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Frequently Asked Questions

Accreditation

  • What is the difference between ACTP, ACSTH and CCE accreditation?

    Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP)

    An ACTP is a start to finish coach-training program that includes comprehensive instruction around the ICF Core Competencies, Code of Ethics and definition of coaching. ACTPs also include Mentor Coaching, observed coaching sessions, and a comprehensive final exam that evaluates a student’s coaching competency. Graduates of an ACTP may apply for an individual ICF Credential using the ACTP path.

    Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH)

    ACSTH programs are accredited on an hour-by-hour basis and may or may not be a full coach training program depending on the number of student contact hours. Students who complete all of their training hours through an ACSTH may apply for an ICF Credential via the ACSTH path.

    Continuing Coach Education (CCE)

    ICF also accredits Continuing Coach Education (CCE), which is intended as advanced training for professional coach practitioners wishing to acquire new learning and/or renew their ICF Credential. One requirement for ICF Credential renewal is completing 40 CCE units. Thousands of ICF-credentialed coaches renew their credential every three years, so getting your training program accredited for CCE units opens your training to more coaches.

  • How do I get my coach training program accredited?

    Applications are thoroughly reviewed by ICF staff and by specially trained teams of reviewers. The timeline for accreditation will vary based on the complexity of the program, the availability of reviewers and the comprehensiveness of the documentation and audit materials provided by the applicant.

  • How long does it take to get a program accredited?

    ACTP review normally takes 12–24 weeks.

    ACSTH review normally takes 12–24 weeks.

    CCE review normally takes 3–4 weeks.

    Please plan accordingly when developing program promotional efforts.

  • What does ICF do with the information that I submit on the program accreditation application? Is it protected?

    ICF will not misuse your submitted information or materials. Please review our Privacy Policy here.

  • Who can I contact with a program accreditation question?

    For ACTP or ACSTH questions, please contact Emily Williams.

    For CCE programs not hosted by an ICF Chapter or Community of Practice (CP), please contact Emily Williams.

    For CCE programs hosted by an ICF Chapter, please contact Maria Lester.

    For CCE programs hosted by an ICF Community of Practice (CP), please contact Lauren Magee.

  • My organization provides in-house training for our internal coaches. Does ICF accredit these programs, as well?

    Yes, we do. We  encourage businesses and organizations with internal coach training programs to pursue ICF accreditation. By choosing ICF to accredit your internal coach training, your organization will benefit from the credibility that comes with partnering with the industry leader in professional coaching, and from the accountability that comes with meeting ICF’s consistently high standards for coach-specific training programs. You’ll also help ensure that your internal coaches enjoy the smoothest, most cost-effective path to an ICF Credential.

Credentialed Coach Finder

  • Can we integrate the search tool in our ICF Chapter’s website?

    You may link directly to CCF from your ICF Chapter’s website. The link should be created so that it opens in a new tab or window. CCF’s URL is: credentialedcoachfinder.com.

  • Will CCF be available in other languages?

    CCF will only be available in English.

  • Does CCF cost anything?

    CCF is free for consumers of coaching to use to find ICF-credentialed coach members.

  • As a Credentialed Member, how do I edit my CCF profile listing?

    To edit your profile listing, log in to Coachfederation.org as an ICF Member. After you log in, click Edit Profile and then click on “Edit CCF Listing.” Use the fields to add or edit profile information. Click “SAVE” at the bottom of the page.  Make sure your profile is as complete and accurate as possible.

  • What is the Enhanced Listing for Credentialed Members?

    The Enhanced Listing is a nonrefundable $150 USD/year subscription that adds the following extra fields to your CCF listing:

    • Headline (200 characters)
    • About Me (2000 characters)
    • Links to your online videos (Limit 3)
    • Links to files (e.g, brochures, C.V., flyers)
    • Links to your social media profiles
  • How do Credentialed Members purchase the Enhanced Listing?

    Credentialed Members may purchase the Enhanced Listing directly from the page used to edit your CCF listing. Log in to Coachfederation.org as an ICF Member. After you log in, click “Edit Profile” and then click “Edit CCF Listing.” Scroll down to “Upgrade to an Enhanced Listing” and click “Upgrade Now!”  You will then be directed to the shopping cart where you may purchase the Enhanced Listing.

  • Why should Credentialed Members purchase the Enhanced Listing?

    The Enhanced Listing will allow you to showcase additional information about yourself and your coaching practice which will give you more visibility to prospective clients. The Enhanced Listing fields are primarily searched when the potential client is using the keyword field of CCF. If you have a unique coaching specialty or relevant qualifications that are not communicated by the available search filters, you may want to consider purchasing the Enhanced Listing.

  • What happens when the Enhanced Listing subscription expires?

    Credentialed Members who purchased and Enhanced Listing will be emailed a reminder to renew and offered a 90-day grace period. When the grace period expires, the CCF profile listing will revert back to a basic listing.

  • What if my coaching specialty is not listed as an option in CCF?

    You may list other information, including niche specialties, in the “About Me” field in the Enhanced Listing.

  • What happens if I let my ICF Membership or Credential expire?

    Your profile will be removed from CCF and reinstated when you renew your ICF Credential or Membership. If you purchased the Enhanced Listing, it will still be enabled when you renew provided it has not been longer than 1 year since purchase.

  • Can I provide a direct link to my CCF profile listing?

    The link to your CCF profile listing is not password protected. Therefore you will be able to use it to send via email, share via social media or embed it as a link on a website. Make sure you copy the entire URL in your link.

  • How do the search filters work?

    Selecting the criteria listed on the left side of CCF generally narrows the search results for the consumer because the results display coaches that meet all criteria. Exceptions are ICF Credential level and Standard Rate. When multiple criteria in those filters are selected, it widens the search results.

  • How do prospective consumers select geographic location?

    You may select geographic location(s) under the demographics section.

  • Can prospective consumers compare coach CCF profile listings?

    Once you enter search criteria, you may select up to 5 coaches to compare them using the check boxes on the right side of the results and the “Compare” button at the top right of the results. The CCF listing for those coaches is displayed side-by-side onscreen for comparison.

  • How is an RFP sent?

    CCF will send an anonymous message to (only) those coaches who meet the search criteria and have been selected to receive it.

  • What information is included in an RFP?

    The RFP will include the criteria that were used to narrow down the pool of prospective coaches as well as the number of coaches who will be sent the RFP. It will also include any additional information that the issuer includes to describe what s/he is looking for.

  • How will prospective consumers know an RFP has been sent?

    ICF will send an automatically generated email to the address listed confirming the RFP has been sent.

  • How will prospective consumers receive responses to RFPs?

    Responses from individual coaches will be sent via email to the address you listed when you issued the RFP. Selected coaches may send up to one follow-up message per RFP after their initial response.

  • How many coaches can be included in an RFP?

    We have limited the number of coaches that can be included in an RFP to 75. Consumers will not be able to send an RFP until their search criteria have reduced the results to below 75.

  • How long will RFPs be active?

    RFPs will remain active until 11:59 pm (New York) on the last day of the month following the date the RFP was created, unless it has been flagged for early expiration and ICF staff expire it. For example, an RFP created in November will remain active until 11:59 pm (New York) on December 31.

  • How will Credentialed Members know when they have been sent an RFP?

    You will receive an automatically generated email with a link to view the RFP you have received. Make sure that the email address in your member profile is current.

  • How do Credentialed Members respond to an RFP?

    If you are included in an RFP, you will be sent an email with a link to the RFP. You can enter and send your response to the issuer via the link. You may send up to one follow-up message per RFP after your initial response.

  • What RFPs will Credentialed Members be able to view?

    You will be able to view only the RFPs that were sent to you specifically.

Credentialing

  • How do I find a training program for coaches with my background or in my specialty?

    You can use the “Coaching Specialty” search filter on the Training Program Search Service. For recommendations, you may join a Community of Practice in your specialty or find coaches in your specialty through Credentialed Coach Finder.

  • Why can’t I find a program in my area?

    There are more than 1,000 ICF-accredited programs. Less than half are in the United States and Canada, and most of those are in big cities or near the coasts. If you can’t find a program near you, many are offered via distance or blended learning formats.

  • Do I have to attend an ICF-accredited program?

    The best way to ensure that you meet the requirements for an ICF Credential is to complete ICF-accredited coach-specific training. Non-accredited programs that meet ICF’s definition of coach-specific training are also accepted toward the training requirements for an ICF Credential once ICF has reviewed the course curriculum.

  • Do I have to get an ICF Credential?

    If you are serious about developing your coaching business, an ICF Credential is the best way to set yourself apart by demonstrating your knowledge, skill and commitment to high ethical and professional standards. However, because coaching is not regulated by any country or state, you are not required to get training or credentials.

  • How do I get my credentials through ICF?

    You would need to submit an application to ICF for approval. The requirements for each level of credential can be found at the following links.

    ACC

    PCC

    MCC

  • Can I be a Mentor Coach?

    To be a Mentor Coach for credentialing, you must hold a credential at or above the credential level your clients seek. For example, if you are a PCC, you may be a Mentor Coach for ACC and PCC applicants. If you are an ACC, you may only deliver Mentor Coaching to ACC candidates.

  • When can I apply for my credentials through ICF?

    You may submit your credential application once you have met all the requirements of the credential for which you are applying.

  • How long will it take for my credentialing application to be reviewed?

    The estimated timeline for review of a credentialing application depends on which application you are submitting. Estimated timelines are as follows:

    ACC ACTP, ACC ACSTH or PCC ACTP: 4 weeks

    ACC Portfolio or PCC ACSTH: 14 weeks

    PCC Portfolio or MCC: 18 weeks

  • If I coach as part of my job, can I count those hours as paid?

    Yes, you can, as long as coaching is in your job description and you are not coaching employees whom you supervise or who report directly to you. This is considered internal coaching. 

  • Can I count group coaching hours toward my experience requirement?

    Yes. If you are coaching a group you will document that session in your Client Coaching Log by giving ICF one name and email address from one person in the group and providing ICF with the number of people in the group (group coaching can be done with only 15 members or less). You cannot multiply hours times participants in the group. If you coach 15 people for 1 hour, you can only count that as one hour of coaching, not 15 hours.

  • Do I have to apply for the ACC before I apply for the PCC or MCC?

    You can apply for any level credential as long as you meet all requirements for that level. Most applicants start off with the ACC because they do not have the number of coaching hours to go straight to the PCC level.

  • Where can I get my credential logo?

    ICF Credential-holders have a specific logo they may use. For an ICF Credential logo, please contact Sherrie Harvey at support@coachfederation.org. ICF logos may only be used by those who obtain prior permission from ICF Headquarters. Without prior authorization, use of an ICF logo, or any other version or likeness of the logo, is in violation of the ICF’s logo usage guidelines and trademark law.

  • Why aren't ICF Credential-holders required to be ICF Members?

    The ICF Credential stands independent from ICF Membership. This is an important provision of compliance with globally accepted standards for bodies operating individual certification programs. The value of an ICF Credential as an industry-wide marker of an individual’s commitment to ongoing professional development and outstanding professional practice is distinct from the benefits of ICF Membership (e.g., networking and leadership-development opportunities, discounted event attendance, access to archived virtual learning). Although ICF Credential-holders are not required to be ICF Members, they are bound by the ICF Code of Ethics and are required to meet stringent renewal criteria every three years.

  • Can I list my ICF Credential as "Pending" once I've submitted the application?

    No. You may only reference an ICF Credential in your marketing information, website or materials after it has been officially granted by the ICF. Because submission of an application does not guarantee that you will be granted an ICF Credential, referencing an ICF Credential prior to official receipt is misleading and potentially unethical. Making a false claim is a breach of the ICF Code of Ethics.

Credential Renewal

  • How can I find out when my credential is due for renewal?

    Your credential expiration date may be found on your ICF Credential certificate provided when your credential was awarded or renewed. ICF Members may access their credential information by logging into the Members section of our website, and clicking on “Manage My Account,” then “Edit Contact Information.”

  • What are the credential renewal requirements?

    Participation in at least 40 hours of Continuing Coach Education (CCE), or 40 Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units, completed in the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal, with at least 24 hours/units in Core Competencies. Beginning in 2016, ICF Credential-holders will be required to demonstrate completion of at least three (3) Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units in the area of coaching ethics to be eligible for renewal of their ICF Credentials. This requirement will apply to all coaches whose ICF Credentials are slated to expire on or after December 31, 2016. It will not apply to coaches whose ICF Credentials expire on December 31, 2015. View the ICF Ethics CCE Course. For ACC renewals, an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching is also required.

  • Do I have to complete an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching each time I renew my ACC Credential?

    Yes, all ACC-credentialed coaches are required to complete an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching in the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal. This requirement is intended to promote your continued growth as a coach and help move you to the next credential level.

  • Can two ACCs mentor each other for credential renewal?

    Yes, you can serve as another ACC’s mentor for 10 hours, and they in turn can mentor you for another 10 hours.

  • What is CCE/What are CCE units?

    Continuing Coach Education (CCE) is defined as an activity that promotes your continued growth as a coach. CCE is divided into two categories: Core Competencies and Resource Development. Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units are earned upon completing Continuing Coach Education.

  • What is Core Competencies CCE?

    Advanced coach training, published writing, or research directly related to ICF Core Competencies.

  • What is Resource Development CCE?

    Training, writing, research, or self-study outside of the ICF Core Competencies that contributes to the professional development of a coach.

  • How many self-study CCE units are eligible?

    You may submit up to 16 hours/units of self-study Resource Development CCE.

  • What is an example of self-study CCE?

    Listening to an Archived Virtual Education session or a recording of an ICF Event are examples of self-study CCE.

  • Can I earn Core Competencies CCE with self-study?

    Any course taken as self-study is considered Resource Development CCE.

  • What is the most cost effective way to get CCE units?

    Membership with ICF Global provides a wealth of cost-effective ways to get CCE units. ICF Members receive discounts on a variety of offerings, including conferences and events (both local and global), ICF Credentialing applications, research findings, and other special offers. Members have access to member-only content on Coachfederation.org, including free ICF Virtual Education and Archived Learning that can be completed for CCE units.

  • If I complete more than the required CCE units for credential renewal, can I use the excess hours for a future credential renewal?

    You may only submit CCE units completed within the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal.

  • How can I renew a lapsed credential?

    If your credential was due for renewal less than one (1) year ago, you may still be eligible to renew by submitting additional 1.2 CCE units for each month your credential has lapsed.

  • My credential was due for renewal more than one (1) year ago; can I still renew?

    If your credential was due for renewal more than one (1) year ago, you are no longer eligible to renew. You will need to begin the credential process again by submitting a new individual credential application.

  • Where can I find training?

  • How can I find out if the training I completed is ICF Accredited?

    The organization where you completed your training can provide that information. You may also use our Training Program Search Service (TPSS), and search by the training organization’s name. If the training organization has an accredited program, it will be listed in our TPSS.

  • Can I submit training that is not ICF Accredited as CCE?

    You may submit training that has not been accredited in advance by the ICF involving live, voice-to-voice interaction between instructors and students as CCE, but there is no guarantee that it will be accepted as CCE.

  • What if I submit training that is not ICF Accredited and it is not accepted?

    Your credential renewal application will remain “in process” to allow you time to complete CCE that meets our credential renewal requirements.

  • Do I have to take the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) to renew my credential?

    No, the CKA is only required for new individual credential applications.

  • I renewed my membership. Do I still have to renew my credential?

    ICF Membership renewal and ICF Credential renewal are completely separate processes and fees. Membership is renewed annually and is due for renewal March 31 of each year. ICF Credentials are renewed every three years and are due December 31 of the year the credential expires.

  • My credential is due for renewal but I want to apply for a higher credential. Which application should I purchase?

    It is not possible to upgrade to a higher credential via the credential renewal application. If you wish to pursue a higher credential, you will need to submit that individual credential application.

  • My credential is due for renewal but I want to apply for a higher credential. Do I still need to renew my current credential?

    In order to prevent a lapse in credentials, we recommend that you apply for the higher credential before your current credential is due for renewal. Please see the suggested timelines below.

    Current Credential Current Credential
    Renewal Due Date
    Desired Credential
    Application Path
    Estimated
    Review
    Timeline
    Suggested
    Application
    Submission Date
    ACC December 31, 2017 PCC ACTP  4 weeks December 3, 2017
    ACC December 31, 2017 PCC ACSTH 14 weeks September 24, 2017
    ACC December 31, 2017 PCC Portfolio 18 weeks August 27, 2017
    PCC December 31, 2017 MCC Portfolio 18 weeks August 27, 2017

Finding and Working With a Coach

  • What is professional coaching?

    ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

    • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
    • Encourage client self-discovery
    • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
    • Hold the client responsible and accountable

    This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.

  • How can you determine if professional coaching is right for you?

    To determine whether you or your company could benefit from coaching, start by summarizing what you would expect to accomplish in coaching. When an individual or business has a fairly clear idea of the desired outcome, a coaching partnership can be a useful tool for developing a strategy for how to achieve that outcome with greater ease.

    Since coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives are valued. Also, ask yourself whether you or your business is ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way to grow and develop.

  • How is coaching distinct from other service professions?

    Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.

    Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.

    Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.

    Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.

    Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.

    Athletic Development: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.

  • What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?

    An individual or team might choose to work with a coach for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

    • Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
    • A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
    • A desire to accelerate results
    • A lack of clarity with choices to be made
    • Success has started to become problematic
    • Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
    • Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them
  • What has caused the tremendous growth in the coaching industry?

    Coaching has grown significantly for many reasons, among them:

    • Rapid changes are taking place in the external business environment.
    • Downsizing, restructuring, mergers and other organizational changes have radically altered the “traditional employment contract.” Companies can no longer achieve results using traditional management approaches.
    • With the growing shortage of talented employees in certain industries, companies must commit to investing in individuals’ development.
    • The disparity between what managers were trained to do and what their jobs now require of them is widening due to increasing demands for competitive results.
    • People are wrestling with job insecurity and increased workplace pressures to perform at higher levels than ever before.
    • Companies must develop inclusive, collaborative work environments to achieve strategic business goals and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.
    • Individuals who have experienced the excellent results of coaching are talking to more people about it.
    • People today are more open to the idea of being in charge of their own lives. Coaching helps them do just that.

    In short, coaching helps individuals and companies focus on what matters most in life and business, and so the industry continues to grow.

  • How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?

    Coaching typically begins with a personal interview (either face-to-face or by teleconference call) to assess the individual’s or business’ current opportunities and challenges, define the scope of the relationship, identify priorities for action and establish specific desired outcomes. Subsequent coaching sessions may be conducted in person or over the telephone, with each session lasting a previously established length of time. Between scheduled coaching sessions, the individual may be asked to complete specific actions that support the achievement of one’s personally prioritized goals. The coach may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles, checklists, assessments or models to support the individual’s or business’ thinking and actions. The duration of the coaching relationship varies depending on needs and preferences.

    Assessments: A variety of assessments are available to support the coaching process, depending upon the needs and circumstances of the individual or business. Assessments provide objective information that can enhance self-awareness, as well as awareness of others and their circumstances; provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies; and offer a method for evaluating progress.

    Concepts, models and principles: A variety of concepts, models and principles drawn from the behavioral sciences, management literature, spiritual traditions and/or the arts and humanities may be incorporated into the coaching conversation to increase self-awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, provide new frameworks for looking at opportunities and challenges, and energize and inspire forward actions.

    Appreciative approach: Coaching incorporates an appreciative approach, grounded in what’s right, what’s working, what’s wanted and what’s needed to get there. Using an appreciative approach, the coach models constructive communication skills and methods to enhance personal communication effectiveness. He or she incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback to elicit the most positive responses from others, and visions of success as contrasted with focusing on problems. The appreciative approach is simple to understand and employ, and its reach can be profound, opening up new possibilities and spurring action.

  • How long does a coach work with an individual?

    The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the individual’s or team’s needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, three to six months of working may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams prefer to work, the frequency of coaching meetings and financial resources available to support coaching.

  • How do you ensure a compatible partnership?

    Overall, be prepared to design the coaching partnership with the coach. For example, think of a strong partnership that you currently have in your work or life. Look at how you built that relationship and what is important to you about partnership. You will want to build those same things into a coaching relationship. Here are a few other tips:

    • Interview more than one coach to determine “what feels right” in terms of the chemistry. Coaches are accustomed to being interviewed, and an introductory conversation of this type is usually free of charge.
    • Look for stylistic similarities and differences between the coach and you and how these might support your growth as an individual or the growth of your team.
    • Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach’s specialty or the coach’s preferred way of working with an individual or team.
    • Talk with the coach about what to do if you ever feel things are not going well; make some agreements up front on how to handle questions or problems.
    • Remember that coaching is a partnership, so be assertive about talking with the coach about any concerns.
  • Within the partnership, what does the coach do? The individual?

    The coach:

    • Provides objective assessment and observations that foster the individual’s or team’s self-awareness and awareness of others
    • Listens closely to fully understand the individual’s or team’s circumstances
    • Acts as a sounding board in exploring possibilities and implementing thoughtful planning and decision making
    • Champions opportunities and potential, encouraging stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations
    • Fosters shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives
    • Challenges blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the creation of alternative scenarios
    • Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the coaching profession’s code of ethics

    The individual:

    • Creates the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals
    • Uses assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others
    • Envisions personal and/or organizational success
    • Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions
    • Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives
    • Takes courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations
    • Engages big-picture thinking and problem-solving skills
    • Takes the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach and engages in effective forward actions
  • What does coaching ask of an individual?

    To be successful, coaching asks certain things, all of which begin with intention. Additionally, clients should:

    • Focus on one’s self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one’s success.
    • Observe the behaviors and communications of others.
    • Listen to one’s intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.
    • Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one’s goals in a superior way.
    • Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style.
    • Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.
    • Show compassion for one’s self while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.
    • Commit to not take one’s self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
    • Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
    • Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self examination without fear.
  • How can the success of the coaching process be measured?

    Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways: external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success. Ideally, both are incorporated.

    Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship, increased income/revenue, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback that is obtained from a sample of the individual’s constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, boss, the manager him/herself), personal and/or business performance data (e.g., productivity, efficiency measures). The external measures selected should be things the individual is already measuring and has some ability to directly influence.

    Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process, changes in the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking that create more effective actions, and shifts in one’s emotional state that inspire confidence.

     

  • What factors should be considered when looking at the financial investment in coaching?

    Working with a coach requires both a personal commitment of time and energy as well as a financial commitment. Fees charged vary by specialty and by the level of experience of the coach. Individuals should consider both the desired benefits as well as the anticipated length of time to be spent in coaching. Since the coaching relationship is predicated on clear communication, any financial concerns or questions should be voiced in initial conversations before the agreement is made. ICF Credentialed Coach Finder allows you to search for a coach based on a number of qualifications, including fee range.

Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA)

  • What is the GCMA?

    The purpose of Global Coaching Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) is to professionalize the industry in the field of coaching and mentoring and express a shared view of the practice of professional coaching.
    The core objectives are:

    1. To be the collective voice of professional bodies that clarifies, educates and strengthens awareness about our common ground for effective practice
    2. To facilitate exchange and distribute information for all industry stakeholders about shared good practice
    3. To focus attention on the wider impact of coaching and mentoring on society
  • How does a coach who is a member of just one organization become informed or involved in GCMA?

    The GCMA is not set up as an entity that collects fees, nor is it a membership body that coaches, mentors, organizations or institutions can “join.” But rather, it is an alliance of global, professional coaching and mentoring bodies, currently made up of the Association for Coaching (AC), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), and the ICF.

    To illustrate, think of what the airlines’ alliances do (e.g., Star Alliance). You may join as a member any of the specific airline (e.g. United, Thai, Lufthansa), and by those airlines being a part of the alliance, then this gives greater benefits to their respective members and having a greater joined up approach.

  • Why was the GCMA established?

    The thinking behind the GCMA is that having some of the leading professional coaching and mentoring bodies, working together in a more collaborative way, will help in professionalizing coaching even further as the industry continues to grow and evolve on a global scale. There was also a “pull” from some coaches and buyers, indicating that the major coaching bodies needed to align and work more closely together in order to bring further clarity and understanding to what we do and what is considered as good practice.

  • How will the GCMA behave, and work together?

    When the GCMA formed, it agreed to the following Guiding Principles:

    • To use a coach approach in its interactions
    • Honor and welcome all perspectives
    • Always consider what is in the interest of the profession first
    • Be member and market driven in our thinking and progressive in our actions
    • Engage in dialogue before decision
    • Synthesize, clarify and communicate
    • Remember the GCMA is an alliance of professional bodies, not a body in itself
  • Are there plans to become one “super body?”

    As mentioned, the GCMA is not a professional body, nor does it have a desire to be set up as an organization in its own right. It serves as an alliance made up of professional bodies. There are no plans to merge and become one, but we do continue to strive to find ways to work together that best serve the emerging profession of coaching and mentoring.

  • Is the GCMA reaching out to other bodies as well?

    The intention, over time, is to invite other global professional coaching bodies to be a part of the GCMA as we do recognize the importance of having other representatives, and different viewpoints. This would be looked at, after a bedding-in phase with the three organizations involved, and clear criteria will be set around how this can occur to best support the aims and scope of the GCMA.

  • How will the GCMA ensure it takes a global perspective?

    At this stage, the GCMA is listening to these diverse views and needs, and establishing what it makes sense to best do, together, for the benefit of the industry as a whole. Some of the current areas of discussion include running joint global research initiatives, as well as investigating each of the respective professional body’s accreditation and credentialing systems, etc.

    We have already agreed joint values that underpin our professional bodies’ cooperation, such as courage, collaboration, integrity, respect and trust.

  • What are the HR buyers’ views of GCMA?

    As the GCMA is newly formed, it has not gone out to market to get a formal pulse on how it is being perceived, nor what the HR buyers’ hopes or expectations are from it. However from the initial discussions so far, based on input from the three bodies, the feedback has been very positive that such an alliance has been born.

  • How does the GCMA define coaching? Is there an agreed, collective view across the three professional bodies?

    The three members of the Alliance are signatories to the Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring which has been accepted on the European Union’s dedicated website for self-regulated professions.

    The Professional Charter gives the following high-level description of coaching and mentoring, stressing that this is not intended as a definitive statement:

    “Coaching and mentoring are activities within the area of professional and personal development with focus on individuals and teams and relying on the client’s own resources to help them to see and test alternative ways for improvement of competence, decision making and enhancement of quality of life. Thus, a professional coach/mentor can be described as an expert in establishing a relationship with people in a series of conversations with the purpose of serving the clients to improve their performance or enhance their personal development or both, choosing their own goals and ways of doing it.”

    Definitions of coaching are also available on each of our respective websites.

  • What is the value of credentialing/accreditation?

    We believe that obtaining a credential/accreditation is an investment that demonstrates and distinguishes professional practice. It is similar to gaining a degree or a professional designation and differentiates a credentialed/accredited coach from anybody who may call themselves a coach. The value of such a designation therefore is quite significant.

  • Could you define credentialed/accredited?

    Credentials/accreditations are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding and practice of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the industry. Achieving credentials/accreditation signifies a coach’s commitment to integrity, an understanding and practice of coaching skills and a dedication to clients.

  • What's the role of mentoring in this organization, beyond coaching?

    The formation of the GCMA was in direct response to our membership asking for clarification about the confusion being created in the mentoring and coaching industry relating to professional practice. EMCC is keen therefore to represent its total membership where both mentors and coaches work within a framework of generic professional standards. See also the Professional Charter for Mentoring and Coaching.

ICF and Professional Coaching

  • What year was the International Coach Federation (ICF) formed?

    The Association was formed in 1995. Local ICF Chapters started to form shortly thereafter and continue to open today.

  • Who started the ICF and why?

    The late Thomas Leonard, a professional coach, founded ICF to create a professional coaching community. The organization was initially geared toward North America but now has members in more than 100 countries.

  • What types of coaches join the ICF?

    ICF Members specialize in a variety of coaching areas, including Executive Coaching, Life Coaching, Leadership Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Career Coaching and other skilled coaching fields.

  • Do I have to have an ICF Credential to be a member?

    Coaches do not need to hold an ICF Credential to be members, although ICF Credentials are recommended and provide additional benefits.

  • What is the value of joining ICF?

    ICF Members receive a multitude of benefits, starting with access to educational research, networking opportunities, and globally recognized credentialing and accreditation services. All of ICF’s endeavors are focused on coaching — from informing the public on how coaching works to conducting industry research. ICF builds, supports, and preserves the integrity of the coaching profession through standards and programs. Membership is not only an investment into a coach’s future, but also an investment into the future of coaching.

  • How does ICF define coaching?

    ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

  • Who is in charge of ICF?

    ICF is a nonprofit membership organization led by a member-elected Board of Directors that oversees the organization’s affairs. Paid staff members follow the leadership’s direction and carry out its day-to-day work.

  • Is there proof coaching works?

    Yes! The ICF Global Coaching Client Study shows most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance and an improvement in wellness. Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment. The median suggests that a client who achieved financial benefit from coaching can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent.

    According to the same report, the vast majority of companies (86 percent) say they at least made their investment back. In fact, almost one-fifth (19 percent) saw a ROI of 50 times their investment, while another 28 percent saw a ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment. Nearly all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study, a stunning 99 percent of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall coaching experience. For more details, go to the ICF Research Portal, as well as press releases about ICF’s return-on-investment research.

  • What is the difference between Accrediting and Credentialing?

    At ICF, coaching training programs are Accredited while individuals are Credentialed. ICF’s Accreditation service for coach-training schools defines curriculum standards to ensure consistency in coach-training programs and consistency among coaching professionals. ICF Credentials are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated mastery of the coaching competencies.

  • How has coaching grown?

    ICF, the world’s largest coaching organization, remains successful in its core purpose: to advance the coaching profession. According to the ICF 2012 Global Coaching Study, approximately 47,500 professional coaches are now in business worldwide (bringing cumulative annual revenue close to $2 billion) as compared to 2,100 professional coaches in 1999.

    The same report found that more coaches reported an increase rather than a decrease in fees, hours, clients and revenues over the past 12 months. Overall, trend indicators point to a growing profession, also evidenced by ICF adding 2,000 new members a year.

Research Portal

  • What is the "stream view" and why is it unique?

    The ICF Research Portal links and displays research in a “stream view” that allows the researcher to view references and citations both backward and forward in time. When researchers begin work in a specific area they are generally confronted with two problems. First, they need to find at least one research paper or book on the topic in order get into the flow of that “stream” of research. Secondly, until now, it has been cumbersome to move forward and backward in time in a stream of research so that one may quickly gather secondary research. The stream review helps address these challenges.

  • How do I use the stream view effectively?

    Once you find an article or book on the topic you are interested in, you can scroll in the References and Citations columns to see related articles or books for which references are available in the Research Portal. References from the article will appear in the left-hand column, which will be back in time. Research that cites the article will appear in the right-hand column, which will be forward in time.

  • How are search results ordered?

    Search results are in order of Google Scholar citations. Google Scholar is a database containing a significant number of research-related references along with links to research  citing each reference.

  • What search terms can I use?

    The following search terms are available in Basic Search:

    author:name (e.g., author:Smith)

    “find this exact phrase” (that is, use quotes to find an exact phrase)

    -exclude (putting a – character in front of a word will cause results to exclude all references and documents that contain the word after the – character)

    Advanced Search offers many more Boolean search capabilities that are available by clicking on the downward-facing triangles in each field.

  • What are BibTeX and RIS files?

    Many researchers use personal reference manager programs to help them organize references and facilitate document retrieval. The meta-data about a reference, such as authors, title, date and abstract, may be exchanged electronically between reference manager programs with a standardized file format. BibTeX and RIS are the two most common reference formats.

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