UNREGULATED INDUSTRY IN 2022, REALLY?
The life coaching industry is currently not regulated. Yes, you read that correctly!
Certification or formal training isn’t required to be a life coach, but it is valued as it establishes credibility. Individuals and companies are looking for experienced and credentialed coaches from qualified training programs.
As the life coaching industry grows, professional coaching organizations are developing standards to hold coaches accountable and to ensure quality, efficacy, and ethical practices.
What does this mean?
Many years ago, the financial planning industry was regulated and so many people in that industry were faced with the options of 1. Go back and study a recognised qualification to retain your job or 2. Find a new job/career! So harsh you say especially when some of those had been doing it for 20/30 years and doing it very well.
Well, lets face it the Coaching industry has been tipped to be a billion-dollar industry worldwide, so it is inevitable that the regulation is impending…there is no doubt. There must be a regulation to sort through the cowboys and the coaches.
So, who holds practicing coaches accountable? Where do the Code of Ethics for coaches come from?
The only global body that oversees coaching worldwide is the ICF (International Coach Federation).
“The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization for coaches and coaching. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization for coaches and coaching. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.”
Throughout its 27-year tenure in the coaching industry, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) lends instant credibility to its members. In 2021, we took a bold step forward into the future of coaching, launching a new visual brand that reflects our ecosystem – all of which has created to better serve you and equip coaches to continuously improve their transformative work around the world.
ICF continues to offer the most globally recognized, independent credentialing program for coach practitioners. ICF Credentials are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Achieving credentials through ICF signifies a coach’s commitment to integrity, understanding and mastery of coaching skills, and dedication to clients.
ICF also accredits programs that deliver coaching education. ICF-accredited education organizations must complete a rigorous review process and demonstrate that their curriculum aligns with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics.
But more than that, we’re leading the way to set high standards across the board for the coaching industry and all of its facets. ICF is consistently recognized among coaching professionals worldwide for:
- Developing coaching core competencies
- Establishing a professional code of ethics and standards
- Creating an internationally recognized credentialing program
- Setting guidelines through accreditation for coach-specific training programs
- Providing continuous education through world-class events, Communities of Practice (CPs) and archived learning
- Leading and informing conversations about the future of coaching.
What are the levels of Accreditation the ICF endorse training organisations to hold and why are they so important?
In November 2021, ICF Coaching Education announced an updated accreditation structure for coaching education and training programs designed to “set the highest standards for coach-specific education in the world.” This updated accreditation structure will replace both the Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) and Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) designations with a level-based system, which aligns with the ICF Credential levels. These updated accreditation designations, described below, include the following:
- Level 1 (formerly ACSTH) is for organizations that offer at least 60 contact learning hours and 10 hours of Mentor Coaching by an eligible Mentor Coach; and administers a performance evaluation at or above the ACC level. Level 1 education is designated as a path to the ACC Credential.
- Level 2 (formerly ACTP) is for organizations that offer at least 125 contact learning hours and 10 hours of Mentor Coaching by an eligible Mentor Coach; and performance evaluation to the PCC level. Level 2 education is designated as a path to the PCC Credential.
- Level 3, a new offering, is for organizations that offer at least 75 advanced contact learning hours and 10 hours of Mentor Coaching by an eligible Mentor Coach to the MCC level. Level 3 education is designated as a pathway to the MCC Credential.
What is an ICF Credential and why do I need or want it?
An ICF Credential is a professional certification indicating that you have met specific standards and requirements designed to develop and refine your coaching skills. It is an indication that you are dedicated to upholding strong principles of ethical behavior in coaching. An ICF Credential shows your clients and peers that you are committed to the coaching industry and to developing yourself as a coaching professional.
Holding a credential – especially an ICF Credential – is extremely important to today’s coaching clients. The 2022 Global Consumer Awareness Study found that 85% of coaching clients say it’s important or very important that their coach holds a certification or credential. Earning an ICF Credential provides you with instant credibility and increased visibility to prospective clients.
ICF offers three credentials, corresponding with the quantity of education and experience required to earn it. The credentials are:
Associate Certified Coach (ACC) – Completed 60 hours of coach specific education and 100 hours of client coaching experience
Professional Certified Coach (PCC) – Completed 125 hours of coach specific education and 500 hours of client coaching experience
Master Certified Coach (MCC) – Hold or have held a PCC Credential, completed 200 hours of coach specific education and 2,500 hours of client coaching experience
What Does it Take to Earn a Credential?
Earning an ICF Credential is a rigorous process that provides legitimacy and credibility to Credential-holders. Each of the credentials (ACC, PCC and MCC) requires the same five key components:
Obtain coach-specific education aligned with the ICF definition of coaching, ICF Core Competencies and ICF Code of Ethics. | Find ICF-accredited Education | Review non-accredited Education Requirements
Coaching experience hours must begin after you’ve started a coaching education program. | Review Experience Requirements
Receive mentor coaching to strengthen your skills within the ICF Core Competencies. | Review Mentor Coaching Information
Pass a performance evaluation(s) that assess your coaching skills against ICF standards. | Review Performance Evaluation Details
Pass a written exam designed to test your understanding of and ability to apply the ICF definition of coaching, ICF Core Competencies and ICF Code of Ethics. | Review Exam Information
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