+ ICF Accreditation - Why Is It So Important - even for a Life Coach Specializing in Recovery? - BALM

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ICF Accreditation – Why Is It So Important – even for a Life Coach Specializing in Recovery?

BALM | April 28, 2021

When I was considering becoming a life coach in 2008, there were lots of options and only one piece of advice I heard from EVERYONE I asked: Choose a school with ICF (International Coach Federation) Accreditation.

I did and I never looked back.

I did look forward, however, and as soon as I knew that recovery was my niche, I attended and graduated from four other coach training schools to find the full educational experience I needed to serve my clients.

Still, there wasn’t anything on the high level of full ICF Accreditation for those wishing to serve families. So, I created the BALM Family Recovery Life Coach Training Program, thus providing the only fully accredited ICF Life Coach Training Program to focus on recovery and specifically family recovery. Here is a Q and A to fill in the blanks of any questions you may have.

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Who Accredits the BALM Institute and what does that Accreditation add to the training our students receive?

The BALM Institute is an ICF-ACTP (International Coach Federation – Accredited Coach Training Program).

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the premier global accrediting organization for life coaches. Born early in the coaching movement, The ICF has been both the source and the guide of the development of the core competencies and ethical standards and guidelines for life coaches.

To become ICF-Accredited, a life coaching school must go through a rigorous accrediting process that includes inclusion of specific didactic and experiential aspects. This work, of both imparting knowledge and experience must be done planfully to insure value to the students. ICF requires well-planned, substantial training of this type in its accredited schools.

In order to become an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program, a school must have an ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC) as its Training Director to oversee its educational curriculum to insure its compliance with all requirements. Then, the school must operate with all requirements of an ACTP for one full cycle before even applying for Accreditation.

Fully accredited programs include at least 125 hours of live instruction (ours includes live online programming including an onlineMentoring Course and an online Practicum program) for a total of 162 credits all together. Additionally, we offer our students over 140 available classes and recordings on a variety of use disorder and recovery topics at no additional charge as part of their program.

The classes cover Life Coach Training and Family Recovery Life Coach Training, Mentor Coaching Groups, One-on-One Coaching and the  Practicum mentioned above to insure mastery of the revised ICF Core Competencies and PCC Markers, student to student coaching designed to give students practice with each other as they grow as coaches, and business development in order to help them create both a coaching practice and business as they complete their studies.

To graduate and become a Certified BALM Family Recovery Life Coach, students must attend all classes and activities and the Practicum and must hand in two transcripts of their own coaching sessions that demonstrate the ICF Core Competencies. The rigorous process includes regular practice, demonstrations and help along the way to insure that each student has their best chance of passing and operating on the high level a BALM endorsement and accreditation requires.

The courses are all taught by ICF-Certified Coaches and once a student has successfully completed their studies and oral exams, they become eligible to apply for the first level of ICF certification by handing in their BALM Graduation Certificate and coaching for at least 100 hours. Most of our graduates have the opportunity to complete their hours within their first year as a result of the many coaching opportunities the school gives them and encourages them to take.

The last hurdle remaining is the CKA (Coach Knowledge Assessment), an online exam that all applicants must take to become ICF certified. Due to the ongoing instruction, demos, reinforcement and practice provided in our ICF-ACTP, this assessment is not a hurdle for our graduates. Rather, it is just another steppingstone to their becoming a fully certified ICF Coach.

Once ICF-certified, students become qualified to teach in an ICF-Accredited Coach Training Program and open the door to many more opportunities in their coaching careers both in and out of the recovery field.

To become a Certified BALM Coach is to take your education seriously and treat yourself as a professional. To become a Certified ICF Coach after completing our program is to see the value in the profession itself and to take your place as a leader in the Family Recovery Life Coaching field.

CLICK HERE to enroll in our Quick Guide to Family Recovery Life Coach Training. Receive 4 Videos and a PDF Blueprint to A Career in BALM Coaching

or call 1-888-998-2256 option 5 and an admissions representative will contact you to answer your questions and help you determine if this program is a good fit for you!


Looking forward to seeing you soon!


Bev Buncher, MA, PCC, CBFRLC, CTPC

Program Director, BALM Training Institute