The short answer: when you have completed at least some training and are committed to completing the 60 hours of training required by the International Coaching Federation for membership.
Previously all levels of training were accepted – from no specific coach training on up. The coaching profession has grown and developed and through this process standards developed. Specifically the International Coaching Federation developed a Code of Conduct also known as a Code of Ethics, complete definitions of and evaluation standards for the Core Competencies of a Coach, and the membership requirement of 60 hours of coaching specific training.
Initially the Center for Coaching Certification offered only a 30-hour program: the Certified Professional Coach. In keeping with the growth of coaching and the International Coach Federation, and with the development of professional standards, a Certified Master Coach program was developed and is available. The Certified Professional Coach class combined with the Certified Master Coach class completes the 60 hours of training required for membership in the ICF – essentially the minimum for offering your services as a professional coach. If you want to pursue a credential the first level of credential offered by the ICF is the ACC. Earning this credential calls for the 60 hours of training plus 100 hours of coaching experience plus ten hours of mentor coaching plus taking an exam. Advanced levels of credentialing, the PCC and the MCC, require more coaching experience and training. As a result the Center for Coaching Certification now offers advanced training programs available now for coaches seeking higher levels of credentialing or training.
If you complete the first 30 hours of training and stop, then you have developed coaching skills. This is helpful in many jobs and for personal development. Given current standards this level of training is now less than the expectation for coaches. Completing 60 hours of Coach training means you are demonstrating your commitment to coaching as a profession and to your clients.