ICF is committed to meaningful professional self-governance. ICF’s self-governance foundation comprises and depends upon a variety of standards and practices, supported by the efforts of the ICF Global Board, volunteer leaders, and ICF Members and Credential-holders.
The 11 ICF Core Competencies define the skills that are critical to the practice of professional coaching. With the ICF definition of coaching, they form the foundation of the ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment.
ICF’s three credentials (Associate Certified Coach, Professional Certified Coach and Master Certified Coach), designate professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of coaching ethics and core competencies. ICF Credential-holders are obliged to follow the ICF Code of Ethics, and complaints about Credential-holders can be registered through the Ethical Conduct Review (ECR) process.
ICF has accredited more than 500 programs offering coach-specific training. All of these programs have submitted their curriculums for review, and we have found them to be in alignment with ICF’s Code of Ethics and Core Competencies for coaches. These programs and their leaders are also obliged to follow ICF’s stringent Code of Conduct for training programs.
Within ICF’s guidelines, each program uses its own methods and modalities to deliver the necessary information. Learning is not one-size-fits-all, and the diversity of coach-training programs reflects this.
The ICF Code of Ethics emphasizes the conduct and principles that direct coaches’ behavior, and highlights how to be as an ICF Member and/or Credential-holder.
All ICF Members and Credential-holders pledge to uphold the Code of Ethics. The Code is also a foundational element of the Coach Knowledge Assessment for ICF Credentialing.
ICF’s Code of Conduct outlines ethical standards and practices for the organizations and individuals delivering accredited coach training.
The Independent Review Board (IRB) is a globally diverse volunteer work group that oversees ICF’s Ethical Conduct Review (ECR) process.
The ECR process provides a platform for reviewing, investigating and responding to complaints regarding individual coach practitioners engaging in alleged unethical practices or behavior deviating from the ICF Code of Ethics.
The Program Complaint Process provides a forum for reviewing, investigating and responding to alleged breaches/violations of the ICF Code of Conduct, as well as to concerns regarding the integrity of an accredited program’s curriculum.
The professional charter establishes a set of guidelines whose main goal is to establish a benchmark for ethics and good practice in coaching and mentoring, aiming to ensure that practicing coaches and mentors conduct their practice in a professional and ethical manner. It also gives guidance to professional coaching and mentoring bodies as regards the acceptance by their members of an appropriate code of ethics, and as regards their role in monitoring this charter and applying sanctions in case of breach.
ICF has ongoing initiatives that track the needs and concerns of individuals and organizations worldwide. If you are aware of possible or pending coaching regulation that would affect coaching in your area, please contact ICF Chief Operating Officer Todd Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.