In this section, we include tables, reports and articles to help coaches and coaching buyers gain clarity and up to date information around coaching and mentoring accreditation. The five Comparison tables contain data on six professional coaching bodies, comparing what they have to offer in a number of areas. These tables will be reviewed and revised as required.

Collaboration best approach

Collaboration across the profession to educate buyers and the public about what best practice looks like and to develop a joint code of ethics and complaints procedure are your preferred ways of encouraging good practice and reducing incompetent, poor and unethical practice, according to the Poor Practice 2010 Survey. The survey was carried out among Coaching at Work readers and members of the following professional bodies: the Association for Coaching (AC); the British Psychological Society’s Special Group in Coaching Psychology; the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC); the International Coach Federation (ICF), and the Society for Coaching Psychology (SCP). Some […]

Coaches call for collaboration to address poor practice

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — 8 JULY 2010 Coaches in the UK have given the thumbs down to government intervention and the thumbs up to collaboration between the professional bodies to deal with incompetent, unethical and poor coaching practice, according to a survey led by Coaching at Work. Only 14% and 13% respectively feel that the government regulating coaching in the UK is the way to prevent or reduce incompetent, and poor or unethical practice, according to the Poor Practice 2010 survey. The survey was carried out among Coaching at Work readers and members of the Association for Coaching […]

Letters from readers

Clarity call As the Roundtable of Professional Coaching bodies in the UK, we found the View from the Balcony article, Too much of a good thing? (vol 5 issue 2), an interesting read. For some time we have been aware that the landscape of qualifications and accreditation has been potentially confusing to coaches, clients and buyers. We have been considering what we could do to provide greater clarity for all those interested in coaching and mentoring. We have agreed to form a cross-body working party to report on the range of individual coach accreditation/credentialing schemes available from the professional bodies, […]

Bodies work on credentials

Coach accreditation continues to be in the news in the UK with the Association for Coaching (AC) launching its revamped accreditation scheme later this month and the International Coach Federation (ICF)announcing it will keep its existing three-tier credentialing scheme in place at least until January 2012.

Meanwhile, at the end of last year, the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) launched its four-tier individual accreditation scheme. While many have welcomed the moves by the EMCC, AC and ICF; others find the choice of schemes confusing.

ICF Global’s 2010 president Giovanna D’Alessio, said the board decision does not mean the existing system will disappear, but “that anyone planning to apply for one of the existing credentials can rely on the stability of the existing three-tier system through that time”.

The AC said it was prompted to change its offering after gathering feedback from a number of quarters, including coaches, buyers of coaching and academic practitioners.

A gap in the market

Declan Woods, who is leading the AC’s work on this, said: “There was a gap in the current market not being met by existing accreditation schemes which focus on coaching competencies but not the broader context in which coaching is taking place.

“Organisations are also looking for more help in differentiating between the different levels of coaching. A good life coach, for example, might not be deemed credible in organisations,” said Woods, director of Penna’s board and executive service.

“If I say all my coaching is with executives I should be able to show evidence such as case studies around specific challenges such as multiple sets of stakeholders. “When corporates select coaches, for example, they were adding in elements that weren’t picked up by professional bodies.”

The AC is looking at “innovative ways to assess”, including live demonstrations. Woods said another reason for the change to the scheme is that coaching is moving from an industry to a profession. “People are making an active choice to become accredited coaches… We’re trying to offer a career path to coaches, introducing different levels so people can progress and develop recognition of where they are.”

The AC is keen to continue to be inclusive of its current members, while promoting and raising quality. “Raising the bar is one of my drivers. We want to make accreditation as rigorous and robust as possible, to fit with our ethos of excellence,” he said.

The AC will now be offering a twin approach: executive accreditation for organisations and a generic one. Woods said some approaches are too academic. “A big element will be about fitness to practise. Other approaches have been about snapshots in time, a stop-start approach, which is not encouraging to coaches. So it’s not just about assessment but development, holding people’s hands and giving them the support they need to put together a portfolio of accreditation.”

The AC will launch the scheme at its Going Global conference (11-12 March). Meanwhile, at a strategy meeting on 21-23 January, the ICF’s board agreed the credentialing programme had a threefold purpose: to protect and serve consumers of coaching services; to measure and certify competence of individuals and to inspire pursuit of continuous development.

It charged its Credentialing and Program Accreditation Committee with creating taskforces to look at topics including whether:

  • to retain three-tier credentialing
  • to consider hours of training and if so, how many
  • it should accept training from non-approved providers
  • to require a written and oral exam for all levels of credentials
  • oral exams should be by the ICF or approved test providers
  • assessors should be compensated.

Volume 5, Issue 2

Too much of a good thing?

The second in our new series of columns by an anonymous coaching buyer takes a thought-provoking helicopter view of what’s going on in the industry. This issue: accreditation  The recent growth in coaching accreditation is confusing. Not just for coaches but for those of us involved in coaching procurement In the unregulated marketplace, the challenge has always been to sort the wheat from the chaff. Until recently if you weren’t prepared to pay for an assessment centre, word of mouth tended to be the main way of checking whether a coach was any good. So if nothing else, a coach […]

ICF in fight over credentialing changes

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is expected to make a decision this month (January) over its credentialing framework. As Coaching at Work went to press, more than 750 coaches from across the globe had signed a petition against the ICF’s proposal to replace its three-tiered credentialing with a single International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) credential. The aim was to “strengthen the global credibility and permanent value of ICF credentials” and “act as an additional safeguard to consumers.” A recent announcement about its plans was met by a blast of complaints through social media platforms. The ‘opposition’ came from six past […]

Seeing is believing

The special report on coach training (‘Train to Gain’) makes great and heart-warming reading. It is very good news that agreement is emerging among leaders in the field about what coaching is there to do. The other factor that gave cause for delight is that more and more organisations see coaching as a vital part of line managers’ roles. The largest population of potential coaches in the UK is in line management. If that population had even a modicum of coaching skills the impact on performance, learning and enjoyment in the workplace would be extraordinary. There is still a problem, […]

Coaching Train to gain

In part one of our two-part special report on coach training, Liz Hall examines the overall trends in coach education and development. What’s on offer and where can you go to get it in a growing and often confusing market? The answers are here. If the sense of overwhelm I felt in researching this article is anything to go by, heaven help buyers of coach training. The sheer amount of coaching programmes on offer in the UK is staggering – type “coach training UK” into Google and it generates 8,700,000 pages alone.  Business coach training provider Meyler Campbell’s 2009 Business […]

EMCC gives solo accreditation its ‘golden seal of approval’

The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) handed out its first individual accreditation awards at the EMCC UK conference. Liz Hall Europe finally has an independent accreditation scheme for individuals. The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) handed out its first individual accreditation awards at the EMCC UK conference in the final leg of a two-year journey to create the EMCC European Individual Accreditation (EIA). The EIA scheme will be launched across Europe later this year, following a pilot in the UK. It has been developed in response to demand for an accreditation which recognises the proven practice of individual […]