The Gold Standard in Coaching | ICF - Regulation
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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.

Standards and Practices

  • Core Competencies

    The 8 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 Credentialing Exam.

  • Individual Coach Credentialing

    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.

  • Coaching Education Accreditation

    At ICF, it’s our job to ensure high standards in the coaching profession. Those high standards start with our accredited providers. We believe the better the education offerings are, the better the coaches will be.

    ICF Coaching Education provides accredited providers with a competitive edge both in their content and stature. Coaches worldwide recognize ICF as an industry leader and turn to us for information about initial and continuing education.

    ICF Coaching Education offers five types of accreditations for coaching education programs and organizations. Each has its own set of requirements and is a designated pathway to earning an ICF Credential or certification. ICF accredited providers go through a rigorous and robust accreditation review process to ensure their organization and programming aligns with ICF accreditation standards and requirements.

  • Code of Ethics

    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.

  • Code of Conduct

    ICF’s Code of Conduct outlines ethical standards and practices for the organizations and individuals delivering accredited coach training.

  • Independent Review Board

    The Independent Review Board (IRB) is a globally diverse volunteer work group that oversees ICF’s Ethical Conduct Review (ECR) process.


  • 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.

  • Accreditation Complaint Process

    The Accreditation Complaint Process provides a forum of 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.

  • ICF Advocacy Toolkits

    Australasia Advocacy Toolkit | Download Now 

    Brazil Advocacy Toolkit | Download Now 

    European Union Advocacy Toolkit | Download Now 

    United Kingdom Advocacy Toolkit | Download Now 

    United States Advocacy Toolkit | Download Now 

  • The Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring

    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.

Regulatory Updates

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

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