Monday, June 7, 2010

A message from Colleen Bracken, PCC, ICF Membership & Community Committee Chair

Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 by International Coach Federation

Recently, a large sample of the ICF membership was surveyed by the global ICF Membership & Community Committee to share their thoughts on a very important issue: minimum eligibility requirements for ICF members.

If you didn’t receive an invitation to complete the survey but would like to, please click here to share your thoughts now. The survey will be available through June 21 and takes less than five minutes to complete.

Last year, as part of the feedback collected from a member survey as well as focus group work, the great majority of ICF survey and focus group participants indicated that the ICF should institute some type of minimum eligibility requirement in order to uphold and ensure the future of ICF’s standard of excellence. Many members thought the requirement should revolve around training.

In response to the feedback, and also to support the work happening around our global branding initiative, the Membership & Community Committee has been been asking, surveying, talking, listening, testing, and drafting all kinds of ideas for designing possible minimum eligibility requirements. We have completed and reviewed results from membership surveys, held focus groups with various stakeholder audiences, had informal conversations, interviewed people, used existing research from past reports, and much more.

Updates around this work and survey findings have been shared with the membership along the way in various issues of the Coaching World newsletter as well as other communications. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read the June issue of Coaching World for more information on this work.

In addition to sharing your thoughts around this topic through the survey, please feel free to share your comments by responding to this blog post too. And if surveys and blogs aren’t your thing, representatives from the Committee will be hosting a real live conversation on this matter on June 18 at 10 a.m. (New York). Bridge line: +1.877.242.3279; Pin: 7400.
Survey. Blog. Phone conversation. Get involved. Talk to us!

On behalf of the Membership & Community Committee, we look forward to connecting with you on this very important topic.

Warm regards,

Colleen Bracken, PCC
Chair, Membership & Community Committee


  1. Hi Colleen,

    I applied some time ago online to be on a credentialing ICF work group but have not yet heard anything back.

    I have several questions:
    1. What is the status of these groups?
    2. Who has or will be chosen to be on them and when will we know?
    3. What is the criteria being used for choosing members of these groups?


  2. Hi Annie,

    Thanks for your message.

    ICF members who responded to the invitation should have received an update from the Chair of the Credentialing and Program Accreditation Committee, Pat Marum, PCC, and Vice-Chair, Amorah Ross, MCC, today.

    Many members expressed an interest to serve on this important project—thank you again to each and every member who did!

    At present, the Committee is in the process of reviewing the list of volunteers that applied. As they prepare teams of members for their recommendation to the ICF President, they’re working to make sure the groups reflect the vast diversity of the ICF membership.

    The Committee anticipates that they will be able to finalize this process by the end of this month. Certainly everyone who expressed an interest will be contacted again to be updated and the membership will be updated as this work continues through various ICF communication channels.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Kind regards,
    Ann Jarvis
    ICF Marketing Manager

  3. Hi Ann, and thank you for your reply. I am still curious as to what criteria are being used for choosing members of these groups?

  4. From the pool of members who expressed their willingness and interest to be a part of this project, the ICF Credentialing & Program Accreditation Committee is striving to recommend members for work groups that mirror the variety of the ICF membership overall—across geographic location, experience, knowledge, commitment level to the ICF, etc.—in order to have balanced teams.

    It could very well be the case that membership of various work groups will rotate as the topics these groups consider change during the project over time.

    The Committee may also elect to invite individuals to serve in some capacity at any time during the project should they feel additional expertise is needed by a work group.

  5. I think that membership could be divided in 'ordinary' members - people who interested to learn more, without necessarily having the intention to be professional coaches, and a Professional category - requiring more stringent pre-requisites. There should also be a clause stipulating that members should also represent themselves accurately. The industry is so unregulated that just about anyone can hang a shingle out there and call themselves a 'coach'. Worse, some boost their collaterals with PhDs from degree mills and so on.

  6. Thanks for your ideas, Dave. The concept of having different membership categories has shown up in this conversation several times along the way. It certainly has its merits and will continue to be considered.

  7. Please remember that as an ICF member there are other benefits one can be eligible for. In particular, I receive my health insurance through the ICF partner. I must maintain my ICF membership in order to remain eligible for this health insurance plan. Minimum requirements will impact a member's eligibility for these other services and should be taken into consideration.

  8. Great point Heidi, and you are the first person I have heard bring this up. We will be sure to bring this in to the larger conversation. Thanks!


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