Assessment markers are the indicators that an assessor is trained to listen for to determine which ICF Core Competencies are in evidence in a recorded coaching conversation, and to what extent. The following markers are the behaviors that should be exhibited in a coaching conversation at the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) level. These markers support a performance evaluation process that is fair, consistent, valid, reliable, repeatable and defensible. Please note these markers are not a tool for coaching, and should not be used as a checklist or formula for passing the performance evaluation.
Competency 2: Creating the Coaching Agreement
- Coach helps the client identify, or reconfirm, what s/he wants to accomplish in the session.
- Coach helps the client to define or reconfirm measures of success for what s/he wants to accomplish in the session.
- Coach explores what is important or meaningful to the client about what s/he wants to accomplish in the session.
- Coach helps the client define what the client believes he/she needs to address or resolve in order to achieve what s/he wants to accomplish in the session.
- Coach continues conversation in direction of client’s desired outcome unless client indicates otherwise.
Competency 3: Creating Trust and Intimacy
- Coach acknowledges and respects the client’s work in the coaching process.
- Coach expresses support for the client.
- Coach encourages and allows the client to fully express him/herself.
Competency 4: Coaching Presence
- Coach acts in response to both the whole person of the client and what the client wants to accomplish in the session.
- Coach is observant, empathetic, and responsive.
- Coach notices and explores energy shifts in the client.
- Coach exhibits curiosity with the intent to learn more.
- Coach partners with the client by supporting the client to choose what happens in the session.
- Coach partners with the client by inviting the client to respond in any way to the coach’s contributions and accepts the client’s response.
- Coach partners with the client by playing back the client’s expressed possibilities for the client to choose from.
- Coach partners with the client by encouraging the client to formulate his or her own learning.
Competency 5: Active Listening
- Coach’s questions and observations are customized by using what the coach has learned about who the client is and the client’s situation.
- Coach inquires about or explores the client’s use of language.
- Coach inquires about or explores the client’s emotions.
- Coach inquires about or explores the client’s tone of voice, pace of speech or inflection as appropriate.
- Coach inquires about or explores the client’s behaviors.
- Coach inquires about or explores how the client perceives his/her world.
- Coach is quiet and gives client time to think.
Competency 6: Powerful Questioning
- Coach asks questions about the client; his/her way of thinking, assumptions, beliefs, values, needs, wants, etc.
- Coach’s questions help the client explore beyond his/her current thinking to new or expanded ways of thinking about himself/herself.
- Coach’s questions help the client explore beyond his/her current thinking to new or expanded ways of thinking about his/her situation.
- Coach’s questions help the client explore beyond current thinking towards the outcome s/he desires.
- Coach asks clear, direct, primarily open-ended questions, one at a time, at a pace that allows for thinking and reflection by the client.
- Coach’s questions use the client’s language and elements of the client’s learning style and frame of reference.
- Coach’s questions are not leading, i.e. do not contain a conclusion or direction.
Competency 7: Direct Communication
- Coach shares observations, intuitions, comments, thoughts and feelings to serve the client’s learning or forward movement.
- Coach shares observations, intuitions, comments, thoughts and feelings without any attachment to them being right.
- Coach uses the client’s language or language that reflects the client’s way of speaking.
- Coach’s language is generally clear and concise.
- The coach allows the client to do most of the talking.
- Coach allows the client to complete speaking without interrupting unless there is a stated coaching purpose to do so.
Competency 8: Creating Awareness
- Coach invites client to state and/or explore his/her learning in the session about her/his situation (the what).
- Coach invites client to state and/or explore his/her learning in the session about her-/himself (the who).
- Coach shares what s/he is noticing about the client and /or the client’s situation, and seeks the client’s input or exploration.
- Coach invites client to consider how s/he will use new learning from the coaching.
- Coach’s questions, intuitions and observations have the potential to create new learning for the client.
Competency 9, 10 and 11: Designing Actions, Planning And Goal Setting, And Managing Progress And Accountability
- Coach invites or allows client to explore progress towards what s/he want to accomplish in the session.
- Coach assists the client to design what actions/thinking client will do after the session in order for the client to continue moving toward the client’s desired outcomes.
- Coach invites or allows client to consider her/his path forward, including, as appropriate, support mechanisms, resources and potential barriers.
- Coach assists the client to design the best methods of accountability for her/himself.
- Coach partners with the client to close the session.
- Coach notices and reflects client’s progress.
Click the appropriate link below to download a PDF of the translated PCC Markers:
Applicants for ICF Credentials are required to demonstrate a set number of hours of coaching experience. Coaches must submit a log documenting this experience.
Do not send documentation to ICF Headquarters by mail or email. Only documentation that has been included with your online application will be accepted.
Coach Knowledge Assessment
The Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) is a tool that can be used to measure coaches’ understanding of the knowledge and skills important in the practice of coaching. The CKA tests coaches on their understanding of the body of knowledge that includes the ICF definition of coaching, Core Competencies and Code of Ethics.
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