Announced June 1, 2006 by the ACO Board of Directors
Updated July 10, 2013

It’s not just ADHD coaches who are noticing the number of other professionals who are co-opting the title “coach.” Some management consultants, some therapists, some teachers and tutors, and a host of others in helping professions are calling themselves coaches.

According to the International Coach Federation (ICF)

“If you are considering hiring a coach, be diligent in asking the coach whether he or she has been specifically trained in coaching skills… Don’t be misled into thinking someone is a competent coach because he or she has other professional credentials or sets high fees.”

Key in that advice is training: specific training in coaching skills.
The ACO supports the value of coach-specific training, as well as education in the field of ADHD and ADHD coaching, as critical to the effective practice of ADHD coaching.

Therefore, because ACO Coaches are, first and foremost, coaches who endorse and accept the coaching paradigm of the ICF, and who additionally have specific training and expertise in coaching people and/or groups affected by ADHD, the ACO is implementing specific criteria for Professional Membership.

It is not the intent of the ACO to credential or certify any member’s qualifications or skill level. However, it is important to our mission of promoting ADHD coaches and coaching worldwide that we protect the integrity of the “Professional Member” designation of the ACO.

What are the requirements for a professional member?

In order to be listed as a Professional ACO Coach, new members will need to provide information declaring:

Evidence of an active coaching practice
and either

  • 72 hours of ADHD coach specific training taught by an ICF credentialed MCC or PCC coach

OR

OR

  • 60 hours of coach specific training provided by an ICF approved school or taught by an ICF credentialed MCC or PCC coach,
    PLUS
  • 12 hours of addition training about ADHD and/or ADHD Coaching provided by a Masters or PhD level expert or by an ICF credentialed MCC or PCC coach or by a specific source recognized by the ACO.

So what’s the difference between a Professional Member and an Associate Member?

The only difference in benefits between the two levels is that Professional Members only are listed in the publicly searchable “Find a Coach” directory.

The entire database is available to all members after logging into the members-only portion of the website.This way members looking for others with particular skills, training, or for other information can find members who might fill a specific need.

Associate Members who wish to become Professional Members will be supported and encouraged by the ACO and its membership in their efforts to do so.

How will the organization find out what level of coach I am?

During the sign-up process, prospective members must fill out a form which includes specific information about training, experience and business. The ACO expects ethical behavior from its members. Therefore, we trust that the information you provide on the application will be accurate and correct.

If you are sure there is no question that you qualify for professional membership, you may complete the form and then pay dues. If you are not sure, you may complete and submit the form and wait for approval from the ACO. Generally this takes a few days, but should not be more than a week. If you do not hear back, please use the contact form here to poke the office.

For complete information, please check the FAQ online here.