And the answer for me, is NO.

It feels like a radical move, becoming more vulnerable in the world and at the same time, it’s liberating.  

I have recently made a decision (or may have already made a decision for a while but didn’t know it consciously) that I will not renew my accreditation with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in December 2018. 

I’ve had an incredible 3 years of teaching an ICF Accredited Coaching Course with my teacher and mentor, Jan Elfline who has been incredibly generous and trusting to provide me with the opportunity. I have learnt a lot! Jan supported me in passing my accreditation exams which I had failed first time round because she knew my ability and had seen me in action in class. Huge sponsorship and “fish” which I will be eternally grateful for. And earlier this week she succumbed to the task to say that it was time for me to move on. And it just feels right for me – now.

I know a lot of my coaching colleagues and students will be thinking, WHAT??? With all the classroom hours you’ve put in, all the money you’ve invested, all the coaching you’ve done, all the exams you’ve taken? Why would you not be making the most of this opportunity? Also, who will hire you if you’re not accredited? Everyone wants an Accredited coach now. Everyone?

Let me explain….

I have been learning about a new understanding which has taught me that all of our experience in life is Inside out. We create our reality which stems from our thinking. And that’s it. Which begs the question, what is the world which I want to create?  

Now, if I create a reality that only the best coaches on the planet are “accredited” and have to jump through hoops to be who they really are in this moment in time, then it isn’t something which fits with me. And that is exactly what has happened. 

I met a woman earlier this year who has had “life experiences” and her presence is simply beautiful. She wanted to train as an accredited coach and I asked why she thought she needed accreditation. She said that she needs the “Stamp”. Someone to say she is qualified. I asked her to coach me and it was incredibly powerful. She subsequently chose to do the training and is now Coaching. I recently asked her if she needed to have an accredited qualification to do the work and she said “back then yes, but not now”.

Another lady who is incredibly connected with her wisdom has been doing some wonderful work which i have been observing. I think she is ready to Teach. Or to be a Mentor. I then found out that she would need another couple of years of practise before she is ready. Which gave rise to more and more questions.      

8 years as an Accredited Coach and not once was I asked about my accreditation.

The most effective coaches operate through wisdom and are effective in the moment – not because they simply have been accredited. I have recently been told that the top 3 coaches in the world today, are not accredited.
I have no idea who these people are to be honest and it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are doing the work, and learn through it, while staying open and accessing whatever classroom learnings they are called to use – not simply courses which are accredited so they can clock up their own training hours for another stamp of approval. 

Also, who can and will ever define if I or anyone else is a good enough “Human Being” right now – in this moment? 

Skills are accredited. Someone who is doing something practical – like brain surgery, building airplanes, sending a rocket to the moon, would need to have a level of intellectual competence, knowledge and skill. Skills are learnt and technical training makes sense for this.

Coaching has never felt like a technical skill for me. I come from a technology background – I get it.
 
Coaching is an art.
The art of being in the moment and allowing wisdom to flow. Whether that’s with yourself, with another or with a group of people.  
It’s about being in a space of non judgement
It’s about holding a space for another with pure presence
It’s about unlearning what we have been taught to conform in todays world, and not having all the answers 
It’s about creation
It’s about presence and connection in this moment, stripping back the layers of beliefs which have made us as adults feel inadequate to be doing what we are called to do in the moment
It’s innate wellbeing (mental, physical & spiritual –  all connected)
It’s being plugged into our own wisdom
It’s about the transformation of internal angst to bring a gift into this world 
It’s about being authentic  
It’s about the “game” of life

And most importantly, it’s about being human – which will always be the case even if you have a PHD or a doctorate or you’re an MCC coach or the equivalent. It’s about more than any box which can hold you. Because we are more than our thinking can ever perceive, or the labels. 

My experience in life as a coach has never been a yard stick for others. It was simply my experience. I observe coaches who have just started in the profession and think they are way more talented than me.  And all I wish for them is to practise and to bring their gift into the world.     

All monitoring bodies and institutions are there with a set of rules and guidelines. They are not bad, they are there for those who need the external support.  And the bigger they grow, the less they know the individuals who are doing the work. Creating a huge structure and governing body becomes messy and in effect creates a “club” where only a certain person who has jumped through hoops can belong.  

This isn’t the way the ICF began in the 90’s. This is not a world which I wish to create.

Coaching is an “Art” which should be accessible to all.

Everybody has a connection to their own wisdom. 
Everybody is doing the best with the thinking they have in this moment.
And it simply takes one thought to create a new experience.

If you would like to know more, feel free to get in touch with me at mahnaz.bhatti@noorworks.com