When choosing a life coach it can be reassuring to know that they work to certain standards of good practice as a professional, as you will be placing a huge amount of trust in them. Not all qualified life coaches are members of a professional body, however being a member means a life coach has met certain requirements set by their member organisation and must abide by a code of ethics and complaints procedure.
All professional bodies differ in their requirements for membership; some require very strict standards for all their members and others provide different categories for their members (e.g. Associate Member, Member, Accredited Member). Life coaches who are a member of a professional body will make this clear on their profile. To find out more about a professional body please see the list below.
Accredited Life Coaches
Being accredited with a professional body means the individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation. Life Coaches who are accredited with their professional body will have the stamp to the left on their profile. To find out more information about accreditation visit the professional bodies’ websites below. Each will have information on their requirements.
Life coaching professional bodies
Association for Coaching (AC)
The Association for Coaching is one of the leading professional bodies for coaches and organisations. The Association is made up of a number of different membership categories, e.g. Associate Member (AMAC), Member (MAC), Accredited Member (AC Accred), with the different categories standing for different levels of training and experience. Accredited Members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association. The Association has a Code of Ethics & Good Practice and a Complaints Procedure.
- Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision (APECS)
The Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision (APECS) is the professional body for executive coaching and for the supervision of executive coaches. The Association is made up of a number of different membership categories, including Practising Executive Coach and Accredited Executive Coach. Accredited Members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association. Members are bound by Ethical Guidelines and a Complaints Procedure.
- UK International Coach Federation (ICF)
The International Coach Federation is the professional association for personal and business coaches worldwide. Coaches can become accredited by the ICF, who have three grades of membership: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC), with the different categories standing for different levels of training and experience. Master Certified Coach’s have achieved a substantial level of training and experience. Members of ICF are accountable to a professional code of ethics.
- International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring (IAPC&M)
Established in 2004 as ECI Accreditation Limited, and most recently recognised as the IIC&M, the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring (IAPC&M) is an independent not-for-profit organisation, run by coaches and mentors for the benefit of coaches, mentors and training providers around the world. There are a number of different membership categories including associate members, accredited members and professional members. The IAPC&M have their own standards, ethics and complaint procedure.
- European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)
EMCC UK is part of the Europe-wide European Mentoring & Coaching Council. Together their aim is to promote good practice and the expectation of good practice in mentoring and coaching across Europe. EMCC is an independent, impartial and non-profit making organisation. There are a number of different membership categories including Associate Member, Master Member and Professional Member. Their members adhere to a code of ethics and an established complaints procedure.
NLP professional bodies
- The Association for NLP (ANLP)
The Association for Neuro Linguistic Programming (ANLP) is a UK Association for NLP Professionals. This organisation is a Community Interest Company, which means that they are recognised as a social enterprise which exists to enhance NLP and support the NLP community. ANLP have several levels of membership, including Associate Members, Professional Members and Trainer Members. Members are required to provide copies of their qualifications and testimonials to ANLP to ensure that they meet their criteria for membership. All members are bound by a code of ethics and an established complaints procedure.
- NLP Association of Excellence (NLPEA)
The NLP Association of Excellence (NLPEA) is a recognised accrediting body for Coaching and NLP. The key aims of the association are to provide ethical standards in the practice of NLP and coaching and to protect and benefit the public through the registration of only qualified professionals. Membership levels include Certified NLP Practitioners, NLP Master Practitioners and NLP Trainers. All members adhere to a code of ethics and are covered by NLPEA's complaints procedure.
- International NLP Trainers Association (INLPTA)
International NLP Trainers Association (INLPTA) is an international association of NLP Trainers and Master Trainers who have agreed to abide by and uphold INLPTA's standards of quality, professionalism and ethics in their NLP training and in the conduct of their NLP business. Their membership levels comprise NLP Practitioners, NLP Master Practitioners, Trainers and Master Trainers, all of which work to an established code of ethics and complaints procedure.
This list of professional organisations is not exhaustive, and more can be found on our Useful Resources page.
Here at Life Coach Directory, we recognise the value of being a member of a professional body, and for those of you who are wary about visiting a life coach, we would suggest choosing a life coach on our site who is a member of a professional body. This way you know they are part of an organisation that offers a code of ethics and a complaints procedure.