Becoming an ADHD or Life coach seems to be everywhere these days. But the truth is, a coach is not a coach. So there is a real need for well-trained professional ADHD Life Coaches.
That…and the increased awareness that individuals living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are unique humans capable of living fulfilling lives is making ADHD coaching one of the first go-to accompanying resources suggested by the medical community.
This is why I am so passionate about ADHD coach training programs and why the International ADHD Coach Training Center (iACTcenter) invests so much time, effort, and resources into developing and supporting our students as they grow into Certified ADHD Life Coaches™ (CALC).
Unfortunately, not all training programs, particularly when it comes to ADHD coaching, are created equal.
The key to identifying the right ADHD training for you is to look at the programs’ distinctions and the certifying and credentialing powers behind the program.
The following are seven questions to help you know if an ADHD coaching program is the right one for you.
What to Ask of Your ADHD Life CoachTM Training Program
1. Is the training program ICF approved?
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the largest regulating body for coaches and coaching programs. This 25-year organization guides the ethics and standards of professional coaching. A training program without an ICF approval means you do not know the quality of training or coaching quality.
Other questions related to whether the training program is ICF-approved include the following:
- What is the credentialing level of the program’s Directors and Facilitators? First, it is essential to know the competency of the trainers. An ICF credential shows that they have met the coaching practice standards, like passing a medical exam.
- What is the experience of the trainers and facilitators? How long have they been coaching? Where did they get their training? The trainer’s real-world experience becomes a valuable example of helping you learn to coach. All trainers with the iACTcenter MUST also be actively coaching clients.
- Do I need previous coach training to take ADHD Life Coach™ training? No. You need an interest and passion for making a difference and a desire to invest in yourself to serve others.
2. What is the overall quality of the program?
Do you know who oversees the curriculum and their specific background and experience?
As a trained Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, I have spent years and advanced educational degrees to understand neurodivergent brains. The neurobiology of ADHD, treatment options, co-conditions, and 20 years as an ADHD Life Coach™, is a resource for individuals who want to coach those living with an ADHD diagnosis. It is a specific niche with a dedicated focus that augments the curriculum providing you with the advanced neurobiological understanding useful when coaching ADHD clients.
Other questions to focus on regarding the overall quality:
- Who are the graduates themselves? Are they individuals who resonate with you?
- What is the breadth of the program? For example, do topics include the lifespan of individuals living with an ADHD diagnosis, emotions, culture, understanding family history, co-existing conditions, explanations of the brain’s neurobiology, executive functions, diagnostic options, treatment options, and so on? Understanding what the program teaches helps you to compare the value of programs.
3. What does the program include?
More than anything, you must compare training programs that seem to offer similar training.
Questions to ask of the training program include:
- How many hours of continuing education are earned in the training program?
- Is there any 1:1 training? Group training? Opportunity to observe, practice, and ask questions about actual coaching?
- Is coach mentoring included?
- In addition to the program fee, are there any additional costs (e.g., books, software, mentoring, additional training I will need to be prepared to apply for an ICF credential?
- After graduation, is there ongoing support to answer any questions that may arise as I start my own coaching business?
4. What is the graduation rate?
ADHD coach training is a commitment. You are investing in a profession, not a weekend seminar.
As a new profession, it takes a full year to complete training to give you the tools, competency, and confidence to use your ADHD life coach training in conjunction with your passion for making a difference while making a living.
An 80% graduation rate is impressive, especially for the length of the program’s commitment. That is the iACTcenter’s graduation rate. Other programs have a 20% graduation rate. This is not great.
Ask the training facilitator what type of graduation support is in place to ensure students complete the program within the allotted time frame.
What is provided for you to feel confident that your time, energy, and tuition investment will help you complete your graduation goal and beyond?
5. Is there any curriculum on how to build a coaching business?
Being taught how to be a good ADHD Life Coach™ is essential. Knowing how to build a business foundation is equally crucial. Suppose an ADHD coach training program is not providing you with the necessary information to build a sustainable business with a solid client base. In that case, you will not make a sustainable living nor continue making the impact and difference you set out to make.
Ask how many hours of specific business training they offer as part of their program. How current is it? How is it made available to you? Is it taught live, only at certain times in their training? Is there ongoing access for your business questions answered throughout your training?
Is there an extra cost for this training, or is it included in the program?
The iACTcenter updates its courses each semester based on student feedback, changes in technology, research, and current coaching best practices. This includes keeping our business content fresh, giving you the fullest experience, and setting our graduates up for success.
6. What does certification mean from their organization? Is the certification and training program known for providing quality training in larger circles?
To be a Certified ADHD Life Coach™ (CALC), only one organization can provide this specific training – the iACTcenter.
A Certified ADHD Life Coach™ is very specific. So specific that it is trademarked. It was created due to the lack of emphasis and attention on the holistic experience of persons with ADHD available through other training programs. An iACTcenter trained ADHD Life Coach™ specializes in ADHD and knows that people with ADHD are more than just their ADHD.
Training that teaches someone to be an ADHD Coach or a Life Coach are very different.
At the iACTcenter, we train our coaches according to the competencies of the ICF. Hence, they graduate with strong skills as a coach, along with the in-depth information to have advanced expertise in ADHD and appreciate how ADHD impacts their clients’ lives as a whole.
Other training programs claim you need additional training or special ADHD certification credentialing only offered through their program to be an ADHD coach. This is false. Plain and simple.
To become a credentialed ADHD Life Coach™, ADHD Coach, or Life Coach in general, you do NOT NEED ANYTHING OTHER THAN AN ICF CREDENTIAL. A credential earned by trained assessors approving you meet the standards of the ICF. Period.
7. How easy is it to connect and invest?
Training is an investment in yourself and your future. Does the program make it easy for you to do just that – invest in yourself?
For instance, at the iACTcenter, we offer a scholarship to anyone who qualifies, helping them to reduce the financial barrier. Since we opened the scholarship six years ago, each semester, the Julien Mussi Scholarship is awarded to anyone aiming to use their training to work with an underserved ADHD population. The truth is nearly every place in the world is underserved regarding ADHD. Over the years, we have awarded thousands of dollars to students worldwide to increase the affordability of training to be a Certified ADHD Life Coach (CALC).
We also make it easy for people to contact and communicate with us. It may seem a small distinction, but we understand that questions need answers, and you want to be sure you are making the best investment in your time, energy, and finances in choosing your training program.
We understand that the quality of a training program starts before you even register. It begins the moment you realize that you want to do, be, and give more. Answer that calling for living your purpose. We focus on making it easy to do just that as a Certified ADHD Life Coach (CALC).
The answer to what the right course is for you is entirely up to you. It depends on what you’re looking for, what you want to invest in, what you want your training experience to be, and what you want after graduating.
With the iACTcenter, we recommend taking our short quiz to see if you have what it takes to be an ADHD Life Coach™. This is a significant first step. The questions directly reflect what experience fulfilled ADHD Life Coaches have said is essential for them to be satisfied in their work.
When you know why you want to become an ADHD Life Coach™, what you want in a training program, and understand each program’s nuances, you are well on your way to making a difference in others’ lives while also making a living.
I encourage you to contact the iACTcenter training center to get a feel for who will be supporting you in your Certified ADHD Life Coach (CALC) training journey.