Professional Requirements for Business Coaching and Mentoring

By Marie Taylor, Steve Crabb

No legal requirements exist in relation to a standard of training or hours completed for business coaching and mentoring. However, you’re likely to find it difficult to build a successful coaching practice without appropriate training and completion of practice hours to build your skillset.

The required coaching standard for internationally recognized coach accreditation is between 35 and 100 hours coaching practice plus the training requirement. Most professional business coaches who coach at a senior level have more than 500 hours of coaching in the bag and coach regularly.

Accreditation Requirements for New Coaches
European Mentoring and Coaching Council Association for Coaching International Coach Federation (ICF)
Membership requirements Membership of a professional body Hold appropriate level prior to submission of application Completion of an entire ICF Accredited Coach Training Program or 60 hours of coach-specific training on an ICF-approved program plus 10 hours of coaching with an ICF-accredited mentor
Client contact hours or coaching training 50 hours 35+ hours Complete the Coach Knowledge Assessment
Coaching experience One year (from first practicing as mentor/coach) 75+ hours 100 hours (75 hours paid)
Number of clients At least five clients At least 8 clients
Client feedback Five within last 12 months (ending with submission date of application) One client reference
Continuous professional development (CPD) 16 hours per year CPD record since initial coach training 40 hours every three years
Mentor/coach supervision One hour per quarter Minimum three months’ coaching supervision

To keep it simple, we’ve produced two checklists that set out our view of the minimum requirements you need. Do your own homework and check out the professional institute websites for guidance.

Checklist 1: Just do it:

  • Contracting paperwork that sets out the financial agreement and the coaching agreement
  • A clear disclaimer about any changes the client makes being his responsibility and choice
  • Individual client next-of-kin details if you’re meeting offsite or contracting with an individual rather than an organization
  • Clear terms and conditions regarding fees, payment, cancellation, travel, and expenses
  • Insurance to cover your professional liability and public liability if you have premises
  • Confidential storage for your client records and ways of protecting and destroying confidential documents

Checklist 2: You don’t have to, but please, just do it:

  • A disclosure from the client regarding any therapy work he is engaged in or any medical conditions that may impact his work with you
  • Your own system for session management, clearing the space, notes (coaching log), and review
  • Sharing an open notes policy with the individual you’re coaching
  • Having a coach and/or mentor or supervisor
  • Most important of all, loving your clients