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On a regular basis coaches ask me if it makes sense to become a certified coach and if yes, what is needed. Below you find answers to my TOP 10 questions.

  1. Why shall I be certified/accredited?

Some coaches say that they just want to have the ‘title’. Some coaches say they want to grow as a coach. I think any motivation is fine. And I can share that especially international clients are keen to be coached by someone who is certified/accredited by a well-known coaching organization. Although the certification does not guarantee that the coaching works well every time, it does guarantee that the coach works according to agreed ethical standards and methods. And of course, these coaches never stop learning and continue their coaching education that is approved by an external body.

  1. What are the requirements?

No matter which organization you join, all of them require a certain amount of coaching education hours, acceptance of ethical standards, certain number of coaching experiences hours, and mentor coaching / supervision.

  1. Which organization did you join?

I decided to join the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). I am sure there are other great coaching organization but most of them are not represented globally. There are about 20 coaching organizations in Germany and if you decide to coach in Germany only, they might be a great choice too.

  1. How much does is cost the be certified?

Accreditations are not for free. Training, mentoring and continues coaching education can be costly. You can check the individual organizations webpages on how much they charge. Do not forget that you must renew you accreditation after several years if you want to keep it.

  1. Why do external mentors charge 200 EUR per mentoring session or even more?

Mentoring can be demanding work. Try it out, take one of your coaching recordings, transcribe it, listen on all levels (physical, intellectual, emotional and intuitive​) for strength and growth areas. Make notes which opportunities you missed in the conversation and think about how to learn from that.

  1. How many coaching experience hours and mentoring hours do I need for ICF certification?

In short, you need 100h of coaching experience hours for the Accredited Certified Coach (ACC) or 500h of coaching experience for the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) plus 10 hours of mentor coaching.

  1. How does mentor coaching for ICF certification looks like?

Like in coaching I do a chemistry session with the coach, we talk about the Duties and Competencies as a mentor and then we agree how we work together going forward.

Usually, the coach provides recording of their sessions (25-35 min). I am listening to it, check if the ICF markers are met and take notes. In a follow up meeting I provide the coach with feedback. Of course, the content of the recording is strictly confidential and the client must agree to the usage of the tape upfront.

  1. What is the difference between mentor coaching and supervision?

There is some overlap and some distinction. When I do mentor coaching for ICF accreditation I am guiding the mentee to get the ICF accreditation, more focusing on ICF core competencies, I help the mentee to see what is already there and what is missing. When I do supervision it is more a systemic conversation. It usually goes deeper with specific cases and patterns because the client wants to grow as a coach and develop a coaching repertoire. As a supervisor I can be a coach, supporter, case consultant, trainer, or an advocate for the client.

  1. What inspires you to be a mentor / supervisor?

I believe when more coaches take the effort to be certified the quality of coaching will increase because we learn from each other. And I love the great conversations with coaches which allow me to grow as a coach and as a human being.

  1. How to proceed if I want to be mentored or supervised within SAP?

Ask someone who can provide mentor coaching or supervision sessions. If you want to be certified, make sure the mentor / supervisor is an accredited member of the organization you want to be certified. Schedule a chemistry session and get started.

I hope the answers are useful for you and I invite you to make your next step in your career as a coach!


Stefan Kreil

ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and EMCC Senior Practitioner (EMCC EIA SP)