What is Coaching?

Coaching is a dynamic and evolving profession that sits at the intersection of human potential and practical achievement. It’s a role that requires empathy, insight, and a steadfast commitment to seeing others succeed, making it not just a career but a calling for many who pursue it. 


The coaching profession is akin to being a trusted navigator in someone else’s expedition of self-discovery and achievement.


Coaches are the compasses that help individuals chart their course to personal or professional destinations they aspire to reach. It’s a journey often embarked upon with a goal in mind, whether that’s climbing the career ladder, enhancing personal relationships, achieving balance and wellness, or simply seeking a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.

At its core, coaching is about facilitating change. Unlike therapists or consultants who may dig into the past to heal or give expert advice for specific problems, coaches focus on the present and the future. They stand on the premise that clients are the experts in their own lives. Through powerful questioning, active listening, and strategic frameworks, coaches help clients unlock their potential. It’s like helping someone find the keys to a car they’ve always had but didn’t know how to drive.
Coaches come in various specialties, mirroring the myriad paths one might take in life. There are life coaches, executive coaches, health and wellness coaches, relationship coaches, performance coaches – the list goes on. Each niche addresses specific areas, but all share the common thread of aiming for improvement, growth, and goal achievement.

In practice, coaches employ a range of methodologies, from structured frameworks like SMART goals and the GROW model to more fluid, conversational techniques that adapt to the client’s needs. They create a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment where clients feel comfortable exploring their aspirations and challenges.


The profession isn’t just about the client’s transformation, though. Coaches themselves are often on a parallel journey of professional development. They engage in continuous learning, supervision, and peer feedback to refine their skills.

Is Coaching a Regulated Industry?


NO!  It’s kind of like the Wild West – exciting, full of opportunity, but not really heavily regulated. The coaching industry is self-regulated. There is no official accreditation or governing body for the profession. However, organizations such as the International Coach Federation (ICF) set standards and serves as a benchmark of quality and ethics.  

NO degrees or licenses are needed to become a certified coach. However, you should attend training to acquire proper knowledge about the industry. Also, training is essential to ensure that you are not practicing therapy or providing mental health services in the name of coaching. 

There are many organizations that offer certifications (based on their curriculum). Some organizations offer on-demand (video) training and some offer a combination of on-demand and live contact hours.  Again, because there is no legal or official governing body. Therefore, you can earn a certification from a Coach Training Program of your liking. 


              Is Buckingham Coaching Academy               “approved” or “accredited” by ICF?

Although our director Dr. Dwayne Buckingham is an ICF Certitied Coach, Buckingham Coaching Academy is not approved or accredited by ICF.

We developed our curriculum to meet some ICF core standards because we believe in the importance of providing gold standard coaching training. However, we have not sought accredition from ICF because we are committed to ensuring that coaching certification is available to individuals from all walks of life and economic backgrounds. 


With a dual background as an ICF Certified Coach and a licensed clinical psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience, we deliver insights from two powerful human psychology and behavior realms. This blend of expertise means we are highly qualified to offer high-quality coaching free of unnecessary red tape and high fees. 


Getting a coaching certification is a bit like crafting a beautiful, hand-carved chair. It’s not about slapping a few pieces of wood together; it’s about understanding the materials, mastering the tools, and learning the techniques to create something both beautiful and functional.


 What Goes Into This Process:

Coaching Education:

This is your foundation, the sturdy legs of the chair. It’s about gaining knowledge through a structured learning program. You’ll dive into topics like coaching theories, models, and methodologies. It’s as if you’re in a woodworking class learning the different types of wood and cuts. You’re not just reading books or watching videos; you’re engaging in interactive learning, workshops, and real-life scenarios that prepare you for the practical side of coaching.

Coaching Experience:

Here’s where you put theory into practice, the seat of the chair where comfort meets design. You need a certain number of hours actually coaching clients, which is like the hands-on experience of carving and assembling the chair. It’s about applying what you’ve learned in your education to real-life situations. You’re not just practicing on your friends and family; you’re working with genuine clients who have real goals, challenges, and aspirations.

Mentor Coaching:

This is like having a master craftsman looking over your shoulder, guiding your technique. A mentor coach is someone who observes your coaching and provides feedback. They help you refine your skills, much like sanding down the rough edges of your chair to make sure it’s smooth and ready for use. They’re there to ensure you’re not just going through the motions but truly honing your craft.

Performance Evaluation:

This is the quality check, ensuring the chair is sturdy and well-made. In coaching certification, you’re typically required to submit recordings of your coaching sessions for assessment. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, like having your chair inspected for any loose joints, but it’s also an invaluable part of the process. It ensures you’re meeting the high standards of effective coaching.


Finally, you have the examination, the final polish on the chair. It’s a test of your knowledge and understanding of coaching principles. Sometimes it’s written, sometimes it’s oral, but either way, it’s there to ensure you really know your stuff. It’s not just a formality; it’s like that last once-over you give your chair before you present it to the world.

Meeting all these requirements isn’t just about ticking boxes to get a certificate to hang on your wall. It’s about ensuring that when you say you’re a certified coach, it means something. It means you’ve put in the work, you’ve crafted your skills, and you’re ready to support others in sitting down to the table of their own lives with confidence.