The International Coaches Federation, established in 1995, is presently the leading global organization, with over 20,000 members.
ICF: A Global Leader in The Coaching Industry
Thomas Leonard, a professional coach, founded the International Coach Federation (ICF) in 1995 as a nonprofit organization for fellow coaches to support each other and grow the profession. By May 1996, there were more than sixty ICF Chapters established worldwide. The International Coaches Federation is referred to as the gold standard in coaching and it is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high professional standards, providing independent certification, and building a network of credentialed coaches.
The ICF is a global leader looking for individuals and organizations willing to advance the organization’s mission. To maintain its stance as a leading global organization, the International Coaches Federation (ICF) through the oversight of its Board of Directors:
- Develops and advances the art, science, and practice of professional coaching worldwide.
- Advances and advocates for the interests of professional coaches and coaching worldwide.
- Develops and implements strategies and direction for the ICF and its nonprofit member organizations as well as the field of professional coaching worldwide.
- Carries on programs and conferences that advance the interests, education, and training of professional coaches and enhance the impact of coaching worldwide.
- Preserves and advances the organization’s brand and relationships with member organizations and key stakeholders worldwide.
- Oversees and coordinates ICF’s nonprofit member organizations worldwide.
Definition of Coaching
The International Coaches Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching is a client-driven process distinct from other service professions, such as counseling, mentoring, consulting, and training. The profession of coaching is all about helping transform lives by igniting positive changes in those who take advantage of coaching services.
The ICF offer three credential paths to obtaining certification:
Associate Certified Coach (ACC) – is the ‘beginners’ level for the ICF certification. To become ICF certified at this level, you will need ten hours of mentoring, a minimum of 100 hours of documented coaching (with a minimum of 75 hours of paid coaching. This certification requires completing a specific amount of coach-specific training and classes, a minimum of 100 coaching experience hours, and other specific requirements.
Professional Certified Coach (PCC) – This certification is for individuals who have proven themselves in the field. It requires a certain number of classes and training, a minimum of 750 coaching hours, at least twenty-five clients, and other requirements.
Master Certified Coach (MCC) – This certification is for the expert coaching professional. It requires classes and training, a minimum of 2,500 hours of coaching experience, thirty-five or more clients, and other specific requirements.
The ICF is a pioneer in the coaching industry and continues to lead by example in advancing the profession of coaching worldwide by setting high standards through ongoing research, studies, rigorous education, and training.
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Margaret K. Olubiyi
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community