ADHD Coaching Qualifications… A touchy subject

I had planned to write part 2 of “Welcome Home, College Graduates!”, but I received a note this weekend that pushed me toward the subject of ADHD coaching qualifications.  I am frustrated, plain and simple.  What will it take for the ADHD coaching community to come together and agree upon what ADHD coaching is, and is not? We talk about training and credentials and the need for life coach training in addition to ADHD specific training.  But is it just “talk” or are people seriously doing something to professionalize our field?  I read an article about a coach training program being launched by a group of well-meaning individuals who understand ADHD  and the neurobiology of the brain, but they are not trained  in the fundamentals of life coaching or the intricacies of ADHD coaching.  Would you consider a untrained group  ready to unleash a program labeled as ADHD Coach Training? Does anyone else see how this creates confusion for both prospective clients, coach trainees and fellow coaches?  I have been a coach for 16 years and a coach trainer for 6 years and I am STILL having this conversation with myself and a few coaches who understand my frustration. Just last week, ICF President, Ed Modell, spoke to at the Capital Coaches Conference and announced that starting in April 2012, ICF Coach Members must have a minimum of 60 hours of approved coach training before becoming a member.  Provisional memberships will be made available to support those on the way to the 60 hours, but the message is clear. Get trained in coaching! The ACO is starting to look at members and identify those who have been fully trained and qualify to become professional members. Unfortunately, some consumers still have difficulty weeding out the coaches from the non-coaches and that gets confusing and, again, frustrating!  I appreciate the time, energy and volunteer effort that goes into making this changes to a fast-growing organization. IAAC is credentialing coaches and double checking applicants’ training, coaching and mentor hours and requiring oral and written exams of applicants. This is a good start but we need to get MORE coaches to see the value of training, experience and credentialing. So, what can we, you and I, do about this issue?  Be informed. Talk about it.  Blog about it.  Get trained. Encourage your friends and colleagues to get trained.  Go for certification.  When in doubt, ask questions, participate in online forums and telecalls.  Do whatever it takes to move ADHD coaching to the next level of professionalism. It is good for all of us and for those wonderful clients we serve.