To pass the certificate in Life Coaching, you are required to pass six 100 hour modules.
There are FIVE core modules of - Life Coaching, Careers Counselling, Human Nutrition and Food I, Psychology and Counselling and Stress Management.
You will then complete a sixth module from - Counselling Skills I, Health and Fitness I, Introduction to Psychology, Starting a Small Business, Professional Practice in Counselling
You are required to choose ONE module from the following courses.
* ACS is an organisational member (OMAC) of the UK Association for Coaching.
* This course is recognised by the Complementary Medical Association (CMA).
* Graduates are able to join both the CMA and/or AC
* ACS is an internationally recognised institution (recognised by IARC)
* ACS has formal affiliations with a group of highly respected colleges across the world.
ETHICAL AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR LIFE COACHES
Anyone working in a profession which deals with client welfare owes it to the client to be as competent as possible. This means staying up to date with current thinking, theories, and practices and striving to offer the best service you can to your client.
A life coach needs to be ethical for many reasons; and part of coaching others involves helping the client to establish a work ethic as well.
An important aspect of coaching is maintaining boundaries. A client may come to a coach and reveal personal and intimate details about themselves that they may not want to tell another person. This can cause quite an intense relationship. Therefore, the coach needs to be aware of the boundaries to the client-coach relationship. They should make the client aware that there will be no intimate or personal relationship between them. Their relationship is a client-coach professional relationship.
They should always talk at the times which have been specified as appropriate working hours by the coach. For example, the coach may advise the client that they will book meetings and answer calls between 9am to 8pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9am to 5pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9am to 3pm Saturdays, and never on Sundays. They should therefore encourage the client to stick to those hours. If they tell the client it is alright to call at other times, the client may do so and then there is a suggestion that their relationship is different or somehow more special than those with other clients, which can again cause issues. Therefore, the coach needs to be strict with their boundaries. They should always meet each other in a professional way.
As with counselling, a coach must make the client aware of informed consent. This is where the coach makes the client aware of how the coaching process will work and the fully informed client agrees to this. It is discussed at the onset of coaching and any limitations to the coaching process, as well as expected outcomes are reviewed. As such, the client takes an active role in the process and they are able to make choices of benefit to them.
If a client decides they want to end the coaching process before goals have been attained, then their decision should be respected even if they seem to be making good progress or it seems rather rash. The coach may attempt to encourage the client to continue with the coaching if they genuinely believe it to be in the client’s best interest, but they should never attempt to coerce the client into participation.
If conflicts arise between the coach and client, whether personal, or in relation to the client's goals, and these conflicts cannot be resolved through mediation or negotiation, then the coach must either end the coaching relationship or refer the client to another coach if they are aware of someone else who might be able to help.
This is also linked to informed consent, the coach should make the client aware that their meetings are confidential, however it is confidentiality with a 'but'. For example, if the client reveals that they are thinking of harming themselves or have/will harm someone else, they should be aware the coach will report them to appropriate authorities or services where they can be better helped. Likewise, if a court of law requested information about the client from the coach, they would be obliged to provide it.
In all professions, confidentiality comprises both ethical oaths and legal statutes. It is the key to developing a trusting working relationship between the coach and client. Confidentiality may be breached simply by involving well-meaning helpers in the coaching process without first acquiring the client’s consent. The protection of private client information is paramount to encouraging the client to engage openly in coaching. Protection of a client’s secrets, private thoughts, and feelings are also required by ethical decency. Coaches are obliged to discuss the nature and scope of confidentiality with their clients, and also reveal any limitations to confidentiality. For instance, if the coach is likely to discuss any aspects of the client’s coaching in a professional manner with supervisors, colleagues, or other professionals so as to be able to provide a better service, then they should let the client know this. Where this may happen, the coach should protect the client's identity by referring to them as Mr or Mrs X or just using initials.
Professional licensing bodies incorporate legal and ethical confidentiality mandates and highlight them as an important part of professional practice. All clients are entitled to confidentiality unless they have given permission for disclosure. Even where permission for disclosure has been granted, secrets and private thoughts should not be revealed. Whilst it may not be possible to join a professional licensing body for life coaching, depending on your location and whether or not one exists due to the relative newness of life coaching as a profession, you should at least familiarise yourself with the ethical and legal guidelines of the caring professions such as counselling and psychology, or contact coaching bodies overseas for their guidelines and abide by them.
As more and more societies become cosmopolitan, it is important for the coach to consider multicultural differences. Since many approaches to coaching have evolved from techniques originally devised for use in counselling white, middle class, middle aged people living in Western societies, members of minority groups are not well catered for. To treat all clients in the same way would be unethical. If a client comes to you from a background you are unfamiliar with, you should take time to try and understand where they are coming from so that you can relate to them in an appropriate manner.
There are different legal requirements in different countries. A life coach should always check on the legal requirements of working with clients before proceeding with life coaching work. As well as supporting a client, a life coach also needs to ensure that they are protected from legal issues, public liability, and so on. This means taking out appropriate insurance policies and/or becoming a member of a suitable professional body.