UPDATE (October 2014): The IAAC has been formally dissolved as an organization. For information on ADHD Coach Certification, click here.
by IAAC Board of Directors
The debate continues about the value of coaching credentials in general. Coaches often remark that “no one has ever asked me if I have a designation.” However, in 2007, the ICF financed a global survey which showed that “52 percent of coaches report that their coaching clients expect the coach they hire to be credentialed.” Times are changing. Demand for credentialed coaches is definitely having an impact in general coaching. The public is being educated by ICF and others to seek out coaches that have been credentialed.
An ADHD coaching credential has particular appeal and inherent value to ADHD coaches. But what is the value of that credential to other populations? How it is perceived by the constituencies served? By the general public, prospective clients, referring allied professionals, coaches holding the credential and people in the larger field of personal and professional coaching.
The credentialing process is more than a just a test, it is also a teaching and learning guide to the subject matter of ADHD coaching. Reading the IAAC ADHD Coaching Competencies, a person can learn what professional ADHD coaches do (and don’t do) and how coaching services can either stand alone or compliment the services of other ADHD professionals. They can also learn about the common skill set that credentialed coaches possess. Readers can familiarize themselves with both the knowledge base and the performance skills of an accomplished ADHD coach.
Allied professionals can clearly see that in referring their patients/clients to IAAC certified coaches they are referring to colleagues with a command of the common symptoms, comorbid conditions and vocabulary used to understand executive functioning and ADHD as a neurobiological condition.
As it gains greater currency, the credential itself is seen as more necessary and less optional. ADHD coaches with IAAC credentials become part of the growing community of coaches who have demonstrated their knowledge of and skill in ADHD coaching. These coaches are receiving more recognition, more referrals and more income.
Just as surgeons are perceived as well trained physicians who went on to specialize in surgery, ADHD coaches with IAAC credentials are set apart as specialists in ADHD coaching with a thorough generalist foundation in life coaching skills.
Coaches ask themselves and their clients to look at both the big picture and the details of life. The IAAC is working to build that big picture, to name the competencies that matter to ADHD coaches, their clients and other professionals who work with the same people. Coaches who hold that credential show that they can use and pass on with competence and confidence the details that are the lives of people with ADHD.