The International Coaching Federation and BetterUp Announce Partnership to Advance The Field of Coaching - International Coaching Federation
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The International Coaching Federation and BetterUp Announce Partnership to Advance The Field of Coaching

The leading voice for the global coaching community and the world’s largest coaching and mental fitness startup commit to conducting research and advancing standards focused on coaching innovation.

Lexington, KY. — The International Coaching Federation (ICF), the world’s largest organization of trained professional coaches, today announced a partnership with BetterUp®, the human transformation company, to conduct cutting-edge research to further the industry’s understanding of what drives individual and organizational impact and to elevate the standards around culturally competent, ethical, digital coaching at scale.

ICF will partner with BetterUp to measure and conduct research on ICF’s rigorously developed competencies, with the goal of unlocking what leads to true behavior change and growth across personal and professional domains. This first-of-its-kind study will be part of a broader research partnership between the two organizations as they work jointly to advance the industry with the first criterion-validated competency model, fueling scientifically-driven coaching development and practice.

“Since its inception, BetterUp has been committed to making high quality, transformative coaching accessible,” said Eduardo Medina, BetterUp co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. “We’re thrilled to work with ICF to build on the foundation of credibility and knowledge they’ve created. Together, we’ll continue to advance the field of coaching by harnessing research to build the most comprehensive, evidence-based body of knowledge and implementable best practices on the art, science and craft of coaching.”

ICF has a 25-year history of defining and advancing the coaching profession, and setting the ethical guidelines for the field. BetterUp is the first and largest digital coaching platform and has established the next horizon for coaching with the world’s largest network of diverse coaches offering support in 64 languages across 70+ countries, coupled with the world’s largest dataset of coaching outcomes based on rigorously developed and validated measures from more than two million coaching sessions.

“ICF has long been recognized as the international gold standard for the coaching profession. As the world increasingly turns to digital methods of connection, it is important that we explore what it means to uphold the highest coaching standards in this medium,” said ICF CEO Magdalena Nowicka Mook. “Coaching holds transformative power for individuals, teams, communities and far beyond. Working closely with BetterUp, we are eager to discover how the best practices of the profession can most effectively be protected, applied and enhanced in digital environments.”

BetterUp’s approach is developed and backed by BetterUp’s in-house team of PhDs and behavioral scientists who design and study the impact of the company’s personal growth and development offerings. BetterUp has distinguished coaches and published authors Dr. Jacinta Jiménez, Dr. Shonna Waters and Dr. Christine Carter as part of their leadership team, and works closely with luminaries such as Marshall Goldsmith and Fred Kofman. BetterUp is also informed by their Science Board, which is composed of leading researchers across the fields of positive psychology and human performance, including Shawn Achor, Josh Bersin, Robin Ely, Adam Grant, Quinetta Roberson and Martin Seligman.

ICF invests frequently in industry research to explore the state and nature of coaching. This allows the community of coaches to stand strong with fresh knowledge of industry trends to inform their daily decisions. This study with BetterUp will join ICF’s extensive body of research including the recurring Global Coaching Study, the Global Coaching Awareness Study, the Building a Coaching Culture series and more.

By working together, ICF and BetterUp will pave the way for the future of coaching – combining trust, credibility, rigor, science and technology to ensure the next wave of innovations in the industry are ethical, culturally competent and rooted in science.

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 140 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. Visit for more information.

About BetterUp
Founded in 2013, BetterUp® is a human transformation company that combines world-class coaching with technology and behavioral science to help people reach peak performance and maximize their potential. BetterUp is the inventor of virtual coaching and the largest mental health and coaching startup in the world, with the world’s largest network of over 3,000 Coaches offering support in 64 languages across over 70 countries. Trusted by more than 600 organizations including NASA, Google, Snap Inc., Chipotle, Salesforce, Hilton, Warner Media and other leading Fortune 1,000 companies, BetterUp delivers on three key impact areas – Mental Fitness, career & leadership development and social connection – inspiring people everywhere to live with greater clarity, purpose and passion. Investors include Wellington Management, ICONIQ Growth, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Threshold Ventures, PLUS Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Mubadala Investment Company, Morningside Group, SV Angel, Freestyle Capital, Crosslink Capital and Tenaya Capital. BetterUp’s Science Board is composed of leading researchers in the fields of positive psychology and human performance including Martin Seligman, Adam Grant, Shawn Achor and Quinetta Roberson. BetterUp has been recognized in the Inc. 5000, Fortune’s Great Places to Work and People Magazine’s Companies that Care. To learn more, visit

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