Internationally, there is currently no formal regulation for coaches and many don’t consider coaching a ‘profession’.
Accreditation for coaches has been a ‘hot’ topic and many organisations have been established which provide clients (both individuals and organisations) as well as coaches with benchmarks of good practice in coaching and coach education.
In an ideal world there would be one body that is inclusive of the diversity in the field and that establishes an independent and objective position from which to set standards, support research, educate and inform all stakeholders in the field but we are an evolving field and there is increasingly effective collaboration between the main bodies.
We think about three types of accreditation and invite you to consider what would work for you in your context:
This is the simplest form of accreditation where a personal recommendation is made by an individual client who has benefited from coaching with that coach. If you are looking to work on a similar issue to the person providing the recommendation this can be a useful way of finding a coach who is reliable and effective.
As touched on above, we believe there is a need for a professional body in the field of coaching, an institution that will play a neutral and objective role establishing a benchmark for standards and ethics in coaching practice and education of coaches, conducting research and educating key stakeholders.
In November 2012 a Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) was formed by the three main coach accrediting bodies; the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC), the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Association for Coaching (AC). The purpose of GCMA is to professionalise the industry in the field of coaching and mentoring and express a shared view of the practice of professional coaching.
Consistent with our vision to establish a benchmark for professional coaching practice and our views on accreditation, i-coach has established partnerships with a number of leading professional bodies who accredit our programmes and provide our alumni pathways to individual accreditations. The EMCC, ICF and AC are all professional bodies that provide programme accreditation and support in the development of professional standards
Our Certificate in Coaching Practice is accredited at EMCC EQA Senior Practitioner and ICF (226 ACTP), it also has academic credits towards a Masters programme. We have currently chosen to step back from running an open programme of this course
Our Mastery in Professional Coaching is accredited at EMCC Master Practitioner and through Middlesex University. We have currently chosen to step back from running an open programme of this course
We are organisational members of the EMCC and AC, subscribing to their Global Code of Conduct and ethical guidelines.
In South Africa, COMENSA (Coaches and Mentors of South Africa) has been established to create an umbrella association to provide for the regulation of coaching and mentoring, and to develop the credibility and awareness of coaching and mentoring as professions. Many of our alumni have actively contributed to the creation of this body and sit on various committees.
i-coach is supportive of efforts to establish a professional body which acknowledges the unique needs of the South African community.
i-coach academy held academic accreditation for a number of years and still believes in external academic accreditation for programmes at Senior Practitioner Level and above so that participants and clients can feel confident that international standards are maintained across programmes and graduates are recognised as the best in their field.
Our academic standards and quality were monitored by the Institute for Work Based Learning at Middlesex University (IWBL), UK. The IWBL is recognised as a pioneer in accrediting professional learning and thus our alumni were assessed not only on their understanding of coaching but on their professional capacity to coach at Masters level through this accreditation.
Although i-coach does not currently run academically accredited programmes we are still supportive of our alumni community and continue to actively encourage ongoing studies up to doctorate development and research in the field. We encourage those interested in Masters and Doctorate studies to consider contacting the following for assistance
- Middlesex University
- Hult Ashridge Executive Education
- Oxford Brookes University
- University of Wales
- University of East London
In New York, participants have access to additional local accreditation options with the Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business and Milano, the New School of Management and Urban Policy. For further information on iCoach New York please click here
Please refer to individual programme literature for specific detail on accreditation levels.