is the way for both organisations and individuals to significantly impact the bottom line.

Fortune Magazine

What qualifications and experience should coaches have?

Coaching is not currently regulated in the UK. Coaches may come from many different directions and have a unique mixture of experience and training. The advantage of this is that you can find a coach who suits your particular situation perfectly. Before choosing your own coach, we recommend taking the time to learn exactly what each coach has to offer – their experience and training is important, but so is their individual approach to coaching and whether it suits you. Many coaches offer a short trial session or initial consultation so you can learn more about each other and decide if their approach is right for you.

Many coaches are registered with a professional body, following its code of ethics and standards of good practice. Some professional bodies have an accreditation system too, recognising the experience and training of the coach concerned.

Some of the main professional bodies for coaches include:

Association for Coaching (AC)

The AC has three levels of membership, Life coaches can become an Associate Member, ordinary Member or Accredited Member.

UK International Coach Federation (ICF)

The ICF has three grades of membership – Associate Certified Coach (ACC); Professional Certified Coach (PCC); Master Certified Coach (MCC) – requires 2,500 hours’ experience and 200 hours’ training, with a minimum of 10 hours with a mentor coach.

European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)

The EMCC aims to promote good practice in mentoring and coaching across Europe. The offer a system of accreditation for registered coaches.

Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision (APECS)

APECS is a leading professional body for executive coaching and for the supervision of executive coaches. There are two levels of Membership – Accredited Executive Coaches and Associate Members.

Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC)

The WABC is a Professional Association dedicated to promoting good practice in business coaching worldwide. WABC’s mission is to develop, advance and promote the emerging profession of business coaching.

International Association of Coaches (IAC)

The IAC is a nonprofit organization committed to the continuing development of coaching as a profession.

Accredited Counsellors,Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists.

An independent professional body and register for counsellors, coaches, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists.

CoachLab International members are professional business coaches. CoachLab is committed to the ongoing expansion of coaching knowledge, skills and insights.

CoachLab International Society of Professional Coaches

CoachLab International members are professional business coaches. CoachLab is committed to the ongoing expansion of coaching knowledge, skills and insights.