Professional Coaching Expected to Grow as Pandemic Impacts Wane
–Snapshot Study of the Human-Driven Profession Reveals Optimism for the Future
Even Amid Digital Transformation-
Lexington, Kentucky, USA— The International Coaching Federation (ICF) today released its 2023 ICF Snapshot Survey: Future of Coaching. Overall, the study found coach practitioners have a high degree of confidence that the industry will continue to grow. Almost one in four coach practitioners (24%) are extremely confident that the industry will expand over the next 12 months while 42% said they are very confident. Just 7% said they are not at all or not very confident.
Considering the next 3-5 years, confidence levels are even higher, with 31% extremely confident that the industry will continue growing and 45% saying they are very confident. Only 4% said they are not at all confident or not very confident when thinking about the next 3-5 years.
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, coaching was negatively impacted with many practitioners reporting reduced levels of activity. As the pandemic unfolded, however, the trends moderated with most in the field seeing increased demand. Generally, professional coaches used the pandemic as a time to invest in additional training and adapt their delivery of services to the changed environment.
While coaching is a highly human-driven profession, advances in technology, especially AI are creating some level of uncertainty among practitioners, according to the recent study.
Coaches broadly view AI as an important new technology, with only 10% considering it just a passing trend. One in two coaches agree with the proposition that AI will be a disruptive innovation in coaching, thus keeping up with technological changes is a top concern over the next 12 months.
Nevertheless, a majority of coaches (64%) state that digital coaching platforms benefit coaching clients and the industry, facilitating and enhancing access to coaching around the globe. Most of the respondents (69%) agree that platforms should be regulated to ensure the safety of coaches and clients.
The Future of Coaching report is a snapshot study of the global state of the coaching profession. The report primarily focuses on the demographics of coach practitioners and the outlook for coaching as it relates to external and internal factors that may have an impact on the industry’s success.
“Coaching is in a unique growth position as we experienced unprecedented expansion over the past several years and we continue to grow,” says ICF CEO Magdalena Nowicka Mook. “This study clearly shows that the thousands of coaches surveyed already share a mindset based in optimism and oriented toward further progress. More people are becoming coaches, and we are seeing younger generations show an interest in the industry as well. The future appears bright, especially with a greater application of technology and AI, in learning and delivery of coaching.”
Supporting this perspective, practitioners expressed plans to expand their respective businesses in response to demand. The overwhelming majority (80%) of coaches agreed that their clients expect coaches to be certified/credentialed. Most coach practitioners across the globe meet that expectation; In the study, 85% said they currently hold a certification/credential from a coaching organization.
The survey was commissioned by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The outcomes were significant in scale and global in reach, engaging over 14,500 participants in 157 countries. The 2023 study represents ICF’s major and ongoing research effort to evaluate the current state and future of the coaching profession. PWC’s methodology included a survey fieldwork phase that commenced in 2022.
The executive summary of the study is available on the ICF website. Journalists can obtain a free media copy via the contact information below.
About the International Coaching Federation
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organization leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Founded in 1995, its 50,000-plus members located in more than 150 countries and territories work toward common goals of enhancing awareness of coaching and upholding the integrity of the profession through lifelong learning and upholding the highest ethical standards. Through the work of its six unique family organizations, ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organizations, communities, and the world through coaching.