The Gold Standard in Coaching | ICF - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can Coaching Supervision or Mentor Coaching be counted toward client coaching hours for ICF credentialing?

    No. Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching are distinct activities from coaching. Therefore, Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours may not be used toward the client coaching experience hours required for ICF credentialing.

    Up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours (receiving or delivering), however, may be used to meet the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • What is professional coaching?

    ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

    • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
    • Encourage client self-discovery
    • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
    • Hold the client responsible and accountable
    • This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.
  • Is there proof coaching works?

    Yes! The ICF Global Coaching Client Study shows most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance and an improvement in wellness. Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment. The median suggests that a client who achieved financial benefit from coaching can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent.

    According to the same report, the vast majority of companies (86 percent) say they at least made their investment back. In fact, almost one-fifth (19 percent) saw a ROI of 50 times their investment, while another 28 percent saw a ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment. Nearly all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study, a stunning 99 percent of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall coaching experience. For more details, go to the ICF Research Portal, as well as press releases about ICF’s return-on-investment research.

  • Is the time a Mentor Coach takes to listen to a recording (e.g., 20 minutes of a recorded coaching session) counted toward the 10 hours of Mentor Coaching?

    Only the time spent in interactive dialogue and delivery of feedback with the Mentor Coaching client may count toward the 10 hours of Mentor Coaching required for a credential. Time spent listening to a recording and preparing for a Mentor Coaching session may not be counted toward the 10-hour requirement.

  • How does the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) define coaching? Is there an agreed, collective view across the three professional bodies?

    The three members of the Alliance are signatories to the Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring which has been accepted on the European Union’s dedicated website for self-regulated professions.

    The Professional Charter gives the following high-level description of coaching and mentoring, stressing that this is not intended as a definitive statement:

    “Coaching and mentoring are activities within the area of professional and personal development with focus on individuals and teams and relying on the client’s own resources to help them to see and test alternative ways for improvement of competence, decision making and enhancement of quality of life. Thus, a professional coach/mentor can be described as an expert in establishing a relationship with people in a series of conversations with the purpose of serving the clients to improve their performance or enhance their personal development or both, choosing their own goals and ways of doing it.”

    Definitions of coaching are also available on each of our respective websites.

  • Can I count group coaching hours toward my experience requirement?

    Yes. If you are coaching a group you will document that session in your Client Coaching Log by giving ICF one name and email address from one person in the group and providing ICF with the number of people in the group (group coaching can be done with only 15 members or less). You cannot multiply hours times participants in the group. If you coach 15 people for 1 hour, you can only count that as one hour of coaching, not 15 hours.

  • Why should Credentialed Members purchase the Enhanced Listing?

    The Enhanced Listing will allow you to showcase additional information about yourself and your coaching practice which will give you more visibility to prospective clients. The Enhanced Listing fields are primarily searched when the potential client is using the keyword field of CCF. If you have a unique coaching specialty or relevant qualifications that are not communicated by the available search filters, you may want to consider purchasing the Enhanced Listing.

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