Summit Defines Strategy for Certifying Health Coaches

a woman in a gray exercise outfit does setups while another woman helps hold her knees

With the rapid expansion of the health coaching profession came wide variability in the quality of services provided. Some coaches had formal health education while others had a coaching background but minimal health care knowledge.

Recognizing these irregularities, leaders in the integrative health and health coaching fields organized the Summit on Standards and Credentialing of Professional Coaches in Health Care and Wellness. Held in September 2010, in Wellesley, MA, the forum was sponsored by the Institute for Integrative Health, Harvard Medical School’s Institute of Health Coaching, and the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing.

Summit participants clarified definitions, agreed on levels of training and competencies, and developed a plan of action to establish national certification for the health and wellness coaching profession.  An article summarizing the forum appeared in the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.