UPDATE (October 2014): The IAAC has been formally dissolved as an organization. For information on ADHD Coach Certification, click here.

For the last 3 years, the leaders and volunteers of the Institute for the Advancement of ADHD Coaching (IAAC) have been working to see that the organization grows in stature and significance.  Managing and developing a not-for-profit organization in this demanding economic and professional climate through the work of dedicated volunteers has proven to be no small task.

As the IAAC focused on developing the particulars inherent in a certification process, 72  ADHD coaches were being credentialed as Senior Certified ADHD Coaches though a substantial Grandfathering process.  During this six month Phase 1 process, which ended in February 2008, volunteers were working diligently on preparations to assess and credential ADHD coaches in  Phase 2.

“Any new concept will have some growing pains,” said Harold Meyer, President Elect of the IAAC. “It has taken a longer time than we had hoped to get things in place.  Still, none of us on the Board of Directors ever doubted that this would happen,” added Meyer. “We have made significant strides toward our launch of  Phase 2, general credentialing of ADHD coaches, and toward the future goals of the Institute.”

The IAAC will be qualifying the proficiency of ADHD coaches at 3 levels.

Level 1: Associate Certified ADHD Coach (ACAC)
Level 2: Certified ADHD Coach (CAC)
Level 3: Senior Certified ADHD Coach (SCAC)

How progress will be made

The IAAC has invested thousands of dollars to develop substantial information technology to manage the work of the Institute including member categories, credentialed coach data bases, and an on line application process that will be in place to set the foundation and provide a smooth assessment process. That process will include interactive applications, electronic delivery of written exams and an applicant management system to evaluate 3 levels of coaching skill.  Volunteers have worked tirelessly to establish the competency requirements for credentialing and to develop the extensive materials and processes essential to manage all aspects of credentialing.

The Institute is already expanding the work of the IAAC into the community. We have begun a project to increase the awareness of the value of IAAC credentials to allied professionals and other organizations like the ACO, CHADD and ADDA. Information on the value of IAAC certification has already received mention in ADDitude, Attention, ACO Circle and other publications.  There have been many positive mentions on the net in ADDProfessionals, CHADD-NYC, ADDitude websites and other listserves. We are working with consumer publications with the hope of receiving positive coverage.

Bringing additional top tier ADHD coaches into the IAAC will go a long way to solidifying the future and professionalism of ADHD coaching. IAAC coaches will provide the foundation necessary to bring about the realization that ADHD coaching is a distinct sub-category of professional coaching.

Other goals are to establish the IAAC as a resource for both the public and professionals  wishing to locate qualified, certified ADHD coaches in their area, to define ADHD coaching as a profession, apart from consulting or teaching, therapy or counseling and to grow the value of being a designated ADHD IAAC Coach.

We are also developing additional ways to meet the needs of our members. Developing a non-profit organization staffed with loyal volunteers grappling with finances, retention, and the intention to be collaborative and open to varying ideas and theoretical models is intrinsically challenging.

What the obstacles have been

The IAAC has implemented the complicated process of grandfathering SCAC coaches. This took longer than imagined.  Several factors have slowed the pace of the progress over the past two years. In particular:

  • The terms of founding members of the Institute expired. Some members resigned. The Founding Board had to develop a strategy to transition to a new board of directors. And The new board had to be integrated into the processes and educated about the status of the organization.
  • Volunteers came and went as time and professional life allowed. The Credentialing Commission, responsible for all aspects of assessment and evaluation, lost a number of vital individuals.
  • Funds and assistance had to be found to upgrade the computer aspects of a complex virtual community. Plans for phase 2, regular certification, had to be delayed because of computer systems complications.

What’s next?

The most pressing need is to add additional volunteers. Currently we are working to recruit credentialed ADHD coaches to aid in the Credentialing processes and other volunteers to formulate plans for future expansion and development. Preparations are under way for upcoming certification and beyond.

Elections for new Board members whose terms of service will end in 2011 will be held in the coming months. Nominations by the membership will be invited.

We are working on the launch of the new website.  Credentialing updates will follow. Stay tuned for more on this and other projects to be announced in the coming weeks and months.

The Institute for the Advancement of ADHD Coaching

Dee Crane, President