Accreditation Corner
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Welcome to the AC Accreditation Corner blog. Here we will be posting everything you need to know about AC Accreditation. If you are: an individual who is looking to be accredited (or are already and want to connect with other AC Accredited Coaches), an organisation wondering how to have your training programme accredited through the AC, an internal coach looking to see how your Membership body can further support you and your team or a Supervisor looking to support others through AC Accreditation (or are undertaking it yourself) then this is where you need to be!


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What sets Accreditation apart? By Jeannette Marshall AC Director of Accreditation

Posted By AC Administrator, 19 August 2019

What sets Accreditation apart?

One of the best things about my role in the AC is that I get to connect with other coaches across the globe on a regular basis, often virtually through Skype call or webinars, or sometimes in person if I’m invited to an event or conference.

In all cases it isn’t long before the conversation turns to what AC accreditation is all about. And then I start to have some really interesting conversations!

As we know, not all coaches come to coaching through a prescribed route. Some of us have gained a lot of experience in coaching delivery, having undertaken minimal training beforehand. For many coaches, this minimal training would not be enough to enable them to apply to become accredited at Foundation or Foundation Executive Coach level, never mind at the other three levels.

This is where the AC is different from some of the other membership bodies. We recognise that not all coaches undertake the required 35+ hours of coach training (which is the minimum requirement for entry at Foundation or Foundation Executive level) before starting to work as a coach. For AC Coach Accreditation, we count cumulative coaching delivery experience and training – and there is no limit to how long ago that training or coaching delivery took place, provided that the applicant can evidence this in their accreditation submission.

For many coaches I meet, this is a revelation and it’s wonderful to be able to encourage them to apply at a higher level than they originally thought they would eligible for. Often this is the difference between them joining the ever-growing band of AC Accredited Coaches at Coach, Professional or even Master level (provided they meet the other eligibility criteria, of course).

The other surprise for many coaches is that we count many different types of activities in the CPD requirement. For example, input-oriented activities include:

  • Courses or workshops you have attended as a participant
  • Seminars, lectures and conferences you have attended as a participant
  • Studying for further qualifications (coach-related) e.g. diplomas, Masters etc.
  • Reading books, journals, online magazines, newsletters
  • Online discussion forums e.g. AC LinkedIn discussions you have participated in or followed
  • AC Group Supervision Experience calls you have attended

And output-oriented activities include:

  • Developing others through designing, developing or delivering training, workshops, seminars, CPD events etc.
  • Presenting at conferences, lecturing
  • Writing books, articles, papers, book reviews etc.
  • Leading online discussion forums, e.g. AC LinkedIn discussions
  • Publishing research
  • Involvement in AC volunteer work

So, by attending a couple of the AC webinars such as Collaborative Conversations with Masters (which are a member benefit), reading a couple of books, connecting with other AC Members through the online groups on the AC website, writing book reviews for the AC Coaching Perspective Magazine and then perhaps offering to contribute to the AC by support events or the co-coaching forums you can easily accumulate (or possibly exceed!) the minimum CPD hour required per year for your level of AC Accreditation.

So, in short, my role is often about sharing good news – which can’t be a bad thing!

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Everything is impossible - until it happens! By Jeannette Marshall AC Director of Accreditation

Posted By AC Administrator, 07 June 2019

“Everything is impossible – until it happens!”

How true is this? I was fortunate to see Noel Fitzpatrick (aka Supervet) at the Arena in Birmingham on Saturday 17th November 2018. Seldom have I been moved to tears, to laughter, to inspiration, and to sheer thought-provoking contemplation in the way that I was for those few hours. Noel managed to take his audience on a journey with him from his humble beginnings to a promising future for all of mankind. A journey filled with hope, devastation, joy, loss and ultimately sheer dogged (excuse the pun!) determination to achieve what he has set out to do. 

I was struck by his passion and belief to deliver his childhood dream of becoming “Vet Man” to the world, no matter what obstacles he faced. Each time he was knocked back he sought solace in going back to his Chestnut tree – his source of strength – and somehow found the courage to continue.
He told the story of a working dog who had been injured and the faith of the Farmer who owned him in knowing (not thinking or hoping) that Noel could heal his dog. Noel himself was doubtful and, using a kitchen table as a makeshift operating table, he did what he could. The dog recovered and was left with only a slight limp. Noel was astounded that he’d managed to help this dog in the way he did, believing at the time that survival with all limbs intact was nigh on impossible. The Farmer said profoundly “Everything is impossible – until it happens!”

The hairs stood up on the back of my neck when, in an auditorium holding thousands of people, you could have heard a pin drop when he told the tale of Bella, the dog he couldn’t save. It would have been so easy for Noel to stop pushing the boundaries at that point, to give in and settle for what he already had. He chose to ignore the voice in his head that told him he wasn’t good enough/clever enough/experienced enough and continued to work towards getting more practical experience to prove he could do what he was wanting to do. He has succeeded in way that exceeds all of his initial expectations – he is changing the face of medical science as we know it.

So many people have a dream and seek to do great things; many do not have a supporter to encourage them to continue. For Coaches, the work that we do with our clients enables us to see others achieving dreams day in, day out. We truly do know at first-hand that “Everything is impossible – until it happens!”

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There is still time to make 2019 your best coaching year yet by Jeannette Marshall

Posted By AC Administrator, 01 May 2019

Spring has sprung across many parts of the globe.

New Year is almost a distant memory, along with many of our new-year resolutions (remember I believe in goals not resolutions!).

There is still time to make 2019 your best coaching year yet. As we move through the second quarter of the year - Spring (for those of us who are entering the season) brings with it renewed optimism and hope. The world is waking up. It is a fresh start.

If you are committed to personally and professionally driving your coaching skills, and business, forward then please allow me to invite you to continue with reinvigorated enthusiasm and keep going, or take that leap once more.

Here at the Association for Coaching (AC) we are advancing coaching in business and society, world-wide. Join us at this critical time to further develop your knowledge and skills as an individual and as your profession. Let us together raise the bar, increase coaching standards and strive for industry excellence. In the increasingly crowded marketplace we coaches inhabit, there is a need to differentiate - to demonstrate clearly what we offer, and there are ways that the AC can help you to do this – an important one being accreditation.

Inspired to look deeper into AC accreditation and the benefits it may bring?

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Take positive action in 2019 – achieve your goals, make a plan. By Jeannette Marshall AC Director of Accreditation.

Posted By AC Administrator, 17 February 2019

The first month of 2019 has been and gone.  Did you make any new year’s resolutions?

If you did, have you stuck to them?

To those that did – many congratulations! Because according to
‘Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.’ 
I believe that goals, rather than resolutions, are the way to take positive action toward having your best year ever. Forbes agrees with me - their advice is:
‘Don’t be part of that statistic. This year, set goals instead of resolutions.’

Show of hands – how many coaches have set goals to grow their businesses in 2019?

Are any of your business goals:
To deliver to more clients?
Set up your coaching practice?
Promote your training programme?
Write your book?
Become Accredited with the AC?

If any are, ensure you commit to creating a plan and map out clear actions to take on a daily basis. Because even if you set a goal, in reality, a goal without a plan may not last any longer than a traditional new year’s resolution. 

Greg Reid, Author of ‘Footsteps of the Fearless: Futureproof your Life’ said: 
‘A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.’

Do you know one simple step you can take immediately to potentially grow your business in 2019, in a manner that you personally have control over?
You can decide to invest in your own skills and credentials. I recommend taking action to becoming globally recognized as an AC accredited coach, because accreditation has the power to grow your business and help you attract more clients. 

But what might prevent you from booking out the time to attend training, CPD or networking events, which will help you on your journey toward accreditation?
Maybe the perception of what it will cost and the time it will take? However, it’s all about mind-set and there is another viewpoint - one which I believe is more accurate.
It’s an investment with an attractive future return.
By investing in yourself you are investing in your business, and that investment will pay dividends. 

Will you take positive action to make your dream happen this year?

Let us help you realise that dream! If you are truly committed to this year being the year you become an AC Accredited Coach simply book onto a webinar to find out how we can support you in your journey toward AC accreditation!


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Ten questions I'm never asked (and should be!) by Jeannette Marshall

Posted By AC Administrator, 14 December 2018

Ten Questions I’m never asked (and should be!)

1.     My training course was fifteen years ago and only over 21 hours, do I need to retrain?

a.     The AC recognises cumulative training, so although the original training you undertook was 15 years ago, you may well have done further training since then such as: Clean Language, NLP, Time to Think, Positive Psychology Coaching or many others, which can all be counted towards your Coach Training hours. All you need to do is to check (and tell us) how the training maps across to the AC Coaching Competency Framework.

2.     I can’t find my certificate from my training – what can I do?

a.     Even if you cannot find the certificate, you may have copies of communications between you and the training organisation. We will accept scanned copies of these, or e-mails confirming that you did do the training (provided it confirms the dates when you did this)

3.     Is the AC Coach Accreditation Scheme any different from those offered by other coaching bodies?


a.     All of the professional coaching bodies are committed to maintaining standards and striving for excellence in coaching. The key distinguishing features of the AC Scheme include:

        It is designed to be inclusive of coaches from different backgrounds, training and experience rather than prescribing a route to accreditation. The Scheme focuses on accrediting fitness to practice rather than being overtly academic or theoretical.

        It allows coaches to benchmark themselves against high professional standards, and to provide reassurance to buyers of coaching regarding the level of experience and capability of coaches.

        The Scheme offers a four--‐tiered approach, so you can apply for accreditation at the level of experience and capability you have currently, and you can then follow a developmental path of progression through progressive levels of accreditation, moving from novice through to highly experienced coach.

·        The Scheme offers a choice of two accreditation types, whichever is the most relevant to you --‐ Coach Accreditation and Executive Coach Accreditation. The latter accreditation type is designed to allow those who coach primarily in organisational settings to be accredited for that specialism. Both types of accreditation are equal in terms of standards.

4.     Why are there different levels of accreditation?

 a.      We introduced a levelled approach because, as the coaching market has become increasingly fragmented, buyers of coaching have told us that they are looking for coaches at different levels of experience and competence. They have also reported that as more coaches appear on the market these buyers are finding it difficult to differentiate and choose between them. Accreditation can help both the coach and a buyer with this.

 At the same time, people are making a deliberate career choice to become a coach, many full --‐time. As such, a levelled approach to accreditation provides a clear career path for both aspiring coaches and highly experienced coaches. It therefore offers a level of professional recognition and status that reflects varying levels of experience as a coach.

5.     How do I put together a log of my coaching hours when I have been coaching for so long?

 a.      Keeping an on--‐going log of your experience of coaching is a good discipline to get into, and will be helpful for your accreditation renewal. Meanwhile we recommend using your old records including invoices for compiling your coaching record to date.

6.     Does the AC offer Coaching Supervision?

 a.      The AC does not offer supervision, though as a member you can access the monthly AC Group Supervision Experience Calls which are hosted by experienced Supervisors. This enables you understand what group coaching is and how it may work for you. For the purposes of AC Accreditation, attendance at these calls will count as CPD and not supervision simply because the hosts rotate, and this does not allow you to develop the Supervisor/Supervisee relationship sufficiently for them to be able to provide a reference for you. The AC does list Accredited Supervisors and Coaches providing supervision on the AC website.

7.     What support does the AC provide to help me become accredited?

 a.      As well as providing full guidance documentation in the AC Applicant Guide, the AC also runs regular AC Coach Accreditation Support Calls in which you can raise questions with AC Accreditation experts and network with other accreditation applicants. Details can be found on the website. If you cannot find the information you need elsewhere, you may raise questions with the Accreditation Office at

8.     Why is accreditation only valid for a fixed period?

 a.      As the purpose of accreditation is to confirm that a coach has an active coaching practice and is continuing to develop skills, gain experience and develop him or herself, accreditation is time--‐limited.

9.     Do I need to record a coaching session?

 a.      For all levels above Foundation or Foundation Executive Coach we require you to submit a recording of a live session with a client (with their permission). In this way, the Assessors can really see the evidence of how you deliver your coaching against the AC Coaching Competency Framework

10. I’ve changed supervisors and haven’t been with them for the required period for my desired level of AC Accreditation. What can I do?

 a.      We will accept a reference from more than one Supervisor to evidence that you do meet the requirements ratio for supervision to coaching hours. This will also mean that if you have a mixture of 1-1 Supervision and Group Supervision you will be eligible to apply for AC Coach Accreditation at whichever level your meet the criteria for.


Tags:  Accreditation 

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Ten questions I'm always asked! by Jeannette Marshall

Posted By AC Administrator, 07 December 2018

Ten questions I’m always asked:

1.     Can I include prior experience from a previous role or experience before I undertook training?

a. Yes, the AC does recognise prior experience, and all can be included provided you can evidence the Organisation, dates you worked with them, whether it was Individual or team coaching and whether it was Executive Coaching; all of which can be entered into the Coaching Experience Log provided for AC Accreditation

2.     I coach within an organisation as part of my role, so does this count as pro-bono coaching as I don’t invoice?

a. This would count towards your paid hours of coaching as it is part of the role for which you are being paid

3.     Does my client need to be a Board Member for it to count as “Executive Coaching”?

a. For the purpose of the Executive Coach Accreditation Scheme, experience counted as ‘Executive Coaching’ is that where coaching has been undertaken in the context of the coachee’s work. It could be in the context of their role in an organisation (of any size) or role in self-employment. It may include, for example, performance coaching, leadership coaching, career development coaching and business coaching. It is not restricted to senior leaders or executives, coachees at any level can be included. The coaching can be self-commissioned or self-funded or commissioned and/or funded by the employer.

4.     What counts as “Coach training”?

                        a. You can include any training that can be mapped across to the AC Coaching Competency Framework.

            You cannot include:

·        any training which is not specifically focused on developing your coaching skills or knowledge, such as MBTI training and DISC, which should be recorded as CPD

·        Include short learning events which would count as CPD rather than training

·        Double-count CPD activities which you include in the CPD section

5.     I don’t have enough coaching hours to apply for Professional Coach yet, what should I do?

a. The best thing to do is to apply for the level of AC Coach Accreditation that you are currently eligible for and then to upgrade once you have gathered additional experience. You do not have to wait for three years until your application becomes renewable to upgrade; you can do this at any time by submitting further evidence for an Upgrade application (which is less than submitting a full application)

6.     What counts as team or group coaching?

a. When counting hours of coaching experience, team and group coaching may be included under the following criteria:

·  The coaching involves you coaching a team or group with a shared purpose or learning agenda

·  The coaching is in some way directed at the team or group’s capacity to achieve goals, including the capacity to work with others to achieve the desired results 

·  The coaching is distinct from Training: it is not facilitative training, or training in a coaching mode, or training with a coaching focus; it involves minimal or no instructional element

·  Specific one-to-one coaching within a team or group event may be counted as individual coaching, so long as this is not double counted as team or group coaching.’

7.     Can I count hours of coaching if I haven’t received a payment for it?

a. Coaching delivered as part of a service exchange without payment (for example one hour of coaching delivered in exchange for one hour’s marketing consultation) will be counted as paid hours for the purposes of AC Coach Accreditation

8.     I coached my last client three months ago; can they provide me with a reference?

a. Provided the client reference that you submit was from an individual you worked with in the preceding 18 months up to the date of your submission, that will be acceptable.

9.     How do I know if my supervision arrangements meet the requirements for Coach Accreditation?

a. Ensure that you can fulfil the following requirements for supervision by participating in one or more of the following:

·        One-to-one Coaching Supervisor to Coach

·        One-to-one peer coaching supervision

·        Group coaching supervision

·        Peer group coaching supervision

10. What is Group Supervision?

a. In addition to one-to-one supervision, you can choose to work with several coaches together with a Coaching Supervisor in a group supervision arrangement. In this arrangement, the Coaching Supervisor maintains responsibility for the group and leads the group, ensuring each coach receives effective supervision.
Group supervision can be face-to-face and/or by telephone/video conference such as Skype.
In Group Supervision, the permissible hours you can record as supervision are as follows: the time when you are actively presenting and receiving feedback on your coaching work, plus any time when you are actively listening to and giving feedback to a fellow supervisee on their coaching work.

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An introduction from Jeannette Marshall AC Director of Accreditation

Posted By AC Administrator, 29 November 2018

Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m Jeannette Marshall, Director of Accreditation and part of the one AC Leadership Team. I’ve been a member of the Association for Coaching since 2002 when I naively answered a plea to help support the newly developing AC Membership Function. Thinking there would be many better qualified than I to undertake this role, it was some months before I realised that I was the only applicant in the frame!


Fast forward 16 years and I’ve now held various roles within the AC from Membership Secretary, Head of Membership, Head of UK Operations, AC Coach Accreditation Assessor Lead, Head of Accreditation, Vice Chair UK to Chair UK – so I guess you could say the AC is well and truly part of what I do and Membership of the AC has certainly underpinned my coaching work. Maintaining and upholding standards is a huge element of what I do on a day to day basis and I’m lucky to be supported by fantastic teams (the AC Accreditation Team – more about those later!) and the Assessor Team who contribute their time, energy and professional experience to  enable me to get on with the job in hand. And both of those teams are ably supported by the wider AC internal administrative functions and the wider AC Regional, Leadership and Global Teams.


My current role in the AC is to oversee all of the AC Accreditation Schemes – currently Individual Coach Accreditation, Coaching Supervisor Accreditation, Coach Training Accreditation and Recognized Course Leader as Coach. We are about to launch a number of new Accreditation and Recognition initiatives, so watch this space!


Over the coming months I’ll be sharing what I do on a regular basis here at the public blog, so please check in regularly to take a look at what myself and the AC Accreditation Team are up to  – let’s enjoy the accreditation journey together!


For those of you who are members (or considering joining the AC community) a highly-valuable benefit of being an AC member is exclusive access to our very own social media platform and virtual network. Once a member has set up an online profile there is opportunity to build professional connections, enter into inspiring conversation in our forums and join a variety of groups!


Those on the path to AC Accreditation (or just generally interested in learning more) are encouraged to consider joining the AC Accreditation Group. The purpose of this AC member-only  group is to be a dedicated area to build professional networks, have a dedicated place for accreditation resources, conversations and learning, where we can connect with AC Members and gather feedback, ideas and thoughts.


Have a member login already? Here’s a link to the AC Accreditation Group

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Why do we need to be accredited? by Jeannette Marshall

Posted By AC Administrator, 22 November 2018


Why do we need to be accredited?

This is a question that I’m often asked!

AC Accreditation indicates to buyers of Coaching and related services that an individual or organization has been assessed as working within a robust Coaching Competency Framework, adheres to The Global Code of Ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors and operates in line with the standards of the accreditation awarded.

As an Individual Accredited Coach with the AC it:

• gives you an opportunity to reflect deeply on your coaching practice as you work through your application and offers a unique opportunity to gain additional value from your Supervisor through sharing elements of your application with them

• proves that you approach your work as a professional – maintaining the required level of continuous professional development, reflective practice and supervision for your level of experience and accredited status

• demonstrates that you work within the AC Coaching Competency Framework and have been assessed against specific indicators, benchmarked against peers in the field

• means that you adhere to the Global Code of Ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors – and your clients understand this when you contract with them

• shows that you champion standards of excellence within the coaching profession

• increases your level of confidence as you benchmark yourself against the AC Coaching Competency Framework

• evidences that not only are you a member of a professional coaching body, but that you actually do what it says on the tin!


For your clients this means that they:

• have increased confidence in your level of skills and expertise as a Coach

• can make an informed decision based on factual evidence of your competence in working within a tried and tested framework

• understand that because you are a member of a Professional Body and adhere to the Global Code of Ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors they can be confident that you have demonstrated experience of working with individuals (and/or teams and groups) in a coaching environment

• know you have undergone training to further enhance and develop your skills

• can be confident that, should anything go awry, you are supported by your membership body and there is a complaints procedure in place


If you are an individual who wants to find out more about how you can become accredited with the AC, please visit the events page on the AC website to find out details about the Accreditation Webinars.

If you are an Organization who wants to find out more about Coach Training Accreditation, please e-mail

I can still remember the thrill I experienced when my first client asked me, not if I was accredited, but who I was accredited with! So, if you’ve been thinking about becoming accredited, don’t delay – contact us now! Jeannette Marshall AC Director of Accreditation

Tags:  Accreditation 

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