Is Life Coach Certification Necessary?

Is Life Coach Certification Necessary?

​I recently wrote an email to my subscribers about three things I've been wondering about. Click here if you want to read the email.

  • Clickbank
  • Coaching / Coach Certification
  • Membership Sites

I actually got a lot of interest in the first two items with coaching being the topic of most interest.

Today I'm going to share what I learned about coaching and coaching certifications. 

In the referenced email I shared that The Life Coach School was open for registration and cost $18,000. I wondered if certification makes a difference and if you were really able to make enough money to make an $18k program worth the investment.

International Coach Federation (ICF)

Gillian HoodOne of the first emails I received after sending the email was from Gillian Hood. She's a health & wellness coach that helps women overcome chronic/compulsive dieting, emotional eating, body hatred, binge eating, and helps them make peace with food and their bodies​. Her website is Healthier Outcomes​.

Gillian explained to me that there is an international oversight federation called the International Coach Federation or ICF. They set standards for coaching competencies, ethics, and guidelines for coaching in general​. The ICF does not provide training but does accredit schools that go through their accreditation process. 

Basically, if you train with an accredited school, you will be certified by that school upon completion of your curriculum. To additionally become ICF certified, you need to have a minimum of 100 hours of coaching (75 paid) and take a Coach Knowledge Assessment​ test.

I checked some of the accredited schools and the cost for the lowest level of certification ran from $3000 – $5000. Higher levels (more training and higher certification) ran closer to $10,000.

And, just to follow-up on The Life Coach School, I could not find it listed as accredited by ICF.

No Certification Needed

Connie Ragen GreenI also got an email from Connie Ragen Green. She's an online marketing strategist, bestselling author, speaker, and marketing mentor​. Her website is

 I absolutely loved what she wrote:

“I'm a mentor, not a coach. More zeros for me and no formal training to tell me how to do what I am good at.”

There is no requirement for coaches to be certified. Honestly, I think as long as you can walk someone through how to do something, hold them accountable, and help them get the results they want, I see no reason certification is needed. 

In Connie's case, even though I haven't coached with her, I have taken a couple of her courses, Really Simple Sales Copy and How to Sell Yourself and Your Stuff.  She's a smart and giving “mentor” (I'd still call her a coach), no certification needed. 

I coached with Kelly McCausey for the better part of a year and I don't think she has certification either. But, she helped me find a subject I'm passionate about and kept me accountable. That's what I paid for and I was happy to do it.

Brendon Burchard High-Performance Coaching Certification

Karla TaylorThe last person with some great input that I'm going to cover was Karla Taylor who responded on Online To Thrive's Facebook Page. Karla is a holistic healer as well as an online marketer who offers teaching and services in meditation, crystal healing and very soon Reiki. Her website is The Healers Gift.

Karla is coached by Brendon Burchard and says,

“He is a fantastic coach. The prices are not as steep as mentioned in your article and there are many of us that are in his tribe who make a good income yearly. We are from different niches and from all around the world.

Her post led me to his website He has a lot going on among which there is a high-performance coach training program. He teaches it himself in a 5-day seminar in Scottsdale, AZ. The cost is $10,000 to become certified as a High-Performance Coach.

The certification is good for one year at which time, and each year, you pay $500 to keep your certification. Additionally, you must attend the 5-day training every other year. It wasn't clear if you have to pay the $10k again.

I have to say, maybe Brendon is just a good salesperson, but honestly, if I was going to get certified, this is the program I would choose. The reason is, in one of his other programs, he teaches how to become an online trainer. Since I'm an online trainer (who wants to get really good at it) and he knows and teaches online marketing, it would be the best fit for me. Additionally, his program teaches how to sell yourself and get clients, and I feel that's a necessary part of getting started as a coach.

However, one thing I'd double check before moving forward is whether or not you have to pay that $10k every other year, that would be a deal-breaker.

And, like The Life Coach School, I could not find Brendon's High-Performance Coaching Certification listed as being accredited by ICF.

Like I said before, I'm not ready to coach and certainly not ready to spend $10k (plus air/hotel) to be certified. But I feel I now know enough about it to make a clear and informed decision when and if I ever decide to move forward with it.

I'm really glad I sent that email with the things I was wondering about. And I'm so thankful for those who so unselfishly took the time to reply with information about how they tackled my coaching certification questions. Please visit the sites of these wonderful ladies.

Also, if you have anything to add to this great information, go ahead and post below in the comments. Others want to know about your brillance!

All my best,


P.S. And what about the other things I was pondering?

Well, the other thing of interest was Clickbank, I didn't get much response about memberships.

Here's what Connie said about it:

“I still earn 4 to 5 figures each month from Clickbank products. But I never search there any longer because I know the people and products I am promoting. The products I recommend on Clickbank are from people who regularly update their pages.”

I still haven't had time to do any research on Clickbank products, however, it seems the trick might be to find items sold by people who stay on top of and mind their businesses. I'm going to have to do some research, and maybe a test or two. I will post when I know more.

About the Author Reba Collins

I’m a fifty-something, self-taught, online business geek from Texas and owner of Online To Thrive. A lot goes into creating an online business and it can be a really scary endeavor. I’m here to help make getting started easy and affordable with step-by-step courses that are clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated.