Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thoughts on Proposed Changes?

Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 by International Coach Federation

The ICF Board of Directors sincerely regrets any confusion and concern that has resulted from our communication regarding work on the credentialing program that many member volunteers have been doing since 2007.

First of all, let me apologize for not clearly communicating what is happening around our credentialing work and the purpose behind it. And secondly, let me assure you that no final decisions have been made or will be made in December. All we are learning in this input phase will be shared with you in further open conversations and provide additional opportunities for member input.


I sincerely appreciate how important and dear to many of our hearts this topic is. I want to reinforce to you now that what has been shared is a proposal—a concept idea that the Board needs to get your opinion on.

Our true intent is to engage in conversations with our members, credentialed coaches and other stakeholders, about what we've learned in the validation of the credentialing process so that we could truly enhance both the process and the credentials.

Over the past few weeks we have been engaged in conversations with various groups, including the ICF Past Presidents, and reviewed online feedback. We have already learned a great deal! In particular, your input has helped us see how our initial communications mixed two ideas together and created confusion.

One idea is to improve the process of credentialing to achieve more objectivity, consistency, fairness and capacity. The second idea was to look at the value of the three credentials and how they portray internationally recognized standards of excellence. Now that we see this, we commit to creating more clarity about these two different ideas in future communications.

Again, no final decision on how to enhance our credentialing program has been made. In December, the Board will meet and review the many comments, questions and ideas that coaches from around the world have shared with us. After this, we will share the collective learnings gathered and engage you in further dialogue.

I am sure you can appreciate the enormous complexity of the work we are doing here, and how inadequate one mode of communication alone is. Please join us in as many different ways as you can to contribute to our learning conversations.

There are many ways you can engage with us to share your comments and questions:

  • Open conversations via teleforum with members of the Board and Credentialing Committee; bridge line and dialing instructions are available on this blog;
  • E-mail isocomments@coachfederation.org;
  • Follow and share feedback on this ICF blog;
  • Attend a special meeting/lunch on the afternoon of Friday, December 4 at the 2009 ICF Annual International Conference in Orlando. I’ll be sharing more details with you on this shortly.

You may have also been following conversations around this work on other social networking sites, including the Coaching Commons site and LinkedIn. We certainly appreciate the work of coaches who have been taking the time to hold these important discussions. For more information, please click here to reference frequently asked questions, background papers and more details on Coachfederation.org.

I look forward to hearing from you on this important issue and working together to strengthen our credentialing program.

Warm Regards,
Karen Tweedie, PCC
2009 ICF President

26 comments:

  1. I am a PCC - have now met all the requirements of applying for MCC - and now wonder whether it is worth the time and effort to do so when this entire new program is possibly to be launched. From my perspective I have devoted many hours and effort to qualify for MCC and now find that a single new credential that requires far less than the time and effort involved to finally be eligible for MCC status is a step in the wrong direction.

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  2. You know how, in key moments of evolution or transformation, there comes a time when a developmental leap to the next evolutionary stage must take place, and at that precise moment the organism or system will do all it can to resist that leap and to fortify the existence it knows in order to prevent the change? The ICF, along with the rest of the human species, is on the verge of shifting from the belief that our world is rational, logical, and quantifiable, to an understanding that it is more unpredictable, less linear and more intuitive than we have ever understood it to be. And yet, the ICF is marching forward with the belief that, with the right set of codified methods, techniques, standards, and protocols in place, the profession can be predictably measured as it is guided down its path.....In truth, I don't think we can do this using ISO standards, any more than all the smartest mathematicians and analysts could accurately use their forecasting expertise to predict the collapse of the mortgage-backed securities market and the subsequent downfall of the global economy in 2008. Sometimes we can shape the direction of things. Sometimes we can't. Knowing with certainty what we can control and what we can't is impossible. Exactly how things unfold is often a mystery. Yet, we will often take credit for designing a rational methodology to obtain certain results. Sometimes our rational methods are responsible for the results they produce; sometimes they aren't....I believe that for us to advance as a profession, we must be able to hold multiple realities at the same time. There is the reality of standards--a very left-brain, rational approach to shaping the growth and development of our profession. There is also the reality of an in-the-moment, person-to-person experience in the emotional field--a very right-brain intuitive/relational approach to shaping the growth and development of our profession. I worry that ICF seeks to legitimize its identity in the larger world through this strong emphasis on the "rational method", using the ISO. I am concerned that the further codifying and quantifying of the profession will undermine those stunning 'first moment' experiences that drew us-and which continue to draw others-into the profession....I am not resisting the need to rely upon standards to guide the growth and development of the profession. I think standards are quite important. However, I don't think the profession should rely too heavily on the "credibility" granted to us, as coaches, by an independent entity. At its core, our profession continues to be based on what Laura Whitworth, one of the pioneers of coaching, often described as basic human skills, which we happen to apply under an umbrella called "coaching". The ability to listen deeply to another, to acknowledge, champion, challenge, provide a rich metaphor, give a meta-view, identify values, look at different perspectives, and practice staying present in the moment with a client--these are all things that humans do all the time, even when we're not coaching. Isn't it a good thing that these coaching skills are transferable and can be easily used by anybody who is interested? Why create more separation around these skill sets, through the use of independently-contrived standards, when the natural wholeness that is evoked from a coaching conversation is what needs to be spread, like a virus, across the globe?....As a coach, I can apply any one of the above skills in a technically proficient manner with one client and it will nonetheless be useless. I can use the same exact words with another client and my intervention will be masterful. What's the difference? The difference, once the techniques of using these skills are understood, lies in my ability as a human to connect with another human in a meaningful way. The unique and transformative quality of that connection is found in the experience itself. A human connection cannot be codified. It is ineffable and inexplicable.

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  3. Hear, Hear to Sam. wonderfully expressed. Coaching IS a human experience. I have worked with ISO for years as a businessman; I believe ISO is a compliance system, enormously useful for process control and manufacturing and operating systems, whereas coaching, I believe, is human interaction. I believe the current Accreditation system with its focus on a code of Ethics and core competencies is well-suited to our profession. If one stopped to consider the hoops one would have to go through and the distortions required to comply with an ISO-like system, the ensuing product would no more resemble coaching than would a baby-bathing machine resemble parenting. The process could have wonderful integrity, be complete and measurable and give consistent results, but the experience for the baby would be ....well. I want to be coached by a human being in a human interaction, with all its intangible uncertainty, inconsistent process yet life-enriching beautiful spontaneity.

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  4. Is there a place where we can get the gist and pros and cons? I would like to weigh in once I know more.

    I just received my ACC and wonder why things would change and what that would mean to all of us who have worked hard for the accreditation process.

    Thanks, Nick

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  5. Sam, I quite agree with you posting about the standardization being linear while we are more and more living in a nonlinear world. I think coaching definitely mostly functions in the non-linear sector.

    I am a new PCC, and as others, worried about what´s happening now. For me the certifications at three levels has felt good and supporting of different levels of experience. I think we miss something important if there is only one certification.

    I have also known the ISO-system as more technical and am surprised that it at all is used for human skills. And I trust that the ICF committee members have evaluated that in depth. Yet, I deeply hope that here isn´t a wish to have a change for changes sake, or that someone wants the own name into the "books of history" as being one of the initiators to the "Brave New Certification" (too much of this kind being revealed in Finnish politics the last few weeks, sorry, may influence me).

    I do not understand the need for a new standardization. Wouldn´t it be possible to just deepen the evaluation of the present ones? They are getting known among customers. All that information and teaching work is in vain if everything changes.

    As an member of the ICF Finland board I now feel confused about what to tell potential clients. "We have this certification system with three levels, but we may change that into an ISO certification with one level"- confusing to myself and surely not more clear to the potential client.

    We are in this situation now, and change is always a challenge to us humans. How can we/I make the best out of it? Where do we/I want to go? What is the goal in ICF overall (the committee has it´s goal clear, but not the rest of us)?

    Personally, my first choice goal now is : ISO certification for at least two levels, preferably three. Keeping the names ACC, PCC and MCC in order not to confuse our customers. This model I vote for!

    Best Regards,
    Marianne Borg Hyökki
    Helsinki, Finland
    ScD, PCC
    Evidence Based Coaching Certificate

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  6. Sam has given such a fulsome reply which resonates so well with my thought but I coudlnt match that eloquence on this topic
    So I perhpas my contribution can come form a slightly different tack
    I would like to understand more about the costs involved and the timeon would need to invest to achieve the accreditation
    I am totally committed to ensuring coaching is recognised as a true profession but from a priactical point I also have a home to run a family to spend time with and a need to earn a living Time is at a premium!
    I am happy to believe that the people 'leading' the ICF are of sincere and good intent but I do hope those of you now receiving a 'salary' from the ICF remember that a large majority of Coaches are running their own small practice in order to provide for their families doing work they feel is of value to those they work with and also they enjoy, I urge you to make sure you arent making 'rules' that 'exclude' perfectly professional coaches on the basis of time incilination or even finaance

    180 hours of coach-specific training; Is this new training hours? Does it include or igonore all the training Ive done in the last 7 years?

    500 hours of coach experience obtained AFTER completing at least 60 hours of training Do any of my coaching hours achived in the last 6 years count ??

    My only experience of ISO type standards came during my corporate life where the 'badge' was regularly achieved but the culture didnt reflect that supposed badge of honour!
    I look forward to seeing the outcome
    Kind regards
    Anne Pink

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  7. The original letter had three links for ICF and an email but not to the two that are referenced a good source for what Nick has asked:

    "You may have also been following conversations around this work on other social networking sites, including the Coaching Commons site and LinkedIn."

    I recommend the following two locations ---
    The petition that we should continue to sign:
    http://icfcoachestakeastand.org/
    The best site to get perspective other than the ICF (Note it is often down):
    http://coachingcommons.org/featured/reactions-to-proposed-changes-to-the-icf-credentialing-process/

    The LinkedIn Discussion can be found at: www.thecoachingforums.com
    While the Certified Coaches at Yahoo Groups and http://leadingcoachescenter.com/groups/be-a-voice/members have some good posts they are more awkward in accessing.

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  8. Very bizarre...ISO for coaching accreditation? Is coaching now a mechanised science not an art which can be defined in terms of compliance standards, procedure steps, quality standards like that of engineering or manufacturing project management? I'm left wondering what is the value of my PCC and were all those hours educating the prospective clients on differentiations in professional certification. Hmmm, maybe I'm in the wrong field!

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  9. I haven't seen this addressed yet. I haven't been able to start my credentialling path, because the ACC/MCC/PCC requirements can be extremely difficult for those focused on internal corporate coaching. I was hoping that any improvements would address that, but I don't see anything in the current materials which would suggest that this has been considered.

    ISO could be a very important endorsement for corporate employers, but the steps to get a credential have to be practical and achievable for internal coaches as well as external.

    Thank you-
    Carl Dierschow

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  10. Is it possible for the ICF to become "the institute" where people enroll/pay and take the coaching credential coursework, training, mentoring and testing? Other than ICF, institutions of higher education might be the other "go-to" organizations for approved credentialling - especially for those who also want the college credits to apply toward an advanced degree. Just seems like part of the problem may be the "herding cats" challenge associated with so many free-market entities offering coach training. I've been coaching for 5+ years, but new to ICF last spring and will attend my first conference this December. So, don't shoot the messenger (please) if you don't agree with me. Just know that as a newbie, I'd like to pursue continuing training, education and credentialling. But, I've found it really confusing to decipher the maze of pricing, content, teaching-learning style and other issues among all the coach training organizations listed on the ICF website.

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  11. Karen/Board,

    Well, all I can say about this blog is it's about time. As chair of the marketing committee last year there was resistance to my push to engage the membership and market via social media...Unfortunately most of the relevant conversation on credentialing is taking place on third party sites and has advanced quite a bit beyond what's going on here, simply because ICF is very late to the party, if you will. I would request that you provide links to those sites. They're mentioned in Roberta's post but should be accessible links in the right hand nav bar here.

    It can be inferred, more from what the organization isn't saying than what it is, that the board has no intention of backing down from its pursuit of ISO-linked credentialing. Engaging in a "dialog" is one thing; not offering to put the relentless march to ISO on hold while we figure out the best way to revamp the credentialing process (which many of us have known for quite a while needs it badly) is quite another. As one of the co-founders of ICF, someone who worked hard to help establish the credentialing process and a current assessor for PCC and MCC exams, I would respectfully request that the board table the entire ISO conversation now until we can look at it against other options which may in fact suit our unique needs far better.

    I'd also like to point out that this particular issue, while critical, is also the straw that broke the camel's back. There has been a vast sea of discontent with ICF out here for quite a while, with no way for any of us to have input or get the board's attention. As someone on one of the other sites proposed, I too think it's time to amend the bylaws to explicitly state that the board serves the membership and that the membership will have a voice and a vote on all substantive issues affecting the credentialed membership, and the membership as a whole where relevant.

    To Carl regarding credentialing for internal coaches: I've picked this bone for years; among other things, the requirements for PCC and MCC need to be rewritten so that the language is completely inclusive of both external and internal coaches. Back when they were originally written there WERE no internal coaches! What I suggest you do is pull together documentation of any coach-specific or coach-relevant training you've had and track the time you've spent/are spending in coaching conversations or formal coaching sessions, and with whom, per the instructions in the relevant application. The portfolio process may make the most sense for you.

    Joan T. Cook, MCC

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  12. As requested, below is a repeat of my post on the Coaching Commons.

    After voicing my comments on the first open forum call, I was asked to put them in writing and they would be considered. I hope that is true!

    While I completely agree, as do most ICF members, that the credentialing system is in need of change, going to ISO is the equivalent of using a sledge hammer to brush teeth. It doesn’t align, make sense, or handle the REAL problem.

    The place where we have the least consistency and the most subjectivity is the oral portion of the exam. ISO does NOT address this. I mentioned on the call that IAC does not have a significant number of credentialed coaches BUT they DO HAVE CONSISTENCY for those that receive the credential. They have created a training for assessors that is specific to a methodology that does not discriminate or hold bias based on one’s coach training and style.

    As a mentor coach and coach trainer who has listened to hundreds if not about a thousand coaching sessions, I can see where the assessor training is critical and what makes the difference. In corresponding with Nina East, Lead Certifier for the IAC who just stepped down, she created a training program that met the criteria that ICF should consider.

    The assessor training placed strong emphasis on separating coaching style from coaching substance and effectiveness. They are trained to listen not as a coach (who would have a particular style or way of questioning) but rather as an assessor. They also took into consideration diversity and cultural awareness. They created specific measures and guidelines for each mastery (equivalent of competencies).

    Having gone through the ICF assessor training, and more importantly, as a mentor coach having been on feedback calls with clients who have passed the exam, the subjectivity is glaring.

    In addition, ICF is working on a constant and severe backlog. If we changed to 2 recordings instead of the live portion, we could keep pace with those applying.

    IAC has only one credential – pass or fail no matter how many hours and how much training. I have maintained that ICF has created entry points for coaches to get credentialed and that the main purpose is to elevate a coach’s confidence and mastery looking towards improvement. If we had consistent, non-biased (as best as possible since we are humans) criteria, I believe our credentialing framework would be superior.

    Right now, it seems as though breathing and not blatantly telling are the only criteria for the ACC. It diminishes the value and purpose. While it is an entry level (and in some cases more so except for the hours requirement), if we could set consistent, measurable, less biased criteria for the oral exams, accept recordings instead of live, I do believe ICF will have achieved mastery!

    Marion Franklin, MCC

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  13. Maybe it's a great thing for the ICF to have a blog, but I'm unclear what this blog offers for this discussion that doesn't already exist in the LinkedIn and Coaching Commons discussions that are already much further along.

    http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers=&gid=8721&discussionID=7327202

    http://www.coachingcommons.org/featured/reactions-to-proposed-changes-to-the-icf-credentialing-process

    By the way, is there an explicit commitment not to delete comments (assuming they are not spam)?

    Jonathan Sibley

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  14. It's a bit puzzling as the what the ICF's blog strategy might be. What's the purpose of this blog? It doesn't appear to be dialog; nor does it appear to be education or information. I think it would be helpful for the ICF to clarify the blog strategy. I hope it isn't similar to their Twitter strategy which is to act as a PR tool to promote ICF events/activities. Providing a clearer picture of the blog strategy might assist members and others to make a better decision about contributions here.

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  15. What's the purpose of the blog at Coaching Commons, and why would the purpose of the ICF blog be any different than that?

    Unfortunately for ICF, the conversation got started at 3rd party sites and remains there because the few people who are posting there know to go there. If someone would light a fire under the ICF website "designers" (and I use the term loosely) and get them to take the blog out of the topical rotation at the top of the ICF home page and give it a tab in the top menu bar, we might encourage more people to post here--particularly if board/staff were to let the membership know the blog exists.

    Everyone who is affected by this decision knows this website. Why we aren't promoting it for the purposes of dialog about this critical issue is beyond me.

    Gary, Anne, Karen, can we get some action here?

    Joan T. Cook, MCC

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  16. In reading through the posts on this blog it is clear there are a variety of things that are important to the people who have contributed to this discussion (and represent many other members) on the proposed ICF credential of the future and the many issues that adhere to it. The purpose of this blog is to allow us to capture public comments and to provide transparency. These comments provide a record of one stream of this conversation.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to provide your thoughts here. I know this is important to you. With this in mind I will take this opportunity to answer some of the questions that have been asked and/or are implied in the preceding comments.

    One area that I would like to offer some clarity around is the choice that ICF has made to utilising the ISO framework to help design the future credential. Using the ISO standards can be likened to an architect using a Building Code as a reference for designing a building. It ensures that the elements of the design have a fundamental framework of, say, safety and strength but does not influence the overall aesthetic or style of the design. ISO 17024, is a standard framework which pertains to "a body/organisation certifying persons”. (There has been some confusion - some have thought we are aligning with ISO 9000 - a family of standards that deals with quality managements systems).

    ISO 17024 does not specify the content of the credentialing program but provides a guide to designing the credentialing process. ISO, the International Standards Organisation, itself does not grant us credibility but provides us with a framework of standards that we can use to design the program we want, that truly represents the best that is professional coaching in a way that is objective and defensible.

    It provides us, a global organization, with a way to design a credential that has consistency across geographic boundaries. ICF members in many parts of the world are very familiar with and supportive of what an ISO framework can contribute to designing a fair, objective and defensible system. And we know that members in other parts of the world are less familiar with it.

    The draft proposal for the future ICF credential focuses on knowledge portion of the credentialing process. Training with a Registered Training provider and passing the oral portion of the exam would be a prerequisite to taking the knowledge test final event in the credentialing process. The proposal is that the knowledge portion would be tested via a multiple-choice exam, taken in a proctored environment at test centre located near you. An exam offered in this way is an example of an element of an ISO compliant process.

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  17. To continue...

    As you may imagine it has been a very hectic month or so since we began our consultative period seeking input to the draft changes for the credential of the future – and we have certainly got input. We are learning a great – and what we have heard is helping us clarify many things – most importantly what is most important to our members.

    We have had twelve tele-calls so far - with Chapter Leaders, coaches with various levels of credential, non-ACTO schools and two (of four) open calls for October. We are planning for several other calls in November so hope you can make one of them. They will be announced shortly.

    For clarity, we are asking for comments on two aspects:

    Firstly, given the draft outline for the envisaged new credential, what are your reactions? What do you think about the criteria - training hours, coaching hours, mentor coaching hours, sequence of events? What do you want us to take into account, what more do you want to know?

    And secondly, given that this will be the way in which coaches in the future will gain a credential what do we need to take note of for current credential holders? What is important for us to remember, honor, allow for? What do you care about in how we manage current credential holders?

    On the calls there is a great opportunity for us to answer questions directly and give you any background information that we can. For example - What prompted us to begin the work on the new credential? What influenced our thinking in choosing a globally recognised standard (ISO) for designing the new draft process?

    We also have a meeting planned for the global conference in Orlando.

    The Board meets directly before conference and will consider a comprehensive report on all that has come out of our conversations, emails, member calls, blogs etc at that time. The conference meeting will be a chance to share what we have learnt so far from these conversations with all our constituents, share our proposed "next steps" in the process and take any further input.

    I trust you can begin to see the complexity of the work we have undertaken here and I hope you can also understand the challenges we have in closely engaging a globally diverse, passionate 14,500 strong membership.

    We are committed to taking professional coaching into the future and to honoring the solid foundation on which we are building. With your help and contribution we will make it a success.

    If you have been on a call and there are views you would still like to share please or things you want clarified then attend another call, send an email, or contribute to this blog. I encourage you to stay engaged in a variety of ways and co-create our credential of the future. The email address for comments is (isocomments@coachfederation.org).

    Kind regards,

    Karen Tweedie PCC
    2009 Global President

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  18. As an ex-IT consultant, I still have a hard time seeing how the ISO format fits the accreditation program.

    What I am also witnessing is that the ICF headed in one direction without fully taking into account its member's POVs, which have been well voiced on other blogs.

    It is troubling that to this day there are no easy way to read about it or overview explanations of the proposed ISO format on the ICF website. The other question still remains, what does it mean to those of us who are already certified under the current system.

    The ICF needs to be careful how it handles this, as situations as these can easily deteriorate and other groups could form to represent dissident views, eventually gather steam.

    For those of us who unfortunately don't have the time to sift through blog entries, is there a quick overview of the ISO 17024?

    Nick Zart, ACC

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  19. Following the ICF call today I think there are four things the ICF should consider:


    1. Demystify ISO17024
    It seems that many people do not understand the ISO thing. Some have heard of ISO9001 etc but do not realise that ISO operate hundreds of standards which are recognised around the world. Some seem to be frightened of compromising the art of coaching and the human aspects as they see ISO as a technical and process driven organisation.
    I think it is important for the ICF to clearly and succinctly explain that ISO17024 is an internationally recognised standard for bodies that certify the competence of persons. It is just a framework to ensure and allow the ICF to demonstrate objectivity, fairness etc in their credentialling process and the ICF will remain in full charge of the number, criteria and content of their credentials. They will be ICF credentials not ISO credentials.

    2. Explain the power of ISO
    ISO has the advantage of allowing the ICF to demonstrate to the world that it is meeting an internationally recognised standard in its credentialling process. This can only be good for establishing the professionalism of the ICF and of coaching.

    3. Address the serious concerns around establishing different levels of credential-
    I feel that it is very important to have different levels of credential to allow people to start the process (e.g. ACC) (the currently proposed credential is too big as first step for most people) and then grow as coaches and aim towards the next level (e.g. PCC) with a recognised master practitioner credential to follow.

    4. Identify the "body of knowledge" for different levels of credential to be tested in a written exam (think outside the current ICF box!)
    Where I think that the ICF seems to have got tied up is in deciding how to examine the "body of knowledge" at different levels to establish different levels of credential. On the call today it seemed as if the ICF had limited the body of knowledge that can be examined in written form to the ICF ethics & core competencies. There is however a vast body of theoretical knowledge out there concerning coaching which I would expect everyone at master practitioner level (even PCC) to be aware of even if they don't choose to use it all in their coaching practice e.g. neuroscience (e.g. coaching with the brain in mind - David Rock), NLP, positive psychology, etc etc.). Surely the ICF can put together something to allow coaches to demonstrate their understanding of the theory underpinning coaching in addition to the even more important oral exams to allow them to demonstrate the art of their coaching in practice. No other professional would expect to practice properly without understanding the theory behind their art and I think to ensure the excellence of our profession we need to do the same.

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  20. I concur with Nick that it is possible that the discontent may cause someone to set up an alternative to ICF and credentialing.

    Having listened to many comments on the conference call, I feel the same dissatisfaction and frustration others are feeling. I am new to coaching, and I value the different levels of entry, the opportunity to learn and improve my skills and to earn a higher designation (If I want to).

    It appears to me that this effort is being driven by the desire to be the only player in town and to generate revenue. The coaching schools certainly want this, as it may drive more people to their classes. As soon as this issue became the topic of conversation they started aggressively marketing the practicum and encouraging everyone to hurry and sign up before the new requirements went into place.

    The process to certification is not an easy one, nor an inexpensive one now. If it does not satisfy the needs and wants of its membership, they will join another movement with a more sensible way to earn certification.

    My clients have not has asked me whether I am credentialed. They hire me because I come highly recommended and because of my reputation in the community.

    I am wondering if certification is worth it and where else I may be able to turn (other than ICF) for support.

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  21. One of the most disrespectful things an organization can do is to invite comment and opinion when there is really no interest in or intention of using the feedback generated. Please allow me to add my voice to those concerned that the ISO "proposal" is already a fait accompli and not a proposal at all. ICF Board, if you are indeed only in the proposal stages of this idea, please offer your members alternatives to consider and evidence of there being a variety of possible paths down which this issue could progress. As yet we have heard nothing other than defense of the one idea at hand, which is not a dialogue, nor is it the serious consideration of feedback. Please either show us options, take the current pitch off the table, or call it what it is and let us make our decisions based on the reality of the new system you so ardently defend.

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  22. I was thinking in the shower this morning (I do some of my best thinking in the shower) that will all of the focus on needed improvements to the credentialing system we run the risk of losing sight of the fact that an ICF credential is still the gold standard for the coaching profession. And so I want to simply express my gratitude to everyone who has had a hand in developing our credentialing system these past 10 years or so. Since it’s impossible for me to name all of the names, I want to thank the prior Board members, officers and staff, our past and present credentialing committee members, anyone who has worked as an assessor and all of the coach volunteers who have participated in task forces and study groups and surveys, and everyone who has earned an ICF credential and has done great coaching so that consumers now know to ask for ICF credentialed coaches when they are looking to hire the best coaches in the world.
    Ed Modell

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  23. Those who know me know I generally use very few words when I write. I plan to do the same here.

    ISO standards are perfect for the manufacturing process. Coaching, on the other hand, is largely intuitive with some significant knowlege and training. ISO is absolutely silly when we are discussing the Coaching process or Coaching credentials.

    I see this "decision (or discussion) of adopting a single coaching credential as tantamount to ICF committing suicide on behalf of itself and our profession.

    Maybe (just maybe) the answer to this issue is too conclude that ICF can no longer be trusted as the guardian of the integrity of our profession. Maybe (just maybe) it is time for a group of respected and well known coaches to start a competing organization which would be dedicated to protecting and preserving the ACC, PCC, and MCC credentials.

    Just a thought (or two)

    Ken Zaretzky, MCC

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  24. Call me old-fashioned or a traditionalist, but I would have thought that the November issue of the ICF's "Coaching World" newsletter would have had more details about (1) the credentialing discussion; and (2) the significant drop in membership numbers.

    I've been a member of several different professional organizations and when members are agitated, concerned or eager to learn about particular issues, the in-house newsletter typically focuses on those issues.

    All the articles in the current issue are worthwhile and I don't mean to imply they are of lesser value than the two issues cited above. But given the attention the credentialing issue has had both on the ICF blog (and congratulations on finally creating a link on the ICF home page to the blog) and other places, I would have thought more attention would have been included in the latest issue.

    Maybe the December issue, which is likely to be published after the ICF conference, will include more information.

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  25. A common theme in this discussion so far is that the ICF wants input or feedback from members and others concerned about the future of coaching. ICF Board members have reinforced this request through their contributions to the Coaching Commons discussion, the ICF flog, LinkedIn, and other places.

    But I think their request for feedback is falling short of the mark. I'm not referring to the skepticism some contributors have expressed about whether a decision about ISO has already been made. Nor am I referring to the integrity or sincerity of each ICF Board member's plea for feedback. The requests are genuine and well-intentioned.

    The problem is that the requests keep coming without any indication of what they've heard so far. Without demonstrating their understanding of the feedback to date, the ICF Board is placing their request for feedback in jeopardy. The requests have a hollow ring to them.

    This shallowness is probably a major reason why so few people have contributed to the discussion on the ICF flog. About three months have gone by since the initiation of this venue and few than a couple dozen people have contributed to this crucial discussion. Add to that the two weeks or so since the "Lunch & Learn" at the ICF conference and not one comment has been added (except this one) to the ICF flog.

    Simple questions are not being answered. Instead they are met with the smiley face equivalent of "your call is important to us." This just won't do. It's time for the ICF Board members to summarize the different viewpoints, respond to the questions, and provide members and others through this forum with more definitive responses that even if they do not address the specific concerns at least summarize them.

    To sidestep this process reduces the credibility of the ICF Board as a group, increases the skepticism of the members, and minimizes the true exchange of viewpoints.

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  26. Good governance, transparency and trust. Giovanna and I get that this is what these many posts and several threads are about, and not just the credentialing proposal. We recognize that it is behaviors and actions that create and build good governance, transparency and trust. The ICF Board will not be holding its next meeting until January 20-23, however we want everyone who has been and is following this thread of comments to know that we intend to demonstrate by our actions that you have been heard. And we want all ICF members and ICF credentialed coaches to come directly to either of us if you are ever dissatisfied with what the Board is doing or not doing, or if you feel that you have not been treated as you expect to be treated by an ICF Board member or staff. This is our pledge to you.
    Ed Modell, 2010 ICF President-Elect

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