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The Best Leadership Coaching Certification Programs

Last updated on February 16, 2024

To excel in the ever-evolving landscape of leadership development and effectively coach leaders, it’s essential to equip yourself with the right knowledge and credentials. One way to gain this edge is by pursuing certification as a leadership coach.

In this article, we will delve into the best leadership coaching certification programs that offer comprehensive curriculums and proven methodologies so you can pick the one that suits your aspirations.

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What Is a Leadership Coach?

A leadership coach helps individuals enhance their leadership skills, realize their full potential, and increase their confidence in their leadership abilities. Leadership coaches can work with a wide range of individuals, including executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders. The primary aim is to support clients in achieving their leadership potential and contributing positively to their organizations.

Here are some key aspects of what leadership coaches do:

  • Provide personalized support and strategies for growth
  • Use various assessments, feedback mechanisms, and evaluations to understand a client’s current leadership capabilities
  • Assign self-reflection and self-awareness exercises to identify areas for improvement
  • Set clear and achievable leadership goals related to their leadership skills, communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, or other relevant areas
  • Help clients acquire and refine leadership skills
  • Hold their clients accountable for their progress toward their leadership goals through ongoing support and guidance
  • Assist clients in handling conflicts and difficult situations within their leadership roles

How To Become a Leadership Coach

Becoming a leadership coach involves a combination of education, experience, and personal development. While certification isn’t mandatory in the coaching industry, it can provide several valuable benefits. 

Leadership coaching certification provides a structured framework for acquiring essential coaching skills and ensuring a higher level of competence. It enhances your credibility in the coaching industry, instilling trust in potential clients and employers, which can lead to more opportunities and clients. Certification can also demonstrate your commitment to upholding professional standards and ethics in coaching.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Leadership Coaching Certification

As you delve into research about life coach certifications, you’ll encounter a wide array of training options for aspiring leader coaches. Be sure to take into account factors such as program costs, duration, and whether you prefer certification that’s accredited by the ICF.

Program Cost

Online leadership coaching certifications are often more affordable than in-person ones and provide access to top-notch coaching experts. As you browse courses, keep your budget in mind. For costlier programs, you can inquire about available payment plans.

Course Length

Coach training courses can be short and intensive or can last for months, or even over a year. If you have a specific timeline in mind for getting certified, this can play a vital role in your course selection. For complete flexibility, you can prioritize self-paced courses that allow you to study at your own pace. 


As you make your decision, think about whether the training program holds accreditation from recognized organizations like the International Coach Federation (ICF) or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Standards Agency. Accreditation not only boosts the credibility of your coaching qualifications but also increases the certification’s recognition.

Best Coaching Certifications for Becoming a Leadership Coach

Top Pick: Certified Coach Federation (CCF)

The Certified Leadership Coach Practitioner course from Certified Coach Federation equips you with a comprehensive framework, effective tools, and strategies to assist leader clients in achieving their goals. It covers leadership fundamentals, more advanced topics like assisting leaders in crisis, and offers experiential learning as both a coach and a client.

Certified Coach Federation (CCF) logo
Certified Coach Federation (CCF) – Certified Leadership Coach Practitioner

You’ll gain access to practical tools like the Leadership Compass™, Leadership Mantra, and the Leadership Action Plan™. These tools facilitate goal-setting, decision-making, and leadership development. Their training package also includes forms and documents that you can download and use in your coaching practice.

While CCF isn’t officially accredited by coaching organizations like ICF, it’s well-respected and reputable in the coaching field. If you’ve set your mind on obtaining ICF accreditation, you can also enroll in Coach Training Alliance. This life coaching program is ICF accredited and will strengthen your coaching skills as it is highly practical. Read our CTA review to find out more. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $1,997
  • Accreditation: None
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Agile, Non-Directive Coaching Option: Essential Impact

Essential Impact’s Certified Leadership Coach (CLC) program is based on an agile, proven, non-directive coaching framework. The program comes in the form of a hybrid of live training and self-study, and you’ll also receive feedback from peers and accredited Excelerator™ Coaches. The training program encompasses three courses:

  • Excelerator™ Essentials
  • Excelerator™ Mastery
  • Mentor Coaching
Essential Impact – Certified Leadership Coach (CLC)

You will be trained in coaching individuals, teams, and organizations. After completing the program, you’ll know how to apply their signature Excelerator Coaching™ Model.

  • Course Length: 12 months
  • Program Cost: $6,985
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Best for Leaders and Leadership Coaches: Corry Robertson Coaching Academy for Leaders

The Certified Leadership Coaching Program from Corry Robertson Coaching Academy is more geared toward teaching leaders how to incorporate coaching into leadership, but its focus on coaching as a leadership style, personal development, and proven coaching techniques can be beneficial for leadership coaches as well.

Corry Robertson Coaching Academy – Certified Leadership Coaching Program

The program consists of three phases:

  • Phase 1 – Coaching Fundamentals: Introduction to Coaching
  • Phase 2 – Coaching Essentials: The Leader As Coach Practitioner
  • Phase 3 – Coaching Mastery: Certified Leadership Coach

The coaching model is a combination of video lessons and online live coaching practices. One-to-one private coaching session with Corry Robertson is also included.

  • Course Length: Around 7 months (27 weeks)
  • Program Cost: $14,275
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Budget Option: Transformation Academy

Leadership coaching certifications can be quite pricey, so if you seek a budget-friendly alternative, consider Transformation Academy. They don’t have a leadership coaching course per se, but their variety of niche certifications allow you to design your own curriculum that will equip you with tools and strategies for leadership coaching.

Transformation Academy (TA) logo
Transformation Academy – Management Coaching Employee Performance Life Coach

Certifications that could be useful in this niche are Goal Success Life Coach, Management Coaching Employee Performance Life Coach, and Entrepreneurship and Business Life Coach Certification.

You can learn more about Transformation Academy in our review

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $197 (Get 50% off using our links. Discount applied at checkout.)
  • Accreditation: CPD
  • Mode of Delivery: Online


  • How much does a leadership coach make?

In the US, leadership coaches typically earn an average annual salary of $87,684.

  • Do you need a certification to be a leadership coach?

You don’t necessarily need a certification to be a leadership coach, but it can be beneficial for your credibility.

  • How much does a leadership coach certification cost?

The cost of a leadership coach certification program varies, ranging from $1,000 to $15,000.

  • Does accreditation matter in a leadership coach certification program?

Accreditation matters in a leadership coach certification program as it adds credibility to the training, but non-accredited programs can also be of high quality and comprehensive. 

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

The most recognized coaching certification often depends on the accrediting body. ICF is one of the best-known accrediting bodies, so certifications from programs that hold ICF accreditation or accreditation from reputable institutions tend to be well-regarded in the coaching field.


These leadership coaching programs will provide you with a solid foundation and a toolkit of invaluable techniques to excel in this field. 

If you want to specialize in leadership coaching but you’re not in a situation to invest thousands of dollars in certification, there are other ways to gain recognition as a coach. You can opt for life coaching courses like Transformation Academy and Coach Training Alliance which have a reasonable price and can help you hone coaching skills.

Take the Coach Certification Quiz

Need help choosing a coach training and certification program? We created this short quiz to help you find the best program for you.

Take the quiz

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