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WABC Certified Business Coach (CBC)
WABC Global Standard:
Qualifications for Business Coaches
Applies to:
Candidates and holders of this credential only
Type of Qualification:
Designation: Professional certification*
Level of Qualification:
Level 2: For practitioner business coaches
Name of Qualification:
WABC Certified Business Coach (CBC)
November 13, 2008
Open | Accepting applicants

WABC's Commitment to Excellence
The Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC) is the first global professional association representing the business coaching industry. Since its inception in 1997, WABC has dedicated itself to raising the profile of business coaching—still an emerging profession—and to differentiating it from coaching in general.

How? Through our principled approach of engaging in disciplined self-regulatory activities to increase public trust in our industry worldwide as it develops. We've identified our emerging profession. We've conducted groundbreaking investigations into what defines a competent business coach. We've further defined and standardized the activities and competencies of business coaching.

The results? WABC has done more than any other organization to identify the tasks, qualities and skills of the business coach. WABC's activities set the gold standard for business coaching and help decision-makers around the world when they screen, hire, train and evaluate business coaches.

About CBC
The WABC Certified Business Coach (CBC) designation is a global credential intended for practitioner business coaches who wish to develop their full professional offering. CBC recognizes business coaches who apply their coaching to a narrower range of contexts.

Business coaches at this level may be internal coaches who practice within one organization, or external coaches who provide limited services to a narrow client base, usually to a fixed agenda related directly to business outcomes.

Purpose of Qualification

  • Sets global standards for practitioner business coaches, and clearly identifies these standards for buyers of business coaching
  • Provides an independent, robust, transparent assessment process that recognizes appropriate levels of education and continuing professional development for business coaches at this level
  • Contributes to the definition, development and self-regulation of the business coaching profession

Type of Qualification
CBC is an independent, evidence-based certified designation (no prerequisite credential required**).

Granting Institution
CBC is awarded by WABC, headquartered in Canada.

Benefits of CBC
Three top benefits of CBC:

#1—CBC is an evidence-based qualification
CBC is the product of rigorous research, development and testing. As an evidence-based designation, CBC is guided by relevant global standards developed by WABC through extensive study and industry consultation. The WABC standards undergo a comprehensive annual review to ensure that they stay relevant and continue to set the highest global standards for business coaches at this level.

#2—CBC is business coaching focused

CBC designation, and the training leading to it, are built around a coaching-specific curriculum that's current, rigorous and based on thoroughly researched business coaching competencies. CBC signifies that you've gone beyond general coach training to build the specialized competencies and skills of a practitioner business coach.

#3—CBC is publicly valued
Standards-based designations like CBC help establish business coaching as a profession worthy of public respect and trust. CBC tells the marketplace that business coaching professionalism and excellence matter to you, and in this way you'll boost the prestige and professionalism of your practice and advance the credibility of the industry.

Routes to CBC
WABC Accredited (Level 2 - CBC) Programs
- Available
Level 2 programs are those suitable for CBC. (Learn more about WABC Accredited programs in the “More Information” section below.)

Independent Portfolio - Not Available
This route is intended for those professionals who seek to engage in an independent approach rather than through a formal WABC Accredited program. This route is not currently available for CBC.

How to Earn CBC
You are an ideal candidate for CBC if you actively practice as a practitioner business coach. Specifically, you must meet these requirements:

  • Pass a screening interview with a WABC Accredited (Level 2 - CBC) program instructor;
  • Successfully complete a WABC Accredited (Level 2 - CBC) program; and
  • Be a current WABC member in good standing*** (the minimum membership level required for CBC is currently WABC Affiliate Membership) (you have one year from the date you graduated from the WABC Accredited (Level 2 - CBC) program to become a member).

***Please Note:

  • It's very common for candidates to join WABC during the program. If you have joined during your program and then allow your WABC membership to expire before you complete the program, you will be asked to rejoin WABC and pay the applicable new member fees before receiving the designation.
  • If the Level 2 program you completed was recently accredited by WABC, check with your program instructor or WABC for more details about your eligibility for CBC.

How to Maintain CBC
Ongoing Requirements
As a certification designation, you must continue to meet these following requirements:

  • Remain, every year, a WABC member in good standing (the minimum membership level required for CBC is currently WABC Affiliate Membership); and
  • Submit a record of your professional development, which includes client input, for approval five years from the date you graduated from the WABC Accredited (Level 2 - CBC) program, and every five years thereafter.

Effective January 17, 2014, the five-year PD record review fee is US$350. If your PD record requires a second review (when it is not approved), or if you submit your record after the relevant deadline(s), the fee is US$450.

Taking a Sabbatical
Taking a sabbatical during your career may affect your CBC designation.

  • If you offer business coaching services during your sabbatical, you will retain your CBC as long as you continue to meet the requirements listed above under "How to Maintain CBC." If you do not meet those requirements, your CBC will be revoked (see "When CBC Can Be Revoked" below).
  • If you do not offer business coaching services during your sabbatical, you are no longer eligible for WABC membership. You must resign your membership as specified in our Terms of Membership, and your CBC will be revoked (see "When CBC Can Be Revoked" below).
When CBC Can Be Revoked
CBC can be revoked under certain circumstances. Examples include not meeting the credential verification or re-certification requirements or being cited for a legal or ethical violation. If your CBC credential is revoked, you will no longer be able to use the designation and you must remove all references to it, including logos, from your marketing, promotional and other material. You must also return your non-refundable certificate to WABC.

How to List CBC
Current holders may list this WABC designation in full as follows: WABC Certified Business Coach™ or as initials without periods as follows: CBC™ or both ways as follows: WABC Certified Business Coach™ (CBC™).

Please Note: WABC members who hold any educational degrees, or any professional designations from organizations other than WABC, must have these credentials (now and in the future) verified by WABC if they wish to list them in any materials that display WABC trademarks (e.g., WABC name, logo, designations). This requirement applies to members' own materials (e.g., marketing and promotional material, résumés, business cards, website, email signature block) that contain WABC trademarks as well as to WABC materials (e.g., website, member correspondence). For full details, refer to our Use of Designations Policy, Trademarks and Logo Use Policy and Logos and Guidelines.

What's Your Next Step?
Learn more. Get more details about the WABC Accredited (Level 2 - CBC) programs available.
Get in touch. Contact WABC.

What Others Say?
Here's what some of our CBC Holders have to say.

More information
*What is certification?
Certification is a voluntary process by which a nongovernmental body recognizes an individual who has successfully met predetermined qualifications.

**What do you mean when you say "no prerequisite credential required?"
This means you do not have to possess other WABC or non-WABC credentials in order to pursue CBC. Instead, you need to meet the requirements as explained in the "How to Earn CBC" section above. This further speaks to another unique aspect of WABC's suite of designations for business coaches—coaches can seek to earn the designation(s) that is right for them at any point in their careers.

What is unique about a professional certification designation?
It is the most rigorous level of professional credentialing available for individuals. Professional certification designations that follow industry best practices require validation, carry re-certification requirements and are subject to revocation. CBC adheres to these best practices.

Why do I have to renew my professional certification designation?
Professional certification programs grant "working or applied" credentials. Unlike certificate, degree and other education programs, which transfer knowledge and skills, professional certification measures how an individual uses knowledge and skills in real-life situations. By certifying that the holder is able to practice at a certain level, certification maintains public trust in the delivery of a certain service. For a professional certification designation to remain valid, the holder must stay abreast of the current practice and theories. That's why it's a certification best practice for holders to meet ongoing requirements, such as continuing professional development, to maintain their designations.

What are WABC Accredited programs?
WABC provides program accreditation for qualified third-party programs. For programs to become accredited by WABC, they must successfully pass WABC's rigorous program accreditation process including review and assessment by independent Accreditation Decision Boards. Learn even more about WABC Accredited.

Other WABC programs
Qualifications for Business Coaches

WABC reserves all rights in connection with the WABC Certified Business Coach (CBC) designation, including the right to change the requirements of CBC designation, and to replace CBC designation.

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