Real Coach Reviews: The Coachville Starter & Complete Coaching Certifications


The program component of CoachVille is the Center for Coaching Mastery. Originally called the Graduate School of Coaching, Thomas Leonard and Dave Buck realized that many of the original students were coming to the school with varied experience of coaching. 

Is CoachVille ICF certified?

There are two main offerings for coaches – the Starter Program, which is designed to meet the educational requirements for an International Coaching Federation Associate Certified Coach (ICF-ACC) credential, and the Complete Program, which meets the educational requirements of the ICF Professional Certified Coach (ICF-PCC) credential. Both have an equivalent CoachVille credential (CVACC and CVPCC) which can be earned through coursework and (for the CVPCC) a submitted live coaching session & transcript. One can start with the Starter Program and move to the Complete Program, or jump right into the Complete Program.

Certification Schedule

Courses are offered during 3 seasons each year (roughly Jan-Mar, May-Jul, Sep-Nov). They involve weekly live classes held by phone, and reading and activities between classes via online Game Cards. That’s right – gamification is a key part of the Center for Coaching Mastery! Students share their answers and other students (as well as instructors) also comment on those shares. It creates an extremely supportive “classroom” environment that is literally world-wide.

The classes focus on different coaching methods that are applicable across the coaching profession. Life Coaches, Health and Wellness Coaches, Executive Coaches, Relationship Coaches, really every specialization will find value in the different methods, which are aligned to ICF Core Competencies and the Coaching Proficiencies originally created by Thomas J Leonard. 

Other classes focus on Advanced Communications, Proficiency Coaching, Mentor Coaching, and more. These combine to help the coach truly master the skill of coaching.

CoachVille Instructors

The instructors and staff at CoachVille are truly student oriented. The purpose of the programs is to create great coaches. Students can ask instructors anything during Q&A sessions that follow each class session – whether it relates to the topic that was just taught or not. Students ask questions about coaching scenarios, ethics, business building – literally any topic of importance to them, as they progress in their coaching journey. Everyone in the class is welcome to remain for the Q&A sessions. Personally, I learned so much from the questions my fellow students asked that it was like a bonus session every week!

CoachVille Coaching Students

The other students are truly supportive as well. As CoachVille has been around for a very long time, and Complete Program students can re-take most classes without additional cost, the classes contain people new to coaching and people with ACC, PCC, and even MCC credentials! And they help each other – through the Game Cards and social media groups, students connect with and support one another in an amazing way. The fact that these students cross geographically boundaries – literally oceans – is also a testament to the world-wide reach of coaching, and CoachVille.

The Business Side of Coaching

Between the courses and the support of instructors, staff, and other students, you get education on how to coach, and how to run a coaching business. Most classes suggest/recommend/require that you are working with clients – even pro-bono – as you work through the class material.  

You’re also assigned a “Dyad Partner” (another student) for each class. So you start practicing coaching in class, and continue out of class with your Dyad Partner and your clients. For the method classes, scripts are provided to support you as you begin. As you grow as a coach, these methods become the structure around which you personalize your coaching business. As you develop, your business develops. By the time you graduate, you’re a coach, with a client history.

Online-Only Certification

Initially I thought an online-only program would be simultaneously easy and difficult. Easy because the travel time (and cost) was zero. Difficult because how does one create community on the phone and a web page? I was amazed that the part I thought was difficult was easy, and the easy part a little more challenging. 

In the years I’ve participated as a student, and now as a graduate re-taking classes (as I grow, what I notice changes – I’ve learned many things with every re-take!), I’ve made friends. The current pandemic means I’ve connected to some of them through Zoom, but I do hope for an in-person gathering of CoachVille members at some point.

CoachVille Connections

Besides gaining a strong foundation and structure for my coaching business, I’ve made friends at CoachVille who support me and who I’m happy to support. Whether it’s helping them apply their learning or asking them for help with a sticky client situation – we remain connected, well after a class has ended. It’s always a joy hearing their voice in a Deep Dive call, a Book Club call, or in another class. CoachVille has made connections for me, across the world, that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Ongoing Education

I graduated from the Complete Program at CoachVille and continue to participate in classes through CoachVille’s Anytime Lifetime Access commitment (which I believe works for both the Starter and Complete programs) which gives you access to retake courses without additional cost. While the Starter program is included in the Complete Program, I’m not certain which courses belong to which program.

The thing I enjoy most about CoachVille is the connection made with other students. I thought a 100% virtual environment would make connection difficult – and it hasn’t at all. CoachVille has always been structured this way, and it was surprisingly easy to adapt to this way of learning. And all of this was before the pandemic! 

I have friendships developed in/through CoachVille that are extremely important to me – even though we’ve never met and, in some cases, never even seen one another. I also greatly appreciate the generosity of other students along with faculty and staff to help one another grow. It extends the experience in ways that a traditional classroom (I’m thinking back to my evening in-person MBA program) doesn’t.

Ultimate Recommendation

Ultimately, I highly recommend CoachVille Center for Coaching Mastery to anyone interested in becoming a coach or strengthening their capabilities as a coach. The name says it all – the programs create masterful coaches. Masterful coaches with the skills to run a thriving coaching business.

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By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
September 22, 2022

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