All frequently asked questions


I want to be a coach but don’t know exactly what I want to do with it or which path is right for me.
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That’s okay. Making the decision to become a coach is the beginning of a journey into a new profession, a time to learn and explore the possibilities. So, even though our website highlights the different alternatives available to our students, that’s more to show the possibilities than a something you need to decide before you begin.

This is your journey – we are honored to be a part of it and will be there to support you, through our courses, free informational calls, and our staff are always available to partner with you on whatever path you choose. And isn’t that what coaching is all about?

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Is coach training necessary?
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While there currently are no U.S. states which license coaches, we believe that in order to best serve your clients, some coach training is necessary so that you can be a competent and confident coach. Through our program you can take a course which provides you with all the tools you need to be a coach [The Foundations course], elective courses that allow you to specialize in an area you are passionate about, as well as the opportunity to become a credentialed coach by highly recognized coaching organizations.

A study conducted by the ICF found that 89% of clients who had been in a coaching relationship reported that it was somewhat or very important to them that their coach had coach specific training.

For those in the helping professions who already have the requisite skills for effective coaching (such as listening, building rapport, encouraging, facilitating change, empathy and objectivity), some formal coach training is still necessary to understand and maintain distinctions between coaching and other helping professions. Additionally, many professional state licensing boards require that you receive training if you are adding a new modality to your approved scope of practice.

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What are the advantages of training with ILCT?
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Aside from being able to learn alongside our incredible students and faculty, other advantages of training with The Institute for Life Coach Training include:

  • Learn a coaching model that has been proven successful in producing results with clients. This state-of-the-art model is one that employs the whole person paradigm, powerful questions, and purposeful inquiry, empowering tools, and results-producing psychological principles.
  • Our program combines theoretical and experiential learning – you’re not just learning about the skills coaches use, but actually gaining practice coaching in our classes and peer groups, helping you to quickly transition to being a competent and confident coach.
  • We don’t believe in hidden costs – course materials, exams, mentoring hours, etc. are all included as part of tuition and are noted on the course page.
  • ILCT offers one of the largest selections of electives, allowing you to customize your training to truly reflect what you want to offer in your practice.
  • ILCT is one of a handful of schools where you can pursue credentialing with the ICF, and the Board Certified Coach credential using the same class credits.
  • We offer numerous avenues to certification, including our Life Coaching Specialist, Career Development Coaching Specialist, Christian Coaching Specialist, Wellness Coaching Specialist, Certified Grief Coach, and Certified Resilience Coach programs.
  • We offer interest-free payment plans, as well as discounts to military/government workers and to those working with non-profits and churches.
  • Our professionally recognized faculty and staff work directly with you throughout your journey to become a professional coach.
  • We conduct free informational teleconferences, providing you with the tools necessary to support your growth as a professional coach.
  • As a student, you are invited to be a member of our online Coaches Community, where you can interact with other ILCT students and alumni.
  • No travel – you never have to fly through crowded airports, wait for delayed flights or stay at expensive hotels. Learn via the phone or video conferences – truly distance learning allowing you to enjoy learning with others from around the globe.
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What are the requirements to become a student at ILCT?
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If you hold a Bachelor’s degree, an advanced degree, or have experience working with others, you are certainly qualified to join our program and we would love to work with you.

If you are not currently a helping professional, or hold a degree, you may still be qualified to join our program. We look for students who have strong communication skills, and a passion to work with others.

If you have questions about your eligibility, or which program is right for you, we encourage you to contact Ellen Neiley Ritter, our Dean of Students at 888.267.1206 ext. 101, to discuss your interest in coaching and whether our program would be a good fit.

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Is financial aid available?
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While ILCT does not qualify for the federal financial aid packages, we offer interest-free payment plans that work with our students' budgets. The most common payment plan divides the costs for the class over the length of the class, so, for example, with the Foundations course, this would mean 5 equal monthly payments. Need another plan? Just let us know.

ILCT offers discounts to those who work for federal, state and local governments, as well as those who have served in the military.

Our 30, 60 and 120-hour BCC programs are approved under the Army Credentialing Assistance Program (Army Cool) to provide the training for enlisted, warrant officers, and officers from the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army National Guard/U.S. Army National Guard of the United States, and the U.S. Army Reserve.

We also offer discounts to those who are working for non-profit organizations and churches, and for groups of 4 or more who are looking for coach training. Contact Ellen with any questions.

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Are ILCT’s programs accredited by recognized coaching organizations?
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Yes! ILCT is one of a handful of programs that have consistently met the stringent requirements to be accredited by both the International Coach Federation and the Center for Credentialing & Education.

  • ILCT’s program has been awarded the ACTP designation from the ICF since 2002. In 2022, ILCT was awarded both Level 1 and Level 2 ICF designations. All hours accumulated through our program may be used towards ICF credentialing, as well as CEU's.
  • ILCT was the first, and ultimately largest coach training program to be approved for the Board Certified Coach credential offered by the Center for Credentialing & Education for those who hold advanced degrees in the behavioral and social sciences, as well as those who hold a Bachelor's in any subject.

That means you can use the same classes to be credentialed by both organizations if you're qualified. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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What are ILCT courses like?
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The majority of our courses are taught through video conferences [Zoom] or teleconferences, so you join your instructor and fellow students in an interactional and often lively discussion during set times for each class. The classes are fun, enriching, and often life changing. You can listen to a previously recorded class here.

We keep our classes small so that you will have many opportunities to coach and be coached by your classmates. There are usually at least 4 students in each class, with most classes having a maximum of 12.

We also offer numerous Self-Directed courses which are done on a computer, working at your own pace. These courses are electives and do not compromise a complete program leading to credentialing.

ILCT's classes are presented in English. ILCT also has an international training program which is conducted live a few times each year in Italy; these classes are in Italian.

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How often are courses taught at The Institute for Life Coach Training?
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A new session of our Foundational and Coach Approach courses begins every 4 to 6 weeks, except December. Since we have students from across the globe and country, we vary the times of the course, so you will want to find one which fits best into your schedule.

We also offer the Foundational Course for Christian Coaches twice year, usually in January and July. While identical in terms of focus, materials, and level of learning as our Foundational course, this course goes further by incorporating Scripture and prayer for those who want to incorporate their faith in coaching.

Most of our elective and advanced courses are scheduled numerous times throughout the year and the Self-directed courses are available all year long. Information on frequency, etc. can be seen on each course page, as well as an opportunity to be notified when a course you want is listed or goes on sale.

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What about ILCT certification programs?
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Many of our students want to specialize in one area of coaching and we offer a number of programs that allow you to become a specialist. Each of these certification programs includes the Foundational course (40 hours) and 40 hours from the electives in that specialty area, allowing you to truly focus on and create a practice which reflects your expertise, while also potentially allowing you to apply for a coaching credential from a recognized third-party.

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Can ILCT courses be used for Continuing Education Units?
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Yes. For those who have a coaching credential from ICF or CCE, our classes are approved for CEU’s and can be used to renew your credential.

Additionally, for licensed professionals, you may be able to receive CEU’s if your state Board recognizes NAADAC. ILCT is a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (Provider #107268) and is responsible for all aspects of its programming.

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How does coaching differ from therapy?
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While coaching and therapy share some similarities, psychotherapy often focuses on the impact the past has on the present, on healing psychological dysfunction, and on relieving emotional pain. The therapist is considered to be the expert, the one with answers about what is right for the client.

Coaching focuses on the present and future, the client's strengths, life purpose and goals, working with clients to create possibilities to enrich their life. Based on the belief that all individuals are whole, capable individuals, coaching assumes the client is expert, able to determine what is best for their lives and the coach works along with them to maximize their personal and professional potentials, to close the gaps to create extraordinary lives.

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What else should I know?
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  • When choosing a class, you will want to make sure that the course fits into your schedule as attendance is one of the requirements for receiving credit for the course. For example, in the Foundations course, you may only miss 5 of the 40 sessions.
  • In many of our classes you will also be participating in a peer group, working together outside of class, practicing coaching, reviewing case studies, etc. These peer group hours can be used for both ICF and BCC credentialing experience hours, and in some courses, you will also receive mentor coaching hours as a part of your course.
  • Your credits with ILCT never expire. We do not have restrictions on how quickly you must complete your program, so you can always come back and take courses, pursue certifications, or join any of the free informational calls we hold each month. As we say, once an ILCT student, always an ILCT student, if you want.
  • Once credentialed, ILCT’s courses can be used to maintain your credential and enhance your coaching practice.
  • Our staff works with you directly and is available to talk about classes you may be considering, ideas you’re considering for your practice, or any other questions you may have. We welcome the chance to work with you on your journey to become a professional coach.
  • We create a personal online library for you, a place where all your class materials will be readily available whenever you want them, even after your class ends. The Foundations course, for example, includes more than 400 pages of materials to get you started on your coaching practice.
  • There is also a private ILCT Coaches Community on Facebook where you can interact with other students and alumni – share resources, find others in your area, or who are looking to get more coaching experience.
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Have additional questions?
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We would love to hear from you! Click here to let us know how we can help.

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Want to know more about coaching?
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Click here for more information about this exciting field.

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