build a life coaching business

Can I be a coach without certification?

Let’s start with the main question here – Can you be a coach without certification? Do you really need a qualification to coach or not?

“It depends”

Coaching online is not very easy to regulate. However certain countries will require you to have a qualification to even call yourself a coach or offer services in their country. And admittedly I completely agree with that. But it’s also near impossible to regulate online.

That said I’m comfortable contradicting myself in this matter and I will explain why. If you’re not qualified you can still make a good business coach, marketing coach, sales coach, and similar coaches where perhaps experience in the field is more important than a formal coaching qualification.

However, if you’re a life coach, parenting coach, health coach, or similar it would be almost unethical to operate without a coaching license or qualification. That said there’s also an issue with qualification recognition in some cases, for example certain ‘nutrition coach’ qualifications are only valid in the country of the program.

can i be life coach without a qualification

Because of these various situations, every coach needs to ethically navigate their own qualification/background. Online it’s easier to cheat – but cheaters have very short ‘lives’ as the old Maltese saying goes. Ultimately you don’t just need to think you can, you must first and foremost deliver results.

In fact, the first step in your coaching business and potentially your biggest preoccupation should be to achieve the best possible results for your clients.

If you’re not getting those results you probably need further training and/or experience. If you are achieving great results for your clients already, you probably don’t need a qualification because your background has already given you what you need.

For example, I don’t have a formal coaching qualification. I do however have a degree in education, and many years of experience teaching different subjects to adults, from Italian, English, Html, Special Needs software, Web development, Social Media Marketing, and SEO. I’ve also taught children and adults with special needs so I’m no stranger to the psychology of motivation and customizing programs.

I also owned my own advertising agency for over 10 years, so I have extensive experience managing a marketing business and the marketing of a portfolio of hundreds of clients from many different industries. I’ve also been hired to design courses and was involved in the development of the local national curriculum.

My background has prepared me well to become a marketing coach – I chose to call myself a coach to easily explain the level of support I give.


do i need a certificate to be a life coach


What about you?

Do you have enough experience to get your clients the desired result?

Do you work in a field that is regulated?

Make your own decisions based on your situation. You can also try to start your business and get qualified as you go along. There is no straight road, the journey you take is entirely your choice and you don’t have to follow someone else’s path.

I have had clients, and business coaches who didn’t have a formal coaching qualification but had and Masters’s Degree in Business and some experience running a company. For me, that seems enough qualification if they can also provide proof they are getting results for their clients. I would hire them.

What about you?
Would you hire them?
Or do you prefer to work with qualified coaches?

The way you feel about hiring is often the way you’ll feel about yourself. Imposter Syndrome will creep in – it will affect your confidence which in turn will affect the quality of your marketing and messaging. So make sure you pick the option that makes you feel confident and deserving of a successful coaching practice.

So analyze where you sit on this spectrum and decide if you actually need that qualification.

Recommended Listening: How to Build A Coaching Business that Makes You Happy