In the UK, life coaching isn't regulated so you don't need any qualifications to start advising people on potentially life-changing decisions. Which may explain why so many people seem to be doing it. You can train with credited coaching associations – like the Association for Coaching (AC) or the European Mentoring and Coaching Council UK (EMCC UK) – but this is a 'nice to have' rather than a requirement to practise with clients, and there's no protection for the public or any mechanism to hold unregistered practitioners to account. Because of the lack of regulation it's difficult to know how many life coaches there are in the UK, but the number of coaches registered internationally with one body alone, the International Coach Federation
, ballooned from 1,500 in 1999 to over 17,000 coaches across a total of 34 countries by 2013. ICF’s latest coach survey
(from 2016) has the number of coaches worldwide at 53,000.