Common Questions about DYL Coach Certification

Below are some of the most common questions we get about the Coach Certification. Here’s a full list of our FAQ

NOTE:  DYL Coach Certification Workshops are offered in both In-Person (live) and Virtual (remote) formats.  Where the answers to questions differ depending on the type of workshop, different responses are provided.  If only one response is provided, it applies to both workshop formats.

How is the DYL Coaching Coach Certification Workshop structured?

Approach – 3 Training Components

The Coach Certification Workshop provides 12 hours of interactive training in three blocks (over 1.5 days for In-Person, over 3 days Virtual).  The training opens with an overview of the DYL approach and what we’ve been learning in using it since 2007.  The balance of the Workshop is entirely organized around the various DYL Tools.

Each key tool (eg: Good Time Journal, Odyssey Plan, Impact Map, etc.) receives time and attention three ways:

  • Tool Overview
    • What’s the tool designed for.
    • Do’s and Don’ts – recommendations based on our experience of what works, what doesn’t, what traps to avoid, etc.
  • Practice – practical engagement with the tool through role plays, case review (your cases brought to the Coach Certification Workshop, not ours), or application discussion. The primary format is role playing with other participants in the Coach Certification Workshop.  Some of the simpler tools may not include a practice exercise (eg: the Failure Log).
  • Q&A – ask Bill and Dave. Note that there may not be a dedicated Q&A period on each tool, but multiple Q&A periods are included to address questions on any topic.

During the Workshop, you will spend much of your time interacting with other coaches.  This interaction occurs in discussion groups (typically 6 people), and in triads and pairs for exercises and role plays. These groups are organized by tables in the In-Person workshop and in Zoom Breakout Rooms in the Virtual workshop.

Both the ln-Person and Virtual workshop formats use this same 3-part structure.  Both formats share the same objectives and certified graduates enjoy the same benefits.  Both formats empower participants to use the DYL Tools effectively in their coaching practice.

What are the pre-requisites for participating in the DYL Coach Certification Workshop?

There are three pre-requisites:

  1. Professional in one of the following areas:
    1. Life or career coach, with certification from a recognized coaching institute, training program, or school. *This certification requirement may be waived if clear evidence of substantial professional experience in providing coaching is credibly provided (eg: 12 years as a career counselor in a college career center). Depending on the nature of the application, additional support information may be requested.
    2. Career counselor at a non-profit or University, or with your own practice
    3. Mental health professional who wants to add some DYL tools to your existing toolkit
    4. Human resources professional who wants to add some DYL tools to your existing toolkit
  2. Active Practice: You must be engaged in an active practice with current clients at this time (case work on active clients is part of the Workshop), and provide a description of your practice and client population.
  3. DYL Trained: You must already know the Designing Your Life material by having both (a) read both the “Designing Your Life” & “Designing Your Work Life” books and (b) completed one of the following DYL training workshops (prior to attending the Workshop):
    1. DYL Intensive or DYL Weekend Retreat (with Bill and/or Dave)
    2. DYL for Women
    3. DYL CreativeLive on-line class 

Why do you require coach certification?

We do not provide coach training, nor do we believe that DYL is a comprehensive coaching system per se.  We support enhancing the capabilities of experienced coaches who wish to adopt and integrate DYL ideas and tools into their practice.  The DYL Coach Certification Workshop is not training for new coaches; it’s tool utilization training for experienced coaches.

It’s crucial to understand that we are not training you how to coach.  We expect you to know how to coach, based on both your prior training and professional experience, and to know DYL, from having read both books and taking a workshop.  The DYL Coach Certification Workshop will not address either of these areas – it addresses specifically what the DYL tools are for and recommendations for how and how not to use them.

How do I know if the Coaching Coach Certification Workshop really is for me?

The Coach Certification Workshop is really quite straightforward.  We dive into the individual DYL tools and go after specifics on how to use them well.  That’s really it. If that sounds like what you’re after, then join us!  Alternately, many talented coaches may decide they don’t need DYL Coach Certification and can be thoroughly effective translating DYL into their practice right out of the book.  You’re the expert in making that decision.

Some coaches really enjoy the chance to speak with colleagues, do some role playing and get some feedback.  Some come primarily to obtain the visible certification and be listed on our website.  There are lots of valid reasons to come, and it should be clear to you if it’s a good fit.  If you’re on the fence or just not quite able to decide if it’s worth it – maybe let it pass.  It’s a big commitment of time, energy and money and you want to feel good about the value you’ll receive, so choose well.  We don’t claim to offer any particular magic nor do we reveal any special insider secrets at the Workshop.  It’s a work session where we roll up our sleeves together.  At least half the time in the Coach Certification Workshop is spent doing exercises and interacting with the other participants.  The rhythm and feel of the Workshop is very similar to our DYL in-person and Creative Live workshops.  You’ve seen us in action before – the Coach Certification Workshop operates similarly.

We would love to see you at a Coach Certification Workshop if it’s the right thing for you.  If you’re better off just taking the book or the CreativeLive virtual modules and running with those tools on your own, we wish you the very best.  Whatever you do – thanks for your commitment to helping others build well-lived and joyful lives.  If DYL has been or can be of any help to you in accomplishing that mission, we’re very grateful to be a part of your work.

I’d like to teach DYL workshops – is that part of Coaching Certification?

To get a full run-down on the different types of DYL trainings offered, please check out our DYL Training Explanation Chart.

This DYL Coaching Certification is for personal coaching only, working with clients one-on-one or in small “design teams” of not more than ten (10) people.  Certified Coaches use DYL ideas and/or tools to pursue specific life, career, or personal goals and objectives together with their client(s).  Coach Certification does not license you to teach commercial workshops or deliver training events.  Certified Coaching doesn’t compete with The DYL Group’s Designing Your Life Workshops, Certified DYL Facilitators workshops, or institutional educational workshops by Stanford University’s Life Design Lab (aka, d.life Lab). We do offer a separate certification for DYL Facilitators, who are Designing Your Life practitioners and instructors licensed to deliver public and corporate DYL workshops.  The DYL Facilitator program is much smaller than the DYL Coaching program and is not for everyone.  If you think it may be for you, check out the details here.

Sessions conducted for more than 10 persons at one time, whether co-located or virtual, are considered a training event – not coaching. We know that working with larger groups like this, standing up in front of a room (or virtual) presenting generalized DYL materials or training others use DYL tools on their own demands a different set of facilitation and teaching skills than Coaching does.

Coaching involves hands-on implementation of the DYL tools with a person or small group whom the Coach knows well – it’s a highly personalized service engagement.  We consider teaching to be a different competency that requires different skills and a different level of preparation and comprehension of the material.  We’ve come to this conclusion based on our empirical experience in training Stanford instructors in the DYL curriculum

I am not sure which DYL training is best for me?

There are three different ways to become officially “trained” in the Designing Your Life methodology: DYL Coach Certification, DYL Facilitator Certification and the Stanford Life Design Studio (for universities & non-profits).

To get a full run-down on what each of these trainings offer, please check out our DYL Training Explanation Chart.

What is the yearly “certification fee”? What are it’s benefits?

Following Year 1, the annual fee to renew DYL Coach Certification and retain access to the DYL Coaches Community and benefits is $500.00. The Certification Renewal payment is due 11 months after completing the Coaches Certification Workshop.

As stated in our Coach Agreement (which coaches read and sign before taking our course), the following benefits are offered:

  • COACH will be listed on the Certified Coach registry on the Designing Your Life website with a link to COACH’s website and/or email address.
  • You may use the DYL Certified Coaches logo on your own marketing materials
  • From time to time, at the LLC’s sole discretion, COACH may be listed in other DYL materials, such as Bill and Dave’s newsletter.
  • Certified Coaches will have access to all Designing Your Life worksheets and tools.
  • Certified Coaches will, whenever possible and appropriate at Bill and Dave’s sole discretion, be offered access to new DYL tools as soon as they are developed prior to public release or publication, in order to give Certified Coaches additional value and advantage in their practice.
  • Certified coaches will have access to the DYL Coaching Community on our website (or a site specifically for coaches), including a library of resources, connection to other DYL Certified Coaches, and opportunity to share community best practices.

If the Coach chooses not to renew their yearly certification, they will no long have access to the above benefits and are no longer able to promote themselves as a “DYL Certified Coach”… they are allowed to continue using what they learned in the DYL course, and are allowed to continue using any materials they had already been given in training/downloaded from the resources page.