See what's new with COACHING WORLD

Minimum Skills Requirements

This page includes information on what ICF assessors evaluate in relation to each competency when reviewing a recorded coaching session.

  • ACC

    Minimum Skills Requirements for ACC Credentials

    ICF believes that it has an obligation to support its member coaches in the growth of their skill set. Every master coach started as a beginner, progressed through an intermediate level of skill, and became masterful, where the hallmark is always the complete evidence of the coach’s role as learner about the client. The ICF credentialing process with its three levels is a reflection of the continuum of growth that each coach undergoes.

    This document has been created to support coaches with preparation for the ACC credentialing performance evaluation. We also hope that this document will assist mentor coaches supporting and supervising these coaches; and coach training schools undertaking accreditation of their programs. The aim is to help coaches successfully complete the ACC performance evaluation and also to help them continue to develop their skill set as coaches.

    The document’s structure will provide those seeking a credential an understanding regarding what assessors evaluate in relation to each competency, the minimum level of skill necessary to successfully demonstrate an ACC level of competency, and also help them understand what non-coaching behaviors might prevent successful completion of the ACC performance evaluation process. We hope the document helps each individual coach answer the following queries: What does it mean to be an ACC coach? What do ICF assessors listen for when they are evaluating an ACC coach? As I progress on my coaching journey, what are my strengths and what are the skill set areas that I need to grow to pass the ACC performance evaluation?

    Finally, ICF strongly believes that clients receive real and substantive value from ACC coaches. That value rests always in the coach’s complete attention to the client and what the client wishes to accomplish as well as the coach’s complete support of the client’s agenda. We honor each and every coach on their journey and look forward to supporting your path of growth as a coach and your credentialing path within ICF.

    1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards—Understanding of coaching ethics and standards and ability to apply them appropriately in all coaching situations

    a. Understands and exhibits in own behaviors the ICF Standards of Conduct

    b. Understands and follows all ICF Ethical Guidelines

    c. Clearly communicates the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions

    d. Refers client to another support professional as needed, knowing when this is needed and the available resources

    Important Note: Familiarity with the code of ethics and its application is required for all levels of coaching and the standard for demonstrating a strong ethical understanding of coaching is similar and rigorous for all levels of ICF credentialing. An applicant will pass this competency if they demonstrate a knowledge of the coaching conversation that is focused on inquiry and exploration and if the conversation is based on present and future issues. An applicant will not pass this competency if the applicant focuses primarily on telling the client what to do or how to do it (consulting mode) or if the conversation is based primarily in the past, particularly the emotional past (therapeutic mode). In addition, ICF notes that if an applicant is not clear on basic foundation exploration and evoking skills that underlie the ICF definition of coaching, that lack of clarity in skill use will be reflected in skill level demonstrated in some of the other competencies listed below. For example, if a coach almost exclusively gives advice or indicates that a particular answer chosen by the coach is what the client should do, trust and intimacy, coaching presence, powerful questioning, creating awareness, and client generated actions and accountability will not be present and a credential at any level would be denied.

    2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement—Ability to understand what is required in the specific coaching interaction and to come to an agreement with the prospective and new client about the coaching process and relationship

    a. Understands and effectively discusses with the client the guidelines and specific parameters of the coaching relationship (e.g., logistics, fees, scheduling, inclusion of others if appropriate)

    b. Reaches agreement about what is appropriate in the relationship and what is not, what is and is not being offered, and about the client’s and coach’s responsibilities

    c. Determines whether there is an effective match between his/her coaching method and the needs of the prospective client

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The depth of creation of agreement for session; 2) The coach’s ability to partner and the depth of partnering with the client in the creation of agreement, measures of success, and issues to be addressed 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to achieve a passing score for establishing the coaching agreement is that the coach asks the client what they want to work on and the coach attends to that agenda throughout the coaching.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for establishing the coaching agreement on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach chooses the topic for the client or if the coach does not coach around the topic the client has chosen.

    3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client—Ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust

    a. Shows genuine concern for the client’s welfare and future

    b. Continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty, and sincerity

    c. Establishes clear agreements and keeps promises

    d. Demonstrates respect for client’s perceptions, learning style, personal being

    e. Provides ongoing support for and champions new behaviors and actions, including those involving risk-taking and fear of failure

    f. Asks permission to coach client in sensitive, new areas

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of connection to the client; 2) The coach’s depth of demonstration of trust in the client and the client’s processes of thinking, creating; 3) The coach’s willingness to be completely comfortable with their own authenticity with the client 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client is that the coach shows genuine concern for the client and is attuned to client’s perceptions, learning style, and personal being at a basic level. The coach must also demonstrate an ability to provide ongoing support for new behaviors and actions at a basic level.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach demonstrates significant interest in the coach’s view of the situation rathern than the client’s view of the situation, does not seek information from the client about the client’s thinking around the situation, does not seek information about the client’s goals regarding the situation, or the attention seems to be on the coach’s own performance or demonstration of knowledge about the topic.

    4. Coaching Presence—Ability to be fully conscious and create a spontaneous relationship with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible and confident

    a. Is present and flexible during the coaching process, dancing in the moment

    b. Accesses own intuition and trusts one’s inner knowing – “goes with the gut”

    c. Is open to not knowing and takes risks

    d. Sees many ways to work with the client, and chooses in the moment what is most effective

    e. Uses humor effectively to create lightness and energy

    f. Confidently shifts perspectives and experiments with new possibilities for own action

    g. Demonstrates confidence in working with strong emotions, and can self-manage and not be overpowered or enmeshed by client’s emotions

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of partnership with the client; 2) The coach’s depth of observation of and use of the whole of the client in the coaching process 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for coaching presence is that the coach attends to client’s agenda, seeks information from the client about that agenda, is responsive to that information as it relates particularly to actions to achieve the client’s agenda, and is attentive to what actions the client is taking in relation to agenda.

    The ICF notes that trust and intimacy and presence are quite related competencies. Therefore, a coach will not receive a passing score for coaching presence on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach demonstrates significant interest in the coach’s view of the situation rather than exploring the client’s view of the situation, does not seek information from the client about the client’s thinking around the situation or is unresponsive to that information, does not seek information about the client’s goals regarding the situation, or is unresponsive to that information, or the attention seems to be on the coach’s own performance or demonstration of knowledge about the topic.

    5. Active Listening—Ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires, and to support client self-expression

    a. Attends to the client and the client’s agenda, and not to the coach’s agenda for the client

    b. Hears the client’s concerns, goals, values and beliefs about what is and is not possible

    c. Distinguishes between the words, the tone of voice, and the body language

    d. Summarizes, paraphrases, reiterates, mirrors back what client has said to ensure clarity and understanding

    e. Encourages, accepts, explores and reinforces the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs, suggestions, etc.

    f. Integrates and builds on client’s ideas and suggestions

    g. “Bottom-lines” or understands the essence of the client’s communication and helps the client get there rather than engaging in long descriptive stories

    h. Allows the client to vent or “clear” the situation without judgment or attachment in order to move on to next steps

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of hearing what the client says in relations to the client’s agenda; 2) The coach’s ability to hear on multiple levels including both the emotional and substantive content of the words; 3) The coach’s ability to hear underlying beliefs, thinking, creating, and learning that are occurring for the client including recognizing incongruities in language, emotions, and actions; 4) The coach’s ability to hear the client’s language and to encourage the client to deepen descriptive language for themselves 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for active listening is that the coach hears what the client says in relation to the client’s agenda, responds to it in relation to the client’s agenda, and the listening is focused on helping the client achieve their agenda.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for active listening on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach does not demonstrate listening that is focused on and responding to what the client says or the coach’s response is not related to what the client is trying to achieve. The coach will not receive a passing grade on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach appears to be listening for the place where the coach can demonstrate their knowledge about the topic or tell the client what to do about the topic.

    6. Powerful Questioning—Ability to ask questions that reveal the information needed for maximum benefit to the coaching relationship and the client

    a. Asks questions that reflect active listening and an understanding of the client’s perspective

    b. Asks questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the client’s assumptions)

    c. Asks open-ended questions that create greater clarity, possibility or new learning

    d. Asks questions that move the client towards what they desire, not questions that ask for the client to justify or look backward

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of questioning that evokes the core issues that are either contained in or underlie the client’s agenda; 2) The coach’s ability to explore with and to evoke exploration by the client of the emotional and substantive content of the words; 3) The coach’s ability to explore with and evoke exploration by the client of the underlying beliefs and means of thinking, creating, and learning that are occurring for the client; 4) The depth at which the coach’s questions provide a thinking space for and elicit new perspectives from the client 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for powerful questioning is that the coach uses inquiry versus telling methodology. This includes exploring what issues exist for the client versus telling the client what the issues are or suggesting solutions. Questions must attend to the client’s agenda and seek information about that agenda and are oriented to solving issues set by the client.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for powerful questioning on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach does not focus on an inquiring versus telling methodology, if the majority of questions contain already pre-determined answers by the coach, or if the questions attend to an agenda or issues not set by the client, but set by the coach.

    7. Direct Communication—Ability to communicate effectively during coaching sessions, and to use language that has the greatest positive impact on the client

    a. Is clear, articulate and direct in sharing and providing feedback

    b. Reframes and articulates to help the client understand from another perspective what he/she wants or is uncertain about

    c. Clearly states coaching objectives, meeting agenda, purpose of techniques or exercises

    d. Uses language appropriate and respectful to the client (e.g., non-sexist, non-racist, non-technical, non-jargon)

    e. Uses metaphor and analogy to help to illustrate a point or paint a verbal picture

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The ease, directness, and depth with which the coach shares perspectives, thoughts, intuition, and feedback; 2) Whether the coach appears to have any attachment to the coach’s perspective; 3) The coach’s effective use of the client’s language and learning models; 4) The breadth of the invitation the coach gives to the client to share his/her own perspectives, thoughts, intuition, and feedback 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for direct communication is that the coach is direct at times throughout the session and the communication attends to the client’s agenda. The coach should not appear attached to a particular outcome or solution or take the communication away from the client’s stated agenda without discussion with and permission from the client.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for direct communication on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach does not attend to the client’s agenda, changes the agenda without input from the client, or appears attached to a particular outcome or solution. The coach will also not receive a passing grade on the ACC performance evaluation if the communication frequently occurs in a convoluted, meandering, or circuitous manner.

    8. Creating Awareness—Ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information, and to make interpretations that help the client to gain awareness and thereby achieve agreed-upon results

    a. Goes beyond what is said in assessing client’s concerns, not getting caught up in the client’s description

    b. Invokes inquiry for greater understanding, awareness and clarity

    c. Identifies with the client his/her underlying concerns, typical and fixed ways of perceiving himself/herself and the world, differences between the facts and the interpretation, disparities between thoughts, feelings and action

    d. Helps clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them

    e. Communicates broader perspectives to clients and inspires commitment to shift their viewpoints and find new possibilities for action

    f. Helps clients to see the different, interrelated factors that affect them and their behaviors (e.g., thoughts, emotions, body, background)

    g. Expresses insights to clients in ways that are useful and meaningful for the client

    h. Identifies major strengths vs. major areas for learning and growth, and what is most important to address during coaching

    i. Asks the client to distinguish between trivial and significant issues, situational vs. recurring behaviors, when detecting a separation between what is being stated and what is being done

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to partner fully with the client in exploration of new and broader perspectives, learning, creating, and actions; 2) The coach’s ability to share perspectives without attachment and invitation to the client to share their own thinking, perspectives, and intuition; 3) The coach’s invitation to and acceptance of the client’s intuition, thinking, and language as critical tools in the coaching process; 4) The coach’s ability to illuminate the client’s fixed ways of thinking that might inhibit growth or accomplishment of the client’s goals without treating the coach’s observation as truth, but only as the coach’s thoughts; 5) The coach’s ability to use the client’s language as a tool of creating awareness; 6) The coach’s ability to integrate beginning, middle and end of the session together if appropriate to the client’s learning and creating 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for creating awareness is that the coach focuses on inquiry and observations that relate to the client’s stated agenda with the greater focus on inquiry rather than offering the coach’s opinions. The coach assists the client to explore that agenda more deeply and without significant attachment by the coach to a particular outcome or direction. The coach uses coaching tools in a manner that encourages rather than limits exploration.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for creating awareness on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach does not attend to the client’s agenda, changes the agenda without input from the client, or appears attached to a particular outcome or solution. The coach will also not receive a passing grade on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach narrows the exploration of awareness significantly to a single issue without discussing that decision with the client and without the client’s consent. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach seems to substitute assessments or standard coaching exercises for powerful questioning or inquiry.

    9. Designing Actions—Ability to create with the client opportunities for ongoing learning, during coaching in work/life situations, and for taking new actions that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results

    a. Brainstorms and assists the client to define actions that will enable the client to demonstrate, practice and deepen new learning

    b. Helps the client to focus on and systematically explore specific concerns and opportunities that are central to agreed-upon coaching goals

    c. Engages the client to explore alternative ideas and solutions, to evaluate options, and to make related decisions

    d. Promotes active experimentation and self-discovery, where the client applies what has been discussed and learned during sessions immediately

    e. Celebrates client successes and capabilities for future growth

    f. Challenges client’s assumptions and perspectives to provoke new ideas and find new possibilities for action

    g. Advocates or brings forward points of view that are aligned with client goals and, without attachment, engages the client to consider them

    h. Helps the client “Do It Now” during the coaching session, providing immediate support

    i. Encourages stretches and challenges but also a comfortable pace of learning.

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to fully partner with the client in designing actions that relate to and move forward towards the client’s stated agenda; 2) That actions are of a breadth and depth that they may include thinking, feeling, and learning; 3) That the designed actions integrate the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 4) That the designed actions are appropriate to what occurred in the session, where the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 5) That the designed actions are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for designing actions is that the coach suggests homework and actions that are related to the client’s stated agenda and measures of accomplishment of that agenda and that the suggested homework have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward in their thinking, learning, or action around the stated agenda. At this level, the coach may also suggest tools or structures to assist the client so long as the tools are not forced on the client and that the tools or structure bear an easily recognizable relationship to achieving the client’s stated agenda.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for designing actions on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach insists the client do what the coach has prescribed as homework, the suggested homework does not have a clear relationship to the client’s stated agenda, the homework does not have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward, or if suggested tools and structures clearly do not bear a relationship to the needs of the particular client or his/her agenda.

    10. Planning and Goal Setting—Ability to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client

    a. Consolidates collected information and establishes a coaching plan and development goals with the client that address concerns and major areas for learning and development

    b. Creates a plan with results that are attainable, measurable, specific and have target dates

    c. Makes plan adjustments as warranted by the coaching process and by changes in the situation

    d. Helps the client identify and access different resources for learning (e.g., books, other professionals)

    e. Identifies and targets early successes that are important to the client

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to fully partner with and explore with the client in order to create goals and plans that match the client’s learning and creating style, stated agenda and desired outcomes; 2) That the plans and goals designed are of a breadth and depth that they may include thinking, feeling, learning, and creating; 3) That the designed plans and goals integrated the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 4) That the designed plans and goals are appropriate to what occurred in the session, and where the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 5) That the designed plans and goals are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating; 6) That wherever appropriate, the coach helps the client design measurable achievements that are steps toward the client’s ultimate desired outcome 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for planning and goal setting is that the coach adopt goals suggested by the client and/or helps client set goals that are clear on the surface and causally related to achieving the client’s overall objectives and stated agenda. The plans and measures of accomplishment must have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward in their thinking, learning, or action around the stated agenda and toward the client’s overall measures of success. At this level, the coach may also suggest tools or structures to assist the client so long as the tools are not forced on the client and that the tools or structure bear an easily recognizable relationship to achieving the client’s stated agenda and desired outcome.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for planning and goal setting on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach insists that the client follow a prescribed plan familiar to the coach, if the coach is unable to support the client in developing an effective coaching plan, if the plan or goals do not have a clear relationship to the client’s stated agenda and desired outcome, if the plan or goals do not have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward, or if suggested tools and structures clearly do not bear a relationship to the needs of the particular client or his/her agenda.

    11. Managing Progress and Accountability—Ability to hold attention on what is important for the client, and to leave responsibility with the client to take action.

    a. Clearly requests of the client actions that will move the client toward their stated goals

    b. Demonstrates follow through by asking the client about those actions that the client committed to during the previous sessions(s)

    c. Acknowledges the client for what they have done, not done, learned or become aware of since the previous coaching sessions(s) d. Effectively prepares,

    d. Effectively prepares, organizes and reviews with client information obtained during sessions

    e. Keeps the client on track between sessions by holding attention on the coaching plan and outcomes, agreed-upon courses of action, and topics for future session(s),

    f. Focuses on the coaching plan but is also open to adjusting behaviors and actions based on the coaching process and shifts in direction during sessions

    g. Is able to move back and forth between the big picture of where the client is heading, setting a context for what is being discussed and where the client wishes to go

    h. Promotes client’s self-discipline and holds the client accountable for what they say they are going to do, for the results of an intended action, or for a specific plan with related time frames

    i. Develops the client’s ability to make decisions, address key concerns, and develop himself/herself (to get feedback, to determine priorities and set the pace of learning, to reflect on and learn from experiences)

    j. Positively confronts the client with the fact that he/she did not take agreed-upon actions

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to partner fully with the client to create structures and methods for measuring progress and holding the client accountable to themselves for the progress; 2) That the methods and structures of accountability integrate the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 3) That the designed structures and methods of accountability are capable of producing forward movement by the client, appropriate to what occurred in the session, and to where the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 4) That the designed structures and methods of accountability are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating; 5) The coach’s ability to trust the client to be accountable to themselves and confidence in holding the client accountable as per the agreed upon methods of accountability 

    At an ACC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for managing progress and accountability is that the coach suggests measures of success and structures of accountability to the client and/or helps the client develop measures of success and structures of accountability that are clearly and causally related to achieving the client’s overall objectives and stated agenda. The structures of accountability and measures of accomplishment must have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward in their thinking, learning, or action around the stated agenda and toward the client’s overall measures of success. At this level, the coach may also suggest tools or structures to assist the client so long as the tools are not forced on the client and that the tools or structure bear an easily recognizable relationship to achieving the client’s stated agenda and desired outcome.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for managing progress and accountability on the ACC performance evaluation if the coach insists that the client follow prescribed measures and structures familiar to the coach, if the coach is unable to support the client in developing an effective method of managing and measuring progress, if the measures and methods of accountability do not have a clear relationship to the client’s stated agenda and desired outcomes, if they do not have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward, or if suggested tools and structures clearly do not bear a relationship to the needs of the particular client or his/her agenda.

    Copyright 2006, International Coach Federation, all rights reserved. 

  • PCC

    Minimum Skills Requirements for PCC Credentials

    ICF believes that it has an obligation to support its member coaches in the growth of their skill set. Every master coach started as a beginner, progressed through an intermediate level of skill, and became masterful, where the hallmark is always the complete evidence of the coach’s role as learner about the client. The ICF credentialing process with its three levels is a reflection of the continuum of growth that each coach undergoes.

    This document has been created to support coaches with preparation for the PCC credentialing performance evaluation. We also hope that this document will assist mentor coaches supporting and supervising these coaches, and coach training schools undertaking accreditation of their programs. The aim is the help coaches successfully complete the PCC performance evaluation and also to help them continue to develop their skill set as coaches.

    The document’s structure will provide those seeking a credential an understanding regarding what assessors evaluate in relation to each competency, the minimum level of skill necessary to successfully demonstrate a PCC level of competency, and also help them understand what non-coaching behaviors might prevent successful completion of the PCC performance evaluation process. We hope the document helps each individual coach answer the following queries: What does it mean to be a PCC coach? What do ICF assessors listen for when they are evaluating my coaching? As I progress on my coaching journey, what are my strengths and what are the skill set areas that I need to grow to pass the PCC performance evaluation?

    Finally, ICF strongly believes that clients receive real and substantive value from PCC coaches. That value rests always in the coach’s complete attention to the client and what the client wishes to accomplish, the level of partnership with the client, as well as the coach’s complete support of the client’s agenda. We honor each and every coach on their journey and look forward to supporting your path of growth as a coach and your credentialing path within ICF.

    1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards—Understanding of coaching ethics and standards and ability to apply them appropriately in all coaching situations

    a. Understands and exhibits in own behaviors the ICF Standards of Conduct b. Understands and follows all ICF Ethical Guidelines

    b. Understands and follows all ICF Ethical Guidelines

    c. Clearly communicates the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions

    d. Refers client to another support professional as needed, knowing when this is needed and the available resources

    Important Note: Familiarity with the code of ethics and its application is required for all levels of coaching and the standard for demonstrating a strong ethical understanding of coaching is similar and rigorous for all levels of ICF credentialing. An applicant will pass this competency if they demonstrate a knowledge of the coaching conversation that is focused on inquiry and exploration and if the conversation is based on present and future issues. An applicant will not pass this competency if the applicant focuses primarily on telling the client what to do or how to do it (consulting mode) or if the conversation is based primarily in the past, particularly the emotional past (therapeutic mode). In addition, the ICF notes that if an applicant is not clear on basic foundation exploration and evoking skills that underlie the ICF definition of coaching, that lack of clarity in skill use will be reflected in skill level demonstrated in some of the other competencies listed below. For example, if a coach almost exclusively gives advice or indicates that a particular answer chosen by the coach is what the client should do, trust and intimacy, coaching presence, powerful questioning, creating awareness, and client generated actions and accountability will not be present and a credential at any level would be denied.

    2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement—Ability to understand what is required in the specific coaching interaction and to come to an agreement with the prospective and new client about the coaching process and relationship

    a. Understands and effectively discusses with the client the guidelines and specific parameters of the coaching relationship (e.g., logistics, fees, scheduling, inclusion of others if appropriate)

    b. Reaches agreement about what is appropriate in the relationship and what is not, what is and is not being offered, and about the client’s and coach’s responsibilities

    c. Determines whether there is an effective match between his/her coaching method and the needs of the prospective client

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The depth of creation of agreement for session; 2) The coach’s ability to partner and the depth of partnering with the client in the creation of agreement, measures of success, and issues to be addressed

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to achieve a passing score for establishing the coaching agreement is that the coach asks the client what they want to work on, explores and confirms that the agenda is meaningful for the client and will move the client toward desired outcome(s), the coach engages in some exploration of the measures of success for each outcome desired in the session, and the coach engages in some exploration of the issues related to each outcome. The coach attends to that agenda, those measures, and those issues throughout the coaching. The coach may raise unseen issues to the client, but will not change agendas, measures, or issues unless redirected by the client. The coach should also check with the client during the session to make sure that the client’s goals for the session are in fact being achieved.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for establishing the coaching agreement on the PCC performance evaluation if the coach chooses the topic(s) for the client or if the coach does not coach around the topic(s) the client has chosen. The evaluation for this competency will also be negatively impacted if the coach does not engage in some exploration of the measures of success for each topic with the client or defines those measures for the client. The evaluation will be negatively impacted if the coach does not engage in some exploration of underlying issues related to achievement of the outcomes or agenda or does not check with the client about whether the client is moving toward what the client wanted from the session.

    3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client—Ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust

    a. Shows genuine concern for the client’s welfare and future

    b. Continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty, and sincerity

    c. Establishes clear agreements and keeps promises

    d. Demonstrates respect for client’s perceptions, learning style, personal being

    e. Provides ongoing support for and champions new behaviors and actions, including those involving risk-taking and fear of failure

    f. Asks permission to coach client in sensitive, new areas

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of connection to the client; 2) The coach’s depth of demonstration of trust in the client and the client’s processes of thinking, creating; 3) The coach’s willingness to be completely comfortable with their own authenticity with the client

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client is that the coach shows genuine concern for client, shows a good degree of connected relationship to the client, and is attuned to and demonstrates trust in the client’s perceptions, learning style, and personal being. The coach must also demonstrate an ability to provide ongoing support for new behaviors and actions as well as an invitation to the client to participate in the development and creation of those new behaviors.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client on the PCC performance evaluation if the coach demonstrates significant interest in the coach’s view of the situation rather than the client’s view of the situation, does not seek information from the client about the client’s thinking around the situation, does not seek information about the client’s goals regarding the situation, or the attention seems to be on the coach’s own performance or demonstration of knowledge about the topic. In addition, the evaluation will be negatively impacted if the coach does not invite the client to share his/her thinking on an equal level with the coach.

    4. Coaching Presence—Ability to be fully conscious and create a spontaneous relationship with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible and confident

    a. Is present and flexible during the coaching process

    b. Accesses own intuition and trusts one’s inner knowing c. Is open to not knowing and takes risks

    c. Is open to not knowing and takes risks

    d. Sees many ways to work with the client, and chooses in the moment what is most effective

    e. Uses humor effectively to create lightness and energy

    f. Confidently shifts perspectives and experiments with new possibilities for own action

    g. Demonstrates confidence in working with strong emotions, and can self-manage and not be overpowered or enmeshed by client’s emotions

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of partnership with the client; 2) The coach’s depth of observation of and use of the whole of the client in the coaching process

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for coaching presence is that the coach attends to the client’s agenda, seeks information from the client about that agenda, is responsive to that information as it relates both to actions to achieve the client’s agenda and the client’s way of thinking, learning, and being. The coach is also attentive to what actions the client is taking in relation to the agenda and to some degree, how those actions relate to the client’s way of thinking, learning, and creating. In addition, the coach must demonstrate a good level of partnership with the client where the client has a voice in not only choosing the topic, but also choosing the method and manner of coaching.

    The ICF notes that trust and intimacy and presence are quite related competencies. Therefore, a coach will not receive a passing score for coaching presence on the PCC performance evaluation if the coach demonstrates significant interest in the coach’s view of the situation rather than the client’s view of the situation, does not seek information from the client about the client’s thinking around the situation or is unresponsive to that information, does not seek information about the client’s goals regarding the situation or is unresponsive to that information, or the attention seems to be on the coach’s own performance or demonstration of knowledge about the topic. The evaluation will be negatively impacted if the coach, rather than being present and responsive to the client, is overly reliant on an obvious coaching formula, a specific coaching tool, or standard coaching questions. The evaluation would also be negatively impacted if the coach does not allow the client to contribute to creating the method or way that the coaching session will evolve.

    5. Active Listening—Ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires, and to support client self-expression

    a. Attends to the client and the client’s agenda, and not to the coach’s agenda for the client b. Hears the client’s concerns, goals, values, and beliefs about what is and is not possible

    b. Hears the client’s concerns, goals, values, and beliefs about what is and is not possible

    c. Distinguishes between the words, the tone of voice, and the body language

    d. Summarizes, paraphrases, reiterates, mirrors back what client has said to ensure clarity and understanding

    e. Encourages, accepts, explores and reinforces the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs, suggestions, etc.

    f. Integrates and builds on client’s ideas and suggestions

    g. “Bottom-lines” or understands the essence of the client’s communication and helps the client get there rather than engaging in long descriptive stories

    h. Allows the client to vent or “clear” the situation without judgment or attachment in order to move on to next steps

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of hearing what the client says in relations to the client’s agenda; 2) The coach’s ability to hear on multiple levels including both the emotional and substantive content of the words; 3) The coach’s ability to hear underlying beliefs, thinking, creating, and learning that are occurring for the client including recognizing incongruities in language, emotions, and actions; 4) The coach’s ability to hear the client’s language and to encourage the client to deepen descriptive language for themselves

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for active listening is that the coach listens on a conscious level and hears what the client says in relation to the client’s agenda, responds to it in relation to the client’s agenda, the listening is focused on helping the client achieve their agenda, and the coach can change direction if the client changes direction. The coach has an ability to hear a good portion of the client’s way of thinking, creating, and learning, and incorporates that into the coach’s response to what the client says. There is also some evidence that the coach has heard and taken notice of the client’s language in their response to the client. The coach must demonstrate some good ability to hear strengths as well as challenges.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for active listening on the PCC exam if the coach does not demonstrate listening that is focused on and responding to what the client says or the coach’s response is not related to what the client is trying to achieve or their hearing is limited to listening for problems or weaknesses. The coach will not receive a passing grade on the PCC exam if the coach appears to be listening for the place where the coach can demonstrate their knowledge about the topic or tell the client what to do about the topic. In addition, the evaluation will be negatively impacted if the coach demonstrates that they can only hear through their own perceptions, and models of thinking, learning, and creating rather than being able to hear some of the client’s models and methods of thinking, learning, and creating.

    6. Powerful Questioning—Ability to ask questions that reveal the information needed for maximum benefit to the coaching relationship and the client

    a. Asks questions that reflect active listening and an understanding of the client’s perspective

    b. Asks questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the client’s assumptions)

    c. Asks open-ended questions that create greater clarity, possibility or new learning

    d. Asks questions that move the client towards what they desire, not questions that ask for the client to justify or look backward

    Key Skills Evaluated: The coach’s depth of questioning that evokes the core issues that are either contained in or underlie the client’s agenda; 2) The coach’s ability to explore with and to evoke exploration by the client of the emotional and substantive content of the words; 3) The coach’s ability to explore with and evoke exploration by the client of the underlying beliefs and means of thinking, creating, and learning that are occurring for the client; 4) The depth at which the coach’s questions provide a thinking space for and elicit new perspectives from the client

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for powerful questioning is that the coach’s questions must attend to the client’s agenda and must include a mix of informational and evocative, exploration-oriented questions. The mix should be weighted toward evocative rather than informational questions. The questions should include a mix of questions oriented to the exploring of issues underlying the client’s agenda as well as some questions that allow the coach and client to see how the client’s being, learning, creating, and acting can be used to achieve success. Many of the questions should emanate from the coach’s listening to the client at multiple levels, and should often be based in the client’s language rather than the coach’s language. At this level, the coach’s use of formulaic or standard questions should be somewhat limited.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for powerful questioning on the PCC performance evaluation if the coach asks questions that reflect the coach’s view of the situation or a preconceived answer decided on by the coach. The coach will not receive a passing grade on this competency if the questions are leading the client in a direction chosen by the coach without discussion with and assent to the direction by the client. At this level, the coach is expected to move beyond standard questions. Therefore, a coach’s inability to move beyond standardized coaching questions or the coach’s models of thinking and learning to the exclusion of the client’s models of thinking and learning will negatively impact the evaluation.

    7. Direct Communication—Ability to communicate effectively during coaching sessions, and to use language that has the greatest positive impact on the client

    a. Is clear, articulate and direct in sharing and providing feedback

    b. Reframes and articulates to help the client understand from another perspective what he/she wants or is uncertain about

    c. Clearly states coaching objectives, meeting agenda, purpose of techniques or exercises

    d. Uses language appropriate and respectful to the client (e.g., non-sexist, non-racist, non-technical, non-jargon)

    e. Uses metaphor and analogy to help to illustrate a point or paint a verbal picture

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The ease, directness, and depth with which the coach shares perspectives, thoughts, intuition, and feedback; 2) Whether the coach appears to have any attachment to the coach’s perspective; 3) The coach’s effective use of the client’s language and learning models; 4) The breadth of the invitation the coach gives to the client to share his/her own perspectives, thoughts, intuition, and feedback

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for direct communication is that the coach is frequently direct, and has a sufficient base of language tools to use with the client. In addition, the coach provides some level of invitation for the client to share their intuition and models of thinking as part of the learning process. The coach’s communication is oriented not only to the present situation but also, at times, to the broader thinking and learning that might be available to the client. The coach makes good use of the client’s language as part of their communication with the client.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for direct communication on the PCC performance evaluation if the coach significantly or dominantly relies on their own language, thinking models, and models of learning without use of the client’s skill set in these areas. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach does not invite the client to share these areas as well as the client’s intuition with the coach or if the coach is attached to a particular direction or outcome in the coaching.

    8. Creating Awareness—Ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information, and to make interpretations that help the client to gain awareness and thereby achieve agreed-upon results

    a. Goes beyond what is said in assessing client’s concerns, not getting caught up in the client’s description

    b. Invokes inquiry for greater understanding, awareness and clarity

    c. Identifies with the client his/her underlying concerns, typical and fixed ways of perceiving himself/herself and the world, differences between the facts and the interpretation, disparities between thoughts, feelings and action

    d. Helps clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them

    e. Communicates broader perspectives to clients and inspires commitment to shift their viewpoints and find new possibilities for action

    f. Helps clients to see the different, interrelated factors that affect them and their behaviors (e.g., thoughts, emotions, body, background)

    g. Expresses insights to clients in ways that are useful and meaningful for the client

    h. Identifies major strengths vs. major areas for learning and growth, and what is most important to address during coaching

    i. Asks the client to distinguish between trivial and significant issues, situational vs. recurring behaviors when detecting a separation between what is being stated and what is being done

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to partner fully with the client in exploration of new and broader perspectives, learning, creating, and actions; 2) The coach’s ability to share perspectivewithout attachment and invitation to the client to share their own thinking, perspectives, and intuition; 3) The coach’s invitation to and acceptance of the client’s intuition, thinking, and language as critical tools in the coaching process; 4) The coach’s ability to illuminate the client’s fixed ways of thinking that might inhibit growth or accomplishment of the client’s goals without treating the coach’s observation as truth, but only as the coach’s thoughts; 5) The coach’s ability to use the client’s language as a tool of creating awareness; 6) The coach’s ability to integrate beginning, middle and end of the session together if appropriate to the client’s learning and creating

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for creating awareness is that the coach focuses on deeper inquiry by the client and encourages the client to create new awareness by engaging in problem solving or goal achievement. The coach encourages the client’s exploration and creation of new techniques or tools to help the client attend to the client’s agenda and achieve desired outcomes. The coach shows no attachment to a specific outcome of the coaching and is somewhat willing to not know where the coaching is going. The coach demonstrates an ability help the client integrate new awareness as it pertains to a particular situation and agenda. The coach, at least some of the time, invites the client to define the learning that is occurring versus the coach defining the learning that is occurring. The coach demonstrates a professional level of ability to understand the way the client learns and creates and uses that, as well as the client’s language, as coaching tools.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for creating awareness on the PCC performance evaluation if the coach does not attend to the client’s agenda, changes the agenda without input from the client, or appears attached to a particular outcome or solution. The coach will also not receive a passing grade on the PCC performance evaluation if the coach does not use the client’s thinking and learning tools as tools within the coaching or does not use the client’s language as a coaching tool. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach seems to substitute assessments or standard coaching exercises to the exclusion of using the tools already existing within the client to create awareness. The coach will not receive a passing grade if the coach states what awareness is without exploring with the client what the client’s awareness is or seeking the client’s input on whether the coach’s observations are correct and giving the client a chance to add their own observations.

    9. Designing Actions—Ability to create with the client opportunities for ongoing learning, during coaching and in work/life situations, and for taking new actions that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results

    a. Brainstorms and assists the client to define actions that will enable the client to demonstrate, practice and deepen new learning

    b. Helps the client to focus on and systematically explore specific concerns and opportunities that are central to agreed-upon coaching goals

    c. Engages the client to explore alternative ideas and solutions, to evaluate options, and to make related decisions

    d. Promotes active experimentation and self-discovery, where the client applies what has been discussed and learned during sessions immediately afterward in his/her work or life setting

    e. Celebrates client successes and capabilities for future growth

    f. Challenges client’s assumptions and perspectives to provoke new ideas and find new possibilities for action

    g. Advocates or brings forward points of view that are aligned with client goals and, without attachment, engages the client to consider them

    h. Helps the client “Do It Now” during the coaching session, providing immediate support

    i. Encourages stretches and challenges but also a comfortable pace of learning

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to fully partner with the client in designing actions that relate to and move forward towards the client’s stated agenda; 2) That actions are of a breadth and depth that they may include thinking, feeling, and learning; 3) That the designed actions integrate the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 4) That the designed actions are appropriate to what occurred in the session, where the clienis with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 5) That the designed actions are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for designing actions is that the coach engages in at least a partial partnership with the client in order to design actions. The coach does not simply suggest actions and homework without client input. As is always the case at this level, the homework and actions must be related to the client’s stated agenda and measures of accomplishment of that agenda. The suggested homework must have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward in their thinking, learning, or action around the stated agenda. The co-created actions should at least partially reflect the client’s learning, processing, and creating style. At this level, the coach may infrequently suggest tools or structures to assist the client, but discusses the value of the tools with the client and gets client input on how they should be used and whether they should be used rather than simply seeking client assent to the use of the tool, exercise, or structure. The tools, exercises or structures must bear an easy recognizable relationship to achieving the client’s stated agenda and bear some recognizable relationship to the client’s style of learning, creating, and achieving.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for designing actions on the PCC performance evaluation if there is little or no co-creation in the process of designing actions, the actions do not have a clear relationship to the client’s stated agenda and the client’s style of learning and creating, the actions do not have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward, or if suggested tools and structures clearly do not bear a relationship to the needs of the particular client or his/her agenda, or are imposed on the client without discussion.

    10. Planning and Goal Setting—Ability to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client

    a. Consolidates collected information and establishes a coaching plan and development goals with the client that address concerns and major areas for learning and development

    b. Creates a plan with results that are attainable, measurable, specific and have target dates

    c. Makes plan adjustments as warranted by the coaching process and by changes in the situation

    d. Helps the client identify and access different resources for learning (e.g., books, other professionals)

    e. Identifies and targets early successes that are important to the client

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to fully partner with and explore with the client in order to create goals and plans that match the client’s learning and creating style, stated agenda and desired outcomes; 2) That the plans and goals designed are of a breadth and depth that they may include thinking, feeling, learning, and creating; 3) That the designed plans and goals integrated the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 4)That the designed plans and goals are appropriate to what occurred in the session, anwhere the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 5) That the designed plans and goals are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating; 6) That wherever appropriate, the coach helps the client design measurable achievements that are steps toward the client’s ultimate desired outcome

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for planning and goal setting is that the coach engages in a partial partnership with the client that assists the client to set goals that are clearly and causally related to achieving the client’s overall objectives and stated agenda. The plans and measures of accomplishment must have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward in their thinking, learning, and action around the stated agenda and toward the client’s overall measures of success. At this level, the coach may also occasionally suggest tools or structures to assist the client so long as the tools are not forced on the client and that the tools or structure bear an easily recognizable relationship to achieving the client’s stated agenda and desired outcome and the client’s style of learning and creating.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for planning and goal setting on the PCC performance evaluation if there is little or no partnership or co-creation of the plans and goals, if the coach is the most significant voice in suggesting plans and goals, if the coach is unable to support the client in developing an effective coaching plan, if the plan or goals do not have a clear relationship to the client’s stated agenda and desired outcomes or the client’s learning and creating processes, if the plan or goals do not have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward, or if suggested tools and structures clearly do not bear a relationship to the needs of the particular client or his/her agenda. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach suggests standard coaching tools or exercises without discussing with the client the extent to which they might be of value to the client.

    11. Managing Progress and Accountability—Ability to hold attention on what is important for the client, and to leave the responsibility with the client to take action.

    a. Clearly requests of the client actions that will move the client toward their stated goals

    b. Demonstrates follow through by asking the client about those actions that the client committed to during the previous sessions(s)

    b. Demonstrates follow through by asking the client about those actions that the client committed to during the previous sessions(s)

    c. Acknowledges the client for what they have done, not done, learned or become aware of since the previous coaching sessions(s)

    d. Effectively prepares, organizes and reviews with client information obtained during sessions

    e. Keeps the client on track between sessions by holding attention on the coaching plan and outcomes, agreed-upon courses of action, and topics for future session(s)

    f. Focuses on the coaching plan but is also open to adjusting behaviors and actions based on the coaching process and shifts in direction during sessions

    g. Is able to move back and forth between the big picture of where the client is heading, setting a context for what is being discussed and where the client wishes to go

    h. Promotes client’s self-discipline and holds the client accountable for what they say they are going to do, for the results of an intended action, or for a specific plan with related time frames

    i. Develops the client’s ability to make decisions, address key concerns, and develop himself/herself (to get feedback, to determine priorities and set the pace of learning, to reflect on and learn from experiences)

    j. Positively confronts the client with the fact that he/she did not take agreed-upon actions

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to partner fully with the client to create structures and methods for measuring progress and holding the client accountable to themselves for the progress; 2) That the methods and structures of accountability integrate thwhole of the clienwhenever appropriate; 3) That the designed structureand methods of accountability are capable of producing forward movement by the client, appropriate to what occurred in the session, and to where the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 4) That the designed structureand methods of accountability are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating; 5) The coach’s ability to trust the client to be accountable to themselves and confidence in holding the client accountable as per the agreed upon methods of accountability

    At a PCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for managing progress and accountability is that the coach engages in a partial partnership with the client to help the client develop measures of success and structures of accountability that are clearly and causally related to achieving the client’s overall objectives and stated agenda and clearly related to the client’s style of learning and creating. The structures of accountability and measures of accomplishment must have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward in their thinking, learning, or action around the stated agenda and toward the client’s overall measures of success as well as deepen their learning. At this level, the coach may also occasionally suggest tools or structures to assist the client so long as the tools are not forced on the client and that the tools or structure bear an easily recognizable relationship to achieving the client’s stated agenda and desired outcome and the client’s style of learning and creating.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for managing progress and accountability on the PCC performance evaluation if there is little or no partnership of co-creation of the measures of success and accountability structures, if the coach is the most significant voice in setting accountability structures, if the coach is unable to support the client in developing an effective measures and accountability structure, if the measures and structures do not have a clear relationship to the client’s stated agenda and desired outcome or the client’s learning and creating processes, if the plan or goals do not have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward, or if suggested tools and structures clearly do not bear a relationship to the needs of the particular client or his/her agenda. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach suggests standard coaching tools or exercises without discussing with the client the extent to which they might be of value to the client.

    Copyright 2006, International Coach Federation, all rights reserved.

  • MCC

    Minimum Skills Requirements for MCC Credentials

    ICF believes that it has an obligation to support its member coaches in the growth of their skill set. Every master coach started as a beginner, progressed through an intermediate level of skill, and became masterful, where the hallmark is always the complete evidence of the coach’s role as learner about the client. The ICF credentialing process with its three levels is a reflection of the continuum of growth that each coach undergoes.

    This document has been created to support coaches with preparation for the MCC credentialing performance evaluation. We also hope that this document will assist mentor coaches supporting these coaches, and coach training schools undertaking accreditation of their programs. The aim is t0 help coaches successfully complete the MCC performance evaluation and also to help them continue to develop their skill set as coaches.

    The document’s structure will provide those seeking a credential an understanding regarding what assessors evaluate in relation to each competency, the minimum level of skill necessary to successfully demonstrate an MCC level of competency, and also help them understand what non-coaching behaviors might prevent successful completion of the MCC performance evaluation process. We hope the document helps each individual coach answer the following queries: What does it mean to be an MCC coach? What do ICF assessors listen for when they are evaluating my coaching? As I progress on my coaching journey, what are my strengths and what are the skill set areas that I need to grow to pass the MCC performance evaluation?

    Finally, ICF strongly believes that clients receive real and substantive value from MCC coaches. That value rests always in the coach’s complete attention to the client and what the client wishes to accomplish, the complete level of partnership with the client, as well as the coach’s complete support of the client’s agenda. We honor each and every coach on their journey and look forward to supporting your path of growth as a coach and your credentialing path within ICF.

    1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards — Understanding of coaching ethics and standards and ability to apply them appropriately in all coaching situations

    a. Understands and exhibits in own behaviors the ICF Standards of Conduct

    b. Understands and follows all ICF Ethical Guidelines

    c. Clearly communicates the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions

    d. Refers client to another support professional as needed, knowing when this is needed and the available resources

    Important Note: Familiarity with the code of ethics and its application is required for all levels of coaching and the standard for demonstrating a strong ethical understanding of coaching is similar and rigorous for all levels of ICF credentialing. An applicant will pass this competency if they demonstrate a knowledge of the coaching conversation that is focused on inquiry and exploration and if the conversation is based on present and future issues. An applicant will not pass this competency if the applicant focuses primarily on telling the client what to do or how to do it (consulting mode) or if the conversation is based primarily in the past, particularly the emotional past (therapeutic mode). In addition, the ICF notes that if an applicant is not clear on basic foundation exploration and evoking skills that underlie the ICF definition of coaching, that lack of clarity in skill use will be reflected in skill level demonstrated in some of the other competencies listed below. For example, if a coach almost exclusively gives advice or indicates that a particular answer chosen by the coach is what the client should do, trust and intimacy, coaching presence, powerful questioning, creating awareness, and client generated actions and accountability will not be present and a credential at any level would be denied.

    2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement — Ability to understand what is required in the specific coaching interaction and to come to an agreement with the prospective and new client about the coaching process and relationship

    a. Understands and effectively discusses with the client the guidelines and specific parameters of the coaching relationship (e.g., logistics, fees, scheduling, inclusion of others if appropriate)

    b. Reaches agreement about what is appropriate in the relationship and what is not, what is and is not being offered, and about the client’s and coach’s responsibilities

    c. Determines whether there is an effective match between his/her coaching method and the needs of the prospective client

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The depth of creation of agreement for session; 2) The coach’s ability to partner and the depth of partnering with the client in the creation of agreement, measures of success, and issues to be addressed 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to achieve a passing score for establishing the coaching agreement is that the coach fully explores with the client what the client wants to work on. The coach engages in full exploration of the measures of success for each topic in the session. The coach engages the client in a full exploration of the issues related to the topic that must be addressed for the client’s measures of success to occur. The coach, through a partnering discussion, ensures that both the coach and client are clear about the agenda, the measures of success, and the issues to be discussed. The coach attends to that agenda and those measures throughout the coaching, unless redirected by the client. Any potential change in direction of the coaching session is thoroughly explored in partnership with the client and the client is the ultimate decision maker as to whether a change in direction will occur. The coach regularly checks with the client throughout the session to make sure that the client’s goals for the session are in fact being achieved and that the direction and process chosen are forwarding the client’s thinking and/or action about their desired goals.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for establishing the coaching agreement on the MCC performance evaluation if full partnership with the client is not demonstrated. Full partnership will not be demonstrated if the coach chooses the topic(s) for the client or if the coach does not coach around the topic(s) the client has chosen. The evaluation for this competency will also be negatively impacted if the coach does not explore the measures of success for each topic with the client to a degree that achieves clarity about the client’s intent or direction for the session, does not allow the client full input into the issues that should be discussed relative to the client’s stated objectives for the session, or does not check with the client about whether the client is moving toward what the client wanted from the session.

    3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client — Ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust

    a. Shows genuine concern for the client’s welfare and future

    b. Continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty, and sincerity

    c. Establishes clear agreements and keeps promises

    d. Demonstrates respect for client’s perceptions, learning style, personal being

    e. Provides ongoing support for and champions new behaviors and actions, including those involving risk-taking and fear of failure

    f. Asks permission to coach client in sensitive, new areas

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of connection to the client; 2) The coach’s depth of demonstration of trust in the client and the client’s processes of thinking, creating; 3) The coach’s willingness to be completely comfortable with their own authenticity with the client 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client is that the coach demonstrates complete trust in the client and the process. Such trust and intimacy will be evidenced by the equality between coach and client in the conversation, the coach’s comfortableness with not knowing as a state to expand awareness in, and the coach’s willingness to be vulnerable with the client and have the client be vulnerable in return.

    The MCC level coach demonstrates a complete confidence in self, the coaching process, the client, and the client’s perceptions, learning style, and personal being. The client is treated as a full and complete partner in the relationship with a complete and full invitation to participate in the development and creation of the coaching process and their own new learning and behaviors. There is a sense of complete ease and naturalness in the conversation.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not treat the client as a full partner choosing not only the agenda but also participating in the creation of the coaching process itself. Lack of full partnership will be demonstrated if the coach exhibits an interest in the coach’s view of the situation rather than the client’s view of the situation, does not seek information from the client about the client’s thinking around the situation, does not seek information about the client’s goals regarding the situation, or any attention seems to be on the coach’s own performance or demonstration of knowledge about the topic. In addition, the evaluation will be negatively impacted if the coach does not invite the client to share his/her thinking on an equal level with the coach and/or chooses the direction and tools in the session without significant input from the client. Any indication that the coach is teaching rather than coaching will also create a score below the MCC level.

    4. Coaching Presence — Ability to be fully conscious and create a spontaneous relationship with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible and confident

    a. Is present and flexible during the coaching process

    b. Accesses own intuition and trusts one’s inner knowing

    c. Is open to not knowing and takes risks

    d. Sees many ways to work with the client, and chooses in the moment what is most effective

    e. Uses humor effectively to create lightness and energy

    f. Confidently shifts perspectives and experiments with new possibilities for own action

    g. Demonstrates confidence in working with strong emotions, and can self-manage and not be overpowered or enmeshed by client’s emotions

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of partnership with the client; 2) The coach’s depth of observation of and use of the whole of the client in the coaching process 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for coaching presence is that the coach is completely joined with the client in the coaching dialogue and is a connected observer to the client holding both objective and emotional perspective simultaneously. The connection is to the whole of the client, who the client is, what the client wants, how the client learns and creates, and what the client has to teach the coach. The coach evidences a complete curiosity that is undiluted by a need to perform. As with trust and intimacy, the coach is in a complete partnership with the client where the client is an equal or greater contributor to the conversation and direction of the coaching than the coach. The coach is willing to let the client teach the coach and is unafraid to be a student of the client. At the MCC level, the conversation between coach and client is equal and easy, even in uncomfortable moments.

    ICF notes that trust and intimacy and presence are quite related competencies. Therefore, a coach will not receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not treat the client as a full partner choosing not only the agenda but also participating in the creation of the coaching process itself. Such lack of full partnership is demonstrated if the coach exhibits interest in the coach’s view of the situation rather than the client’s view of the situation, does not seek information from the client about the client’s thinking around the situation, does not seek information about the client’s goals regarding the situation, or any attention seems to be on the coach’s own performance or demonstration of knowledge about the topic. In addition, the evaluation will be negatively impacted if the coach does not invite the client to share his/her thinking on an equal level with the coach and/or chooses the direction and tools in the session without input from the client. Any indication that the coach is teaching rather than coaching will also create a score below the MCC level. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach does not allow the client to help develop coaching tools for themselves and instead relies on standard coaching formulas, tools, or questions.

    5. Active Listening — Ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires, and to support client self-expression

    a. Attends to the client and the client’s agenda, and not to the coach’s agenda for the client

    b. Hears the client’s concerns, goals, values, and beliefs about what is and is not possible

    c. Distinguishes between the words, the tone of voice, and the body language

    d. Summarizes, paraphrases, reiterates, mirrors back what client has said to ensure clarity and understanding

    e. Encourages, accepts, explores and reinforces the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs, suggestions, etc.

    f. Integrates and builds on client’s ideas and suggestions

    g. “Bottom-lines” or understands the essence of the client’s communication and helps the client get there rather than engaging in long descriptive stories

    h. Allows the client to vent or “clear” the situation without judgment or attachment in order to move on to next steps

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s depth of hearing what the client says in relations to the client’s agenda; 2) The coach’s ability to hear on multiple levels including both the emotional and substantive content of the words; 3) The coach’s ability to hear underlying beliefs, thinking, creating, and learning that are occurring for the client including recognizing incongruities in language, emotions, and actions; 4) The coach’s ability to hear the client’s language and to encourage the client to deepen descriptive language for themselves 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for active listening is that the coach listens as a learner and listening happens at the logical and emotional level at the same time. The listening is both linear and non-linear and responses from the coach evidence learning about the client at multiple levels. The coach’s responses evidence that the coach is hearing the client’s intuitive abilities, the client’s energy, when the client speaks of important things, when new growth is occurring for the client, how that growth is related to the client’s stated objectives and agenda, and when the client is finding, creating, and using a more powerful sense of self. The coach is also able to hear the client’s current thinking and growth and relate it to the future the client is trying to create. An MCC level coach hears the totality of the client’s greatness and gifts as well as limiting beliefs and patterns. The coach’s listening is cumulative from session to session and throughout each individual session.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for active listening on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not demonstrate listening that is based on the whole client and an ability to hear the client’s thinking, learning, and feeling at multiple levels. The coach will not receive a passing grade at this level if the listening is filtered only through the coach’s methods of thinking, learning, and creating and does not actively hear and use as a significant coaching tool, the client’s methods of thinking, learning, and creating. The coach will not receive a passing grade if nuances of the client’s language are not reflected in the coach’s responses. As with PCC, the coach will not receive a passing grade at this level if the listening is not focused on and responding to what the client says or the coach’s response is not related to what the client is trying to achieve or their hearing is limited to listening for problems or weaknesses. The coach will not receive a passing grade on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach appears to be listening for the place where the coach can demonstrate their knowledge about the topic or tell the client what to do about the topic.

    6. Powerful Questioning — Ability to ask questions that reveal the information needed for maximum benefit to the coaching relationship and the client

    a. Asks questions that reflect active listening and an understanding of the client’s perspective

    b. Asks questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the client’s assumptions)

    c. Asks open-ended questions that create greater clarity, possibility or new learning

    d. Asks questions that move the client towards what they desire, not questions that ask for the client to justify or look backwards

    Key Skills Evaluated: The coach’s depth of questioning that evokes the core issues that are either contained in or underlie the client’s agenda; 2) The coach’s ability to explore with and to evoke exploration by the client of the emotional and substantive content of the words; 3) The coach’s ability to explore with and evoke exploration by the client of the underlying beliefs and means of thinking, creating, and learning that are occurring for the client; 4) The depth at which the coach’s questions provide a thinking space for and elicit new perspectives from the client 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for powerful questioning is that the coach asks mostly, if not always, direct, evocative questions that are fully responsive to the client in the moment, to the client’s agenda and stated objectives, and that require significant thought by the client or take the client to a new place of thinking. The coach makes frequent and full use of the client’s language and learning style to craft questions and the questions clearly provide a space for a client to use and expand their own style of thinking, learning, and creating. The coach will ask the client to clarify for themselves at levels beyond the surface. The coach’s questions are fully based in curiosity and the coach does not ask any leading questions that reflect a conclusion by the coach. The questions often reflect what the coach has learned about the client’s strengths and/or require the client to find deeper contact with the client’s way of being and find hidden power, gifts, and strengths in himself/herself. The coach asks questions that help the client create the future rather than focus on past or even present dilemmas or problems. The coach is at ease asking questions that will make either the coach or the client or both uncomfortable. The coach is also comfortable with letting the client create questions for themselves.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for powerful questioning on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not demonstrate questions that are evocative and ask the client to think in a larger space or an experimental space related to the client’s agenda and stated objectives. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach frequently asks informational questions or questions that keep the client in the past or in present detail of a situation rather than in forward thinking. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the questions do not make frequent use of the client’s language, thinking, and creating style or do not make use of what the coach has learned about the client. The coach will receive a score below the MCC level if the questions reflect the coach’s view of the situation, the coach’s learning and processing style, or a preconceived answer by the coach. The coach’s inability to move beyond standardized coaching questions or a standardized model will result in a score below the MCC level.

    7. Direct Communication — Ability to communicate effectively during coaching sessions, and to use language that has the greatest positive impact on the client

    a. Is clear, articulate and direct in sharing and providing feedback

    b. Reframes and articulates to help the client understand from another perspective what he/she wants or is uncertain about

    c. Clearly states coaching objectives, meeting agenda, purpose of techniques or exercises

    d. Uses language appropriate and respectful to the client (e.g., non-sexist, non-racist, non-technical, non-jargon)

    e. Uses metaphor and analogy to help to illustrate a point or paint a verbal picture

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The ease, directness, and depth with which the coach shares perspectives, thoughts, intuition, and feedback; 2) Whether the coach appears to have any attachment to the coach’s perspective; 3) The coach’s effective use of the client’s language and learning models; 4) The breadth of the invitation the coach gives to the client to share his/her own perspectives, thoughts, intuition, and feedback 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for direct communication is that the coach easily and freely shares observations, intuitions, and feedback with the client without attachment. The coach shares directly and simply and frequently and, at a high level, incorporates the client’s language. The coach fully trusts the client to choose the responses to the coach’s communication that are best for the client. The coach frequently invites the client’s intuition to come forward, and additionally invites, respects, and celebrates direct communication from the client. The coach creates expansive space for the client to have equal or more dialogue time than the coach and the level of full partnering in the coaching dialogue is easily evident. The coach has a very broad language base to use and experiment with and uses the client’s language to broaden that base. The coach’s communication frequently invites the client to engage in broader learning and discovery and to integrate and apply that learning and discovery not only to present challenges and agendas but also to the creation of the client’s future.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for direct communication on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not fully invite the client’s participation in the coaching dialogue on an equal level, if the coach’s communication reflects an agenda or directing of any kind by the coach, if the communication does not evidence frequent use of the client’s language, learning, thinking, and creating styles, or if the communication does not often create a place for the client to engage in deeper thinking, learning, and discovery. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach’s communication limits the thinking and learning direction for the client without specific interaction with, discussion of, and assent by the client to the limitation.

    8. Creating Awareness — Ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information, and to make interpretations that help the client to gain awareness and thereby achieve agreed-upon results

    a. Goes beyond what is said in assessing client’s concerns, not getting caught up in by the client’s description

    b. Invokes inquiry for greater understanding, awareness and clarity

    c. Identifies with the client his/her underlying concerns, typical and fixed ways of perceiving himself/herself and the world, differences between the facts and the interpretation, disparities between thoughts, feelings and action

    d. Helps clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them

    e. Communicates broader perspectives to clients and inspires commitment to shift their viewpoints and find new possibilities for action

    f. Helps clients to see the different, interrelated factors that affect them and their behaviors (e.g., thoughts, emotions, body, background)

    g. Expresses insights to clients in ways that are useful and meaningful for the client

    h. Identifies major strengths vs. major areas for learning and growth, and what is most important to address during coaching

    i. Asks the client to distinguish between trivial and significant issues, situational vs. recurring behaviors when detecting a separation between what is being stated and what is being done

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to partner fully with the client in exploration of new and broader perspectives, learning, creating, and actions; 2) The coach’s ability to share perspectives without attachment and invitation to the client to share their own thinking, perspectives, and intuition; 3) The coach’s invitation to and acceptance of the client’s intuition, thinking, and language as critical tools in the coaching process; 4) The coach’s ability to illuminate the client’s fixed ways of thinking that might inhibit growth or accomplishment of the client’s goals without treating the coach’s observation as truth, but only as the coach’s thoughts; 5) The coach’s ability to use the client’s language as a tool of creating awareness; 6) The coach’s ability to integrate beginning, middle and end of the session together if appropriate to the client’s learning and creating 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for creating awareness is that the coach’s invitation to the exploration of important issues precedes and is significantly greater than the invitation to a solution. At an MCC level, the coach’s way of being is consistently curious, the coach is willing to not know, and to let the exploration evolve based on the client’s thinking, learning, and creating, and the coach appears as much an explorer as the client. The coach has not concluded what awareness should be in any manner, nor does the coach force awareness in any manner. The use of the client’s greatness, strengths, intuition, and learning style is fully invited and welcomed. There is no evidence of “fixing” a problem or the client or a need to rush unless the client has indicated a specific need for a time sensitive solution. The coach allows the client to make the coach aware and the client’s voice more prevalent than the coach’s. There is a clear, strong sense that the coach is engaged in connected observation of totality of who the client is and what the client wants, sharing that with the client, and creating space for the client to share back. The coach provides sufficient space and encouragement to allow the client to integrate and use new awareness to resolve current challenges, achieve current goals, and think how the new awareness may be used in the future.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for creating awareness on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach drives the client toward solution without fully exploring issues that may be important to gaining complete solution or accomplishment for the client. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach does not fully invite and allow the client to use as coaching tools, the client’s intuition, thinking, and learning. The evaluation will be negatively impacted if the dialogue of awareness does not provide sufficient space for the client’s full participation in creating awareness, if the coach’s communication reflects an agenda or directing of any kind by the coach, if the coach’s voicing of awareness does not evidence frequent use of the client’s language, learning, thinking, and creating styles, or if the coach does not often create an easy place for the client to engage in deeper thinking, learning, and discovery. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach’s communication limits the thinking and learning direction for the client without specific interaction with, discussion of, and assent by the client to the limitation.

    9. Designing Actions – Ability to create with the client opportunities for ongoing learning, during coaching and in work/life situations, and for taking new actions that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results

    a. Brainstorms and assists the client to define actions that will enable the client to demonstrate, practice and deepen new learning

    b. Helps the client to focus on and systematically explore specific concerns and opportunities that are central to agreed-upon coaching goals

    c. Engages the client to explore alternative ideas and solutions, to evaluate options, and to make related decisions

    d. Promotes active experimentation and self-discovery, where the client applies what has been discussed and learned during sessions immediately afterwards in his/her work or life setting

    e. Celebrates client successes and capabilities for future growth

    f. Challenges client’s assumptions and perspectives to provoke new ideas and find new possibilities for action

    g. Advocates or brings forward points of view that are aligned with client goals and, without attachment, engages the client to consider them

    h. Helps the client “Do It Now” during the coaching session, providing immediate support

    i. Encourages stretches and challenges but also a comfortable pace of learning

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to fully partner with the client in designing actions that relate to and move forward towards the client’s stated agenda; 2) That actions are of a breadth and depth that they may include thinking, feeling, and learning; 3) That the designed actions integrate the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 4) That the designed actions are appropriate to what occurred in the session, where the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 5) That the designed actions are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for designing actions is that the coach works in complete partnership with the client to design actions or, in the alternative, lets the client lead in designing actions. At the MCC level, the coach and client design actions that fit the client’s goals, learning style and creating methods, where the client is, what the client wants, the client’s measures of accomplishment, and that reflect the pace of wanted or necessary movement designated by the client. The coach allows actions to include thinking, creating, doing, and being. The coach engages the client in relating designed actions to other aspects of what the client wants, thereby broadening the scope of learning and growth. The MCC coach encourages exploration and informed experimentation to help the client develop for themselves more powerful, leveraged activities. The MCC coach may, as a supplement to client development of tools, suggest tools, exercises, or structures, but invites the client to engage in full thinking about whether these suggestions are of use to the client and invites the client to modify the suggestions, or reject them and invent on their own.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for designing actions on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not invite full client participation in the design of activities or dominates in any way the design of activities. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the designed activities do not reflect a clear potential for forward learning or movement by the client related to the client’s agenda, desired outcomes, or to some other learning that the client has defined as necessary for their growth. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if designed actions and/or discussion designed actions involves only physical activity with no attention to the thinking, learning, being, and creativity structures of the client.

    10. Planning and Goal Setting — Ability to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client

    a. Consolidates collected information and establishes a coaching plan and development goals with the client that address concerns and major areas for learning and development

    b. Creates a plan with results that are attainable, measurable, specific and have target dates

    c. Makes plan adjustments as warranted by the coaching process and by changes in the situation

    d. Helps the client identify and access different resources for learning (e.g., books, other professionals)

    e. Identifies and targets early successes that are important to the client

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to fully partner with and explore with the client in order to create goals and plans that match the client’s learning and creating style, stated agenda and desired outcomes; 2) That the plans and goals designed are of a breadth and depth that they may include thinking, feeling, learning, and creating; 3) That the designed plans and goals integrated the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 4) That the designed plans and goals are appropriate to what occurred in the session, and where the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 5) That the designed plans and goals are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating; 6) That wherever appropriate, the coach helps the client design measurable achievements that are steps toward the client’s ultimate desired outcome 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for planning and goal setting is that the coach works with the client to clarify and develop goals that achieve more than just the presenting concerns of the client. The coach lets the client lead in designing goals and planning or, in the alternative, works in complete partnership with the client to create goals and plans. The coach and client create goals and plans that fit the client’s goals, learning and creating methods, and pace of wanted or necessary movement. The coach allows plans to include thinking, creating, doing and being. The coach engages the client in relating goals and plans to other aspects of what the client wants, thereby broadening the scope of learning and growth.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for planning and goal setting on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not invite full client participation in planning strategies or designing goals or dominates in any way the creation of plans and goals. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the plans and goals do not reflect a clear potential for forward learning or movement by the client related to the client’s agenda, desired outcomes, or to some other learning that the client has defined for as necessary for their growth. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if designed plans and goals and/or discussion designed actions involves only physical activity with no attention to the thinking, learning, being, and creativity structures of the client.

    11. Managing Progress and Accountability — Ability to hold attention on what is important for the client, and to leave responsibility with the client to take action

    a. Clearly requests of the client actions that will move the client toward their stated goals

    b. Demonstrates follow through by asking the client about those actions that the client committed to during the previous session(s)

    c. Acknowledges the client for what they have done, not done, learned or become aware of since the previous coaching session(s)

    d. Effectively prepares, organizes and reviews with client information obtained during sessions

    e. Keeps the client on track between sessions by holding attention on the coaching plan and outcomes, agreed-upon courses of action, and topics for future session(s)

    f. Focuses on the coaching plan but is also open to adjusting behaviors and actions based on the coaching process and shifts in direction during sessions

    g. Is able to move back and forth between the big picture of where the client is heading, setting a context for what is being discussed and where the client wishes to go

    h. Promotes client’s self-discipline and holds the client accountable for what they say they are going to do, for the results of an intended action, or for a specific plan with related time frames

    i. Develops the client’s ability to make decisions, address key concerns, and develop himself/herself (to get feedback, to determine priorities and set the pace of learning, to reflect on and learn from experiences)

    j. Positively confronts the client with the fact that he/she did not take agreed-upon actions

    Key Skills Evaluated: 1) The coach’s ability to partner fully with the client to create structures and methods for measuring progress and holding the client accountable to themselves for the progress; 2) That the methods and structures of accountability integrate the whole of the client whenever appropriate; 3) That the designed structures and methods of accountability are capable of producing forward movement by the client, appropriate to what occurred in the session, and to where the client is with their stated agenda and desired outcomes; 4) That the designed structures and methods of accountability are appropriate to the client’s methods of thinking, learning, integrating, and creating; 5) The coach’s ability to trust the client to be accountable to themselves and confidence in holding the client accountable as per the agreed upon methods of accountability 

    At an MCC level, the minimum standard of skill that must be demonstrated to receive a passing score for managing progress and accountability is that the coach encourages the client to determine their own methods of accountability and offers support for those methods. The client helps the client determine or the client determines independently who should be on their accountability team and how to use each person, including the coach and the client, themselves, to be accountable. The MCC coach encourages the client to develop accountability structures that are reflective of the client’s agenda, stated objectives, broader learning or accomplishment that the client wants to obtain, and continues to push the client’s forward thinking and activities at a pace both acceptable to and challenging to the client. The coach trusts the client to be accountable to themself and sensitively calls the client to account or discussion if agreed upon forward movement does not occur. The structures and measures of accountability should clearly reflect the use of the client’s best strengths as well as the best of the client’s learning and creating methodologies.

    A coach will not receive a passing score for managing progress and accountability on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach does not invite full client participation or does not encourage client leadership in planning strategies and methods of accountability or dominates in any way the accountability mechanisms that are created. As with the PCC evaluation, a coach will not receive a passing score for managing progress and accountability on the MCC performance evaluation if the coach is the most significant voice in setting accountability structures, if the coach is unable to support the client in developing an effective measures and accountability structure, if the measures and structures do not have a clear relationship to the client’s stated agenda and desired outcome or the client’s learning and creating processes, if the methods and structures do not have a clear purpose and potential to move the client forward, or if suggested tools and structures clearly do not bear a relationship to the needs of the particular client or his/her agenda or deeper learning designated by the client. The evaluation will also be negatively impacted if the coach suggests standard coaching tools or exercises without discussing with the client the extent to which they might be of value to the client or does not encourage invention of structures by the client based on the clients thinking, learning, being, and creating style.

    Copyright 2006, International Coach Federation, all rights reserved. 

Not a member?

Sign up now to become a member and receive all of our wonderful benefits.

Learn more