How to find a coach

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как найти коуча, коучинг таллинн, коучинг рига, бизнес коучингChoosing a coach

Association of Professional Coaches (APC) — is a professional Association of life and business-coaches that strives to keep the reliability and quality of coaching in the global community. APC is a reliable resource for the search and training of coaches and for those who are looking for a coach.

Coaching is a type of psychological support aimed at increasing awareness and unlocking the client’s potential on his own way to the established goal (the definition of coaching in the APC).

A coach is a specialist conducting coaching.

All over the world, people address coaches and coaching more and more. And as often happens, the desires and needs of consumers are ahead of the wheels of state which is supposed to set the professional standards for various professions.

Since the profession of a “coach” is a rather new phenomenon (about 20 years old), the standards, as such, are just being outlined (this applies to Russia and the CIS countries).

That is why the Coaching Association, such as APC and others, are currently responsible for the quality standards of provided coaching services.

World experience and practice demonstrate that when choosing a coach, it is important to rely both on formal criteria (certificates, confirmed coaching hours, experience in specialization), and personal qualities.

First of all, it will be useful to find out the meaning of the available certificates, since certification is replete with different abbreviations.

The certificate will give you information about the school and the standards the coach was trained in. The existence of standards is an important condition for the high-quality training of coaches, and an international certificate is one of the guarantors thereof.

Certificate core criteria:

  1. Certificate number: You can verify the holder of the Certificate by its number.
  2. The Association that issued the Certificate: check the logo or the gold stamp on the certificate.
  3. Date of the certificate issue: It will help to figure out the coach experience. It is preferable that the certificate is issued at least half a year before. This suggests that the coach has already gained some experience (but not always).
  4. The number of academic hours in the coaching program indicated on the certificate.
  5. Besides, it would be good if the coach gives you a link to the website of the educational institution or the Association of coaching, where he/she studied and is registered as a member/graduate.

Certification and certificates levels according to international standards.

There are four levels of certification and mastership in coaching:


The levels’ description.

Here we will rely on the Charter of the Association of Professional Coaches and we underline that the Charter of the APC is in line with the majority of leading global coaching associations (link to the APC Charter).

  1. ASSOCIATE CERTIFIED COACH (ACC).. This is a specialist who has passed the coaching training program including 200 academic hours and did not satisfy all certification criteria. This means that he/she can be a coach, but less professional. (See the certification criteria for this level here).
  1. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFIED COACH (PCC).. This is a professional coach that has passed the coaching training program including 370 academic hours and satisfied all the certification criteria. This means that during training he has had at least 60 hours of practice, was supervised in his work and therefore, having some practical experience, knows how to work with clients. (See the certification criteria for this level here).
  1. MASTER CERTIFIED COACH (MCC).First of all, it is a professional coach having a good work experience. This title requires at least 1.5 years of work with clients after the completion of the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) program providing documented sessions with clients to the training institution that supervises the work of the coach and provides training for MCC level. Besides, MCC title requires training in coaching for at least 100 academic hours. This title allows you to prepare ACC and PCC coaches. This is a coaching educator. (See the certification criteria for this level here).
  1. Master-Trainer (МТ). This is the highest title in training and coaching field. MT is an internationally certified coach who is authorized to certify a MCC, PCC, and ACC. This title suggests that the specialist has passed all of the above training levels and possesses huge practical background not only in individual coaching, but also in coaches’ training (certification courses for MCC, PCC, and ACC levels). Minimum 5 years of coaching and internships for at least 10 full training of days are required in order to initiate in MT. (See the certification criteria for this level here).

Work experience and expertise

Expertise: It is also useful to have a look at the certificates on additional coaching training. This can be Teambuilding, Business coaching, Conflict resolution studies, Transformational coaching, Dependence coaching, and so on.

Work experience: First of all, the work experience is determined by the level of the available certificate, and you have already read above about it. Besides, one can request evidence of work experience from a coach in the form of customer reviews: both individuals or legal entities that issued commendations.

Choosing a coach by referral

One can find a good coach by referral or what is usually called “word of mouth”. However, the recommendations do not exclude the necessity to control the documents confirming the specialist’s qualification.

Choosing a coach according to his/her tariffs

This criterion can definitely characterize the specialist’s expertise, but we would not recommend this criterion as the decisive one. Moreover, a session price may vary in different areas of coaching. Thus, for example, business coaching session can cost from 50 euros and more, while Life coaching session cost starts from 25 euros and more (these prices are very relative). Presumably one can definitely say only one thing: the higher the price, the more the coach appreciates his/her services. However, we believe it shall be substantiated.

In addition, we can say that only trying to work with one or another coach, you can understand if the expert is good for you or not. First of all, each coach is a separate personality, despite all the titles and certificates. As soon as you make sure that the qualification of the chosen coach is fine, you can take one or two sessions with one or another coach and understand whether you can further cooperate or not.