By Liz Hall

In a landmark move for the coaching industry worldwide, three of its leading professional bodies have formed a global alliance.
The International Coach Federation (ICF), the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Coaching (AC) broke the news of the formation of the Global Coaching & Mentoring Alliance in Bilbao on 17 November.
The bodies have worked together – with one another and with other bodies in recent years, including the ICF, EMCC and AC´s work on the common Code of Conduct, which was filed with the EU in 2011 (http://www.coaching-at-work.com/2011/08/26/professional-bodies-in-landmark-self-regulation/). Behind the scenes, in informal settings including the ongoing Coaching at Work-led Accreditation Forum, or as part of the Coaching Bodies Round Table (in the UK), there have been attempts to collaborate, and greater clarity around issues such as accreditation. However, the alliance takes things further, formalising an alliance with the declaration, “As a collective of global professional coaching and mentoring bodies we seek to build alliances, a cooperative spirit, purposes and initiatives where we can partner to make a difference to the emerging profession and society as a whole.”
The bodies agreed to jointly create a framework for the future, produce a unified industry agenda, determine how to reach critical stakeholders, and to establish criteria for additional bodies joining the alliance in the future. The Alliance is currently reviewing other professional coaching and mentoring bodies to extend joining invitations.
EMCC president Lise Lewis said, “This alliance is a turning point. Creating it has been driven by EMCC´s response to our members and client sponsors who look to us to create clarity in the world of coaching and mentoring. All three bodies are already jointly committed to self-regulation and together we will be instrumental in further cooperation on professionalization whilst recognising our differences.” The EMCC has 5,000 members across 67 countries and 20 affiliated countries.
ICF president Janet Harvey said that the creation of the Alliance was a key component of the ICF´s strategic plan. “The (ICF´s) board of directors has emphasised forming global alliances. The creation of this alliance is a step forward in achieving ICF´s goals of advancing the coaching profession and being in service of humanity flourishing.” ICF CEO Magdalena Mook added, “It is so important that the coaching and mentoring bodies speak with a unified voice.” The ICF has more than 19,000 members in more than 100 countries.
AC global CEO Katherine Tulpa said, “We are thrilled by the potential this alliance can bring, in our collective journey for coaching and mentoring to become a sustainable profession and, most importantly, make a real impact to those we serve….This alliance marks a key milestone in coaching history, in that it shows we can achieve more together than apart and speaks to some of the founding principles that coaching is built upon- those based on collaboration, growth and being future-oriented.” The AC has members from more than 40 countries.
See Coaching at Work´s January issue for editorial on this story