iNLP Center

Life Coach Certificate and ICF Credential

For those interesting in becoming a life coach, there are tricky waters to navigate.

Certification is necessary to ensure proper training as well as credibility among prospects and clients.

There is also the issue of life coach credentialing, which is different than certification.

Life coach certification means that you have attended and successfully complete life coach training at an institute that offers such education. There are many, many such institutes to choose from.

A life coach credential is offered, not by the institute at which you receive training, but by a third-party credentialing body, such as the International Coach Federation. Credentialing bodies do not offer life coach training. Rather, they review and approve training programs according to preset standards.

If a training organization meets the standards, graduates may then submit their completion certificates to the certifying body, along with additional required documentation, to be considered for receiving a life coaching credential.

Do life coaches need both certification and a credential?

This is a topic of hot debate in the life coaching community. There is less debate over the need for certification from a legitimate training program. Do practice coaching effectively, you need training.

The need for a credential is less certain, for several reasons:

  1. Life coaching is an unregulated field. While ICF is the largest credentialing body, there are many others to choose from. No one credentialing body is more legitimate than others, as they are all private companies that are not connected to any state licensing boards.
  2. Consumers do not know or typically recognize credentialing bodies. It's debatable how much marketing boost a credential gives a life coach.
  3. The credentialing process itself is complicated and costly. With unclear benefits, many coaches have a hard time getting started with their application.


The iNLP Center regularly clarifies and guides life coach training students through the process of both certification and credentialing. We help students determine whether or not they need a credential, then guide them through the process.

Additionally, iNLP Center training programs are accredited by the International Coach Federation. Students who graduate from iNLP Center courses are automatically qualified to apply for an ICF credential if they choose.