The ICF hosts a free searchable directory of coach members that hold a credential called the Coach Referral Service (CRS). In the CRS, one can find leadership coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, life coaches and more. Clients can use CRS to identify and select coaches best suited for their particular situation.
ICF recommends asking the following questions:
- What is your coaching experience (number of individuals coached, years of experience, types of coaching situations, etc.)?
- What is your coach-specific training (enrolled in an ICF approved training program, other coach-specific training, etc.)?
- What is your coaching specialty or areas in which you most often work?
- What types of businesses do you work with most often? And, at what levels (executives, upper management, middle management, etc.)?
- What is your philosophy about coaching?
- What types of assessments are you certified to deliver?
- What are some of your coaching success stories (specific examples of individuals who have succeeded as a result of coaching)?
- Are you a member of ICF? Do you hold an ICF Credential?
A coach who has been credentialed by the ICF has completed stringent education and experience requirements and has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence in coaching. Certification from the ICF is extremely important when considering which coach to hire. It means the coach:
- Has received professional training from a program specifically designed to teach coaching skills in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics
- Has demonstrated a proficient understanding and use of the coaching competencies as outlined by the ICF
- Is accountable to the ethics and standards set forth by the ICF
According to the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, 84 per cent of adult consumers who had experienced a coaching relationship reported they thought it was important for coaches to hold a credential.
Working with an ICF Credentialed coach ensures consumers they aren’t in a partnership with someone merely calling him or herself a coach. When you hire an ICF Credentialed coach, you can be assured your coach comes with highly recognisable, global coaching qualifications. Coaches credentialed by ICF have received coach-specific training, achieved a designated number of experience hours and been coached by a Mentor Coach.
If you are considering hiring a coach, be diligent in asking the coach whether he or she has been specifically trained in coaching skills and currently holds or in the process of acquiring an ICF Credential. Don’t be misled into thinking someone is a competent coach because he or she has other professional credentials or sets high fees.