Thulani continues to educate himself about the coaching industry. He finds out that this is more complex than he had anticipated, as becoming a business coach is indeed a profession and not just a hobby or a skill that can be mastered in a few weeks.

To conceptualize his new profession and limit the overload of information, Thulani segmented his research into the areas that he needed to explore. At the top of his list was his burning question:

What does it mean to be a professional Business Coach? Becoming a Business Coach

His investigation into this topic led him to ask the following 5 questions:

1. Is accreditation necessary for what you want to do with your new coaching competence?

Thulani’s thoughts were that the key part of this question is ‘what you want to do’. This makes the decision personal, rather than driven by what others are saying. There are categories of clients requiring accreditation, as well as categories of clients not requiring accreditation. Because many clients will not require accreditation, gaining accreditation is a decision made by the potential Business Coach based on his or her focus or desired target market. The coaching industry is currently unregulated so Thulani considered which accreditation would, in future, be valid. He felt like it was crystal ball gazing.

2. Is accreditation a ‘nice to have’ or a ‘must have’?

Thulani’s understanding was that accreditation is not a necessity in certain areas of coaching, however, as a Business Coach there is a need to be taken seriously in professional environments. These environments include:

        • Government Organisations
        • Corporate Entities
        • SMME’s
        • Business Owner
        • Entrepreneurial
        • Personal
        • NGO’s

Thulani knew that trust is a cornerstone of both credibility and the Business Coaching relationship. An accredited Business Coach is one who has been educated with proven practical competence. This means that the company, business executive or business owner engaging Business Coaching services can trust the Business Coach’s level of professionalism and competence. Thulani thought that accreditation was a ‘must have’, rather than a ‘nice to have’, because he was serious about his business coaching career. In order to behave as a professional with a standard framework and methodology, he decided that he would pursue a formal business coaching accreditation.

Becoming a Business Coach

3. Who will use your coaching with this accreditation and who will use your coaching without this accreditation?

This question perplexed Thulani as it led to a different consideration completely, namely “Who do you want your clients to be?”

He could only move forward once he had answered this question. A broad generalization is that corporate and more established clients are more likely to require accreditation, whereas the entrepreneurs and business owners will be more inclined to seek a proven track record with less regard for a formal qualification.

Picture 1 1
Copyright SA Business Coaches showing the coaching environment across a spectrum of industries. The more complex the organisation, the more complex the coaching environment.

4. How much business coaching work will you secure because of this accreditation?

Coming from a corporate background Thulani was not proficient in marketing nor selling his services. He tackled this question from another perspective (the opposite direction) and asked himself how much work he would get or lose out on because he didn’t have accreditation?  Thinking about this question Thulani realised that a lack of accreditation could lose him work in a formalised environment, yet there was no downside (other than his time, commitment, and investment) to obtaining accreditation.

5. Is this accreditation a game changer for you or simply a gimmick with no promise of future coaching work?

Knowing that he didn’t have a crystal ball, Thulani decided that he needed to rely on logic and good sense to answer this question. Accreditation is certainly no gimmick and although nothing is a promise of future work, he was reminded of the words:

If you want to win the lottery – buy a ticket!

That is exactly what earning an accreditation is. It is exponentially increasing your chances of success because you may, in future, want to add corporate, government or established clients to your client list. If not, then there may be no need at all to accredit yourself other than you wanting to feel the part. In many instances accreditation does not make you any better as a coach, however, it may make you more acceptable to yourself and to a select few.


Considering whether to be accredited or not may either be a very easy decision or a very difficult one. This is not a decision that you must make on your own. There are people who can assist you in developing your Business Coaching thinking in this area.

See SA Business Coaches’ August 2021 blog on people who can help you become an Effective Business Coach: Click Here

To learn more about becoming a qualified business coach, see SA Business Coaches’ blog from September 2021 on this topic: Click Here

Maybe also take a look at SA Business Coach Training  1