By Bob Browy, Guest Contributor, and Sarah D. Wright, Editor

One of the questions the ACO is most frequently asked is, “How do I get certified as an ADHD Coach?” As this is of keen interest to so many coaches, we thought our readers would appreciate an in-depth answer. This is, therefore, the first in a series of articles on ADHD Coach Certification.

paaccoacheslogoADHD Coaching has been practiced for 20 years. But it didn’t appear on the scene fully formed. It took many practitioners and many years of experience to define exactly what ADHD Coaching is, and therefore to be able to determine if someone is a competent practitioner. The Professional Association of ADHD Coaches (PAAC), was founded in 2009 by Barbara Luther, Chana Klein, and a cadre of dedicated and experienced coaches to do just that.

Prior to starting PAAC, the founders were evaluators at the International Coach Federation (ICF), the oldest, largest, and best known of the life coach certification bodies. Rather than starting from scratch, they took this well-established model and adapted it, developing their specialty certification for ADHD Coaches. This process took three years, as they meticulously developed their ADHD coaching competencies and code of ethics, and put all their evaluators through the certification process.

PAAC began certifying coaches in 2012, where, like the ICF, they now offer three levels of certification with differing requirements:

  • Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner (CACP)
  • Professional Certified ADHD Coach (PCAC)
  • Master Certified ADHD Coach (MCAC)

PAAC, again like the ICF, has created 11 core competencies, but unlike the ICF, PAAC’s competencies are specifically adapted for coaching those affected by ADHD. The PAAC professional ADHD coaching competencies are grouped into three distinct competency areas:

  • Partnership – Competencies that help the coach sstablish a strong partnership with the client,
  • Exploration – Competencies that invite the client to fully explore, learn, and reach clarity, and
  • Action – Competencies that fully supports the client in examining possibilities and creating powerful actions to forward his/her progress.

Starting this month, and for the next few months, we will examine both the certification process and the core competencies that PAAC developed to help you both understand the core skills necessary to be an ADHD Coach and to prepare for the PAAC certification, should you choose to pursue it.

You can start by listening to this webinar on Everything You Wanted to Know About PAAC Credentialing with ACO member coaches Elizabeth Vieira-Richard and Chana Klein.

Bob Browy was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult and sought out a coach to help him understand and manage his ADHD. With the help of the tools he learned from his coach, Bob spent 27 years in the business world as a salesperson, general manager, IT manager, and partner in a successful software development company. Wanting to give back, Bob trained at ADDCA and now works with adults with ADHD. You can reach him at 224-286-4149 and at

SarahDWrightSarah D. Wright is a founding board member of the ACO, author of ADHD Coaching Matters: The Definitive Guide and currently serves as Circle editor. She can be reached at