Once you have established yourself as a life coach or business coach and started getting your practice off the ground, you might consider becoming a member of a professional coaching association. Members of reputable coaching associations can use their membership credentials to set themselves apart from the competition, and most coaching associations deliver targeted traffic to qualified coaches from their central website. There are a number of coaching associations offering their services to the industry, but the three most influential organizations include the International Association of Coaching, the International Coach Federation and the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches.

The International Association of Coaching (IAC)

The International Association of Coaching is a global coach certifying body with a mission to encourage the development and application coaching standards throughout the coaching industry. In an industry with no formal governing body, the purpose of the IAC is to provide professional coaches with a method of distinguishing themselves with credentials that prove that they have the highest skill set that the industry has to offer.

The International Coach Federation (ICF)

The International Coach Federation is both the oldest and the largest global coaching association in existence today. The ICF also has a set of standards that coaches must meet in order to become members, and certification from the ICF is similar in scope to that of the IAC. This organization also competes and commissions a substantial amount of research regarding the state of the industry and new developments in coaching methodologies throughout the world. Members have access to the ICF research database through their central website.

The Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC)

The Worldwide Association of Business Coaches is the only international coaching association devoted solely to needs and interests of business and executive coaching industry. The WABC was formed in 1997 to assist internal and external business coaches working with clients through businesses, institutions, governments and other organizations. Coaches can choose between an affiliate membership for use the WABC name, resource library and other benefits or a full membership with access to WABC client leads, referrals and support services.