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  • Privacy and Spam Policy

    The International Coach Federation (ICF) recognizes the importance of protecting our users’ privacy. To that end we have created our privacy statement and spam policy in order to demonstrate our commitment to privacy. Information on how site content can and cannot be used is also listed below. Please note that spam laws and regulations above and beyond ICF’s policies may apply to commercial electronic messages sent to individuals who have elected to list their contact information on the ICF website.

    By using this website and agreeing to this policy, you consent to our use of cookies and pixels in accordance with the terms of this policy.

    What Information is Collected

    ICF and its Web hosting company, acting as ICF’s agent, collect and store technical information about your visit to our website. We use this information for statistical purposes to make our site more accessible to visitors and the information we collect is not provided to any other third party. Specifically, we may record:

    • The name of the domain from which you access the Internet.
    • The Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our site, if any.
    • The type of Web browsing software and operating system you are using to view our site.
    • The date and time you access our site.
    • The pages you visit on our site.
    • The amount of time spent on the site.

    To provide a more personalized user experience, including content, ads and social media features, our website uses pixels and cookies.

    A cookie is a file placed on your computer hard drive, that allows the ICF Web server to log the pages you use in the ICF site and to determine if you have visited the site before. The ICF server uses this information to provide certain features during your visit to the Web site. You can set your browser to warn you when placement of a cookie is requested and decide whether or not to accept it. By rejecting a cookie, some of the features available on the site may not function properly. We do not use cookies to collect personal information.

    A pixel is a graphic with dimensions of 1 pixel by 1 pixel that is loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email. It is used to track certain user activities, such as but not limited to, conversions, events and retargeted data.

    Throughout the website there may be forms to request information and purchase or obtain products and/or services. These forms typically ask for contact information (such as your phone, address or e-mail address), financial information (such as your credit card numbers), and demographic information (for example, company product categories, areas of interest, location, etc.) Information from these forms is used to deliver the information, products and/or services that you request. It may also be used to notify you of future ICF products, services and/or opportunities that may be of interest to you. When completing these forms, please do not supply another person’s personal data to us unless we prompt you to do so and you have received that individual’s consent to do so.

    How Information Collected is Used

    Demographic and profile data collected at our site may be added to a database maintained by ICF to customize your website experience. It may be used to contact users of the web site for online surveys or advocacy purposes if the user has indicated an interest.

    We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.

    Links to Other Sites

    The website contains links to other sites. ICF is not responsible for the privacy practices of such websites. Inclusion of links to an outside website, whether in an advertisement or content area of ICF’s website, is not an endorsement of the website or a guarantee that the information it contains is accurate.

    Public Forums

    This site makes list servers and Web forums available to its users. Any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information, and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose personal or business information.


    This site uses physical, electronic and managerial procedures to protect information collected online including firewalls to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. The use of these security measures is not a guarantee that information supplied over the Internet will not be intercepted.

    Email and Spam Policy

    We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent or lease our subscription lists to third parties, and we will not provide your personal information to any third-party individual, government agency or company at any time unless compelled to do so by law. We will use your email address solely to provide timely information about ICF and its programs and services. ICF will maintain the information you send via email in accordance with applicable international law.

    In compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, GDPR, and CASL all email sent from our organization will clearly state who the email is from and provide clear information on how to contact the sender. In addition, all email messages will also contain concise information on how to remove yourself from our mailing list so that you receive no further email communication from us.

    Member/coach contact information included on ICF’s website is not posted for the purpose of promoting/marketing products/services to coaches. It is primarily posted for the purpose of allowing potential clients of a coach to connect with a coach. All other email and electronic communications with members should adhere to the following principles:

    1. You should have a prior relationship with the person receiving your email. (Someone giving you their business card is acceptable in this regard, as it implies permission to get in contact. The same is true if someone has sent you an email.)
    2. A valid “from” and “reply to” address must be included with each message.
      If you have a subscription list, you should send a confirmation email that the person wishes to be on the list.
    3. There should always be a quick way to unsubscribe from any mail list.
    4. Any request to cease mailing from an individual or organization should be quickly honored.
    5. A complaint involving a breach of this policy may be considered a violation of the ICF Code of Ethics, and therefore referred to the Independent Review Board for their consideration. Should they find a breach occurred, remedies may be required. Sanctions may also be imposed such as suspending or terminating the coach’s membership and/or credential with the ICF.

    Please note that spam laws and regulations above and beyond ICF’s policies may apply to commercial electronic messages sent to individuals who have elected to list their contact information on the ICF website.

    Communications Regarding ICF Programs and Services

    ICF has a strict anti-spam policy. However, we do want ICF Members, Credential-holders and affiliates to be aware of programs, services and opportunities available to you as a member of the ICF community. Communications from ICF may include, but are not be limited to the following:

    • Messages regarding ICF awards programs
    • Chapter Leader Update emails
    • Emails from and regarding Communities of Practice
    • Information about the Credentialed Coach Finder
    • Prospective client RFPs distributed via the Credentialed Coach Finder
    • Updates on the ICF Credentialing program, as well as updates specific to your credentialing status
    • Messages from and regarding the ICF Foundation
    • Member Update emails
    • Membership renewal reminders
    • Invitations to webinars and teleconferences designed to enhance your membership experience
    • Invitations to participate in ICF-initiated and/or -supported research
    • Information about ICF industry research
    • Twitter Ambassador emails

    Choice/Opt-Out or Corrections/Updates

    Users of our website can opt out of receiving communications from us and our partners. If you no longer wish to receive any future communications or need to change or modify information previously provided, please email or call +1.859.219.3580. You may also opt out of receiving email communications by clicking the unsubscribe link in any email.

    Your Rights

    As a user of and/or an ICF Member, Credential-holder or affiliate, your data protection rights are as follows:

    • The right to access
    • The right to rectification
    • The right to erasure
    • The right to restrict processing
    • The right to object to processing
    • The right to data portability
    • The right to complain to a supervisory authority
    • The right to withdraw consent

    If you wish to exercise any of these rights, you may contact ICF Headquarters at or +1.859.219.3580.

    Change in Terms of Privacy

    ICF reserves the right to alter its privacy policies. Any changes to the policy will be posted on this page.
    This site is controlled and operated by ICF from its offices within the United States. ICF makes no representations that materials, information, or content available on or through this site are appropriate or available for use in other locations, and access to them from territories where such materials, information, or content are illegal is prohibited. Those who choose to access this site from other locations do so on their own volition and are responsible for compliance with applicable local laws.

    Site Content

    You may access, download and print materials on this website for your personal and non-commercial use. You may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any information, software, products or services obtained from this website without first obtaining written consent from ICF. Furthermore, you may not use the materials found on this website on any other websites or in a networked environment without first obtaining written consent from ICF.

    All materials on this site (as well as the organization and layout of the site) are owned and copyrighted by the International Coach Federation. © Copyright International Coach Federation (ICF). All rights reserved. No reproduction, distribution, or transmission of the copyrighted materials at this site is permitted without the written permission of ICF.


    Contacting the Website

    If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this website, please contact the following:

    International Coach Federation
    2365 Harrodsburg Rd, Suite A325
    Lexington, KY 40504
    Phone: 888.423.3131 or +1.859.219.3580
    Fax: +1.859.226.4411

  • Research Policies

    Purpose for the ICF policy statement on the conduct or use of research

    Coaching is one of the world’s fastest-growing professions. As the major association that represents that profession, ICF has the responsibility to formulate an explicit policy concerning its perspective on the relationship of research and coaching practice. A policy statement provides guidance and direction to both practitioners and researchers; empowers participants, contributors, stakeholders, coaching organizations and clients alike with regard to engaging in or utilizing research; enhances the legitimacy of ICF as a whole; serves a protective function in that it guides behavior and, at the same time, sets boundaries; enhances decision-making; facilitates evaluation; and defines priorities.

    This policy is intended to apply to ICF staff, the ICF Board and its executive, members of the International Coach Federation, and academic personnel or external vendors who wish to utilize ICF resources to engage in research on any aspect of coaching.

    Key Definitions

    Not all information about coaching can be categorized as research. ICF’s working definition of research is: Research (including evaluation) is defined as any activity that involves the collection, collation, review or evaluation of data or information for the purpose of describing, maintaining or modifying activities, practices, interventions, or treatments. Research may involve the manipulation of variables or environmental factors whereas evaluation more typically involves the review of information for the purpose of providing feedback about the function, productivity or efficacy of an activity. Evaluation includes but is not limited to activities including needs assessments, process assessment, outcome studies, impact analysis, cost-benefit analysis and meta-analysis.

    Evidence-Based Practice
    ICF encourages and endorses evidence-based practice (EBP) with respect to effective coaching. That is, ICF wants coaches to make solid decisions regarding the method or technique they use based on their ability to critically assess the best available, current, valid and relevant coaching evidence before applying it to day-to-day coaching practices. ICF believes combining the explicit knowledge derived from sound research, broadly defined, as above, with the more tacit or experiential knowledge of the coach practitioner is the synergistic sine qua non of effective coaching.

    Policy Statement
    It is ICF policy to encourage and promote research activities that enhance the professional development and standards of the worldwide coaching community. ICF strives to collaborate with organizations and individuals that promote the highest standards of research to establish a discipline of coaching studies to support and further the profession. ICF seeks to facilitate the exchange of information among researchers and practitioners studying coaching theory, methodologies, and outcomes. Equally important, ICF seeks to make this information available to practicing coaches and those interested in the coaching profession. Specifically, ICF’s goals are to:

    • Increase the knowledge base concerning the art and science of coaching
    • Contribute to the advancement of coaching theory and the establishment of best evidence-based practices
    • Disseminate coaching research to the coach practitioner
    • Establish increased credibility for coaching as a discipline through the encouragement and support of best research practices and resulting theory development in coaching practice
    • Close the gap between coaching research and the practice of coaching by combining evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence

    By the same token, research on coaching might be divided into two broad categories: 1) market-oriented or industry-related research on the coaching profession; and 2) research to gather evidence on coaching techniques, coaching core competencies, coaching methodologies, coaching outcomes, and coaching theories.

    1) Market-Oriented or Industry-Related Research

    This kind of research on the coaching profession, on coaches and on coaching organizations often makes use of evaluative techniques and surveys conducted for the following purposes:

    • To track trends in the coaching profession so that ICF can best serve its membership
    • To assist the Board in making decisions regarding the future policies and directions of ICF
    • To provide information to member coaches on trends, coaching revenues, coaching practices, etc.
    • To provide valid information to media or other parties requesting information about the coaching profession
    • To facilitate ICF public relations (PR) efforts

    In short, market-oriented research is the coaching profession’s way of looking at itself. ICF’s policy is to prioritize requests for information from its members and to protect them from repeated and unnecessary demands on their time and resources. Thus, the criteria for ICF participation in such surveys is the importance of the information to be gathered and the legitimacy of the researcher or organization conducting the survey balanced against the time and/or other resources demanded of members or other respondents.

    2) Research to Gather Evidence on Coaching Techniques, Coaching Methodologies, Coaching Outcomes and Coaching Theories

    The core purpose of ICF is to advance the art, science, and practice of professional coaching. Coaching is an applied profession, and its successful development requires a dialectic process among coaches and practitioners to develop a discipline that can support the profession, and vice-versa. It is assumed that a discipline of coaching requires a solid theoretical foundation that will strengthen the coaching profession and contribute to its ongoing development. The quality of coaching theory will be determined by a vibrant research community combined with practitioners who both utilize and contribute to research inside and beyond ICF.

    Therefore, for both broad categories of research on coaching (delineated in 1 and 2 above), ICF will encourage and collaborate with researchers and organizations that are gathering evidence on any aspect of coaching, given the following limitations:

    • Researchers must be aware of and adhere to the ICF Code of Ethics.
    • The research must meet ethical guidelines for the treatment of human subjects-for example, provisions of the American Psychological Association.
    • Members of ICF must be protected from undue demands on their time and resources, and any demands must be consistent with ICF priorities and policies.
    • Research must make every attempt to include an international scope of participants.
    • Internal or state-of-the-profession surveys may be commissioned from time-to-time by ICF.
    • External research directed toward and/or involving ICF Members and research links submitted for posting on the ICF
    • Research Portal shall be vetted by ICF.

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