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ICF Certification

ICF Certification

12 Posts
7 Users
5 Reactions
Posts: 2
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago

I'm not entirely sure what DK and others mean when they say we lost the market. Although the work of Kilburn (APA Handbook of Coaching), Peterson, and a batch of others has been influential in shaping the practice of coaching (and liberally borrowed by ICF), the business model and the historical circumstances appear to buttress Ann's case. SCP is a guild and guilds exist to limit entry to markets, but they have only been successful when they had unique access to the rich and powerful. ICF rode a wave of interest in this "new" form of advisory precisely because it was unregulated (and possibly unregulate-able). Every massage therapist, unsuccessful counselor, and so many others could position themselves as coaches and generate income. ICF became the de facto standards because 20-, 30-, and finally 50,000 people formed local chapters and created a movement. I resisted the demands of clients (and coaches, particularly in Europe) for ICF certification when I was global head of coaching for the Center for Creative Leadership, but it was like playing "whack-a-mole." We'd get one government agency or corporate client to understand our standards, requirements, and results were superior, only to find another who had been convinced by their recently-ICF-certified HR partners to demand ICF certification. 

As consulting psychologists, we still are able to differentiate our services if we choose to do so. Adding some certification or not adding it almost never wins over a client. Great work and a track record of great work pays off. Coaching is one of our services, but not the most important. I do think that the Society has an important role in supporting the advancement of our discipline and servicing professional members with resources to help make those distinctions meaningful to clients. And, should the bequest from Arthur Freedman come through, that may be a particularly rich opportunity to do just that. In the meantime, this will continue to be a decision that members will make in their own ways.

Posts: 2
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Hi Ann

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post- much appreciated. I did not mean to imply the members- including yourself

at SCP are stagnating. The comment was meant towards the SCP organization.  I'm sorry if you felt that was a criticism directed towards you- that was 

not my intention. 

I do notice over the last 15-20 years a number of clinical social work colleague executive coaches who attended SCP Conferences failed to gain traction

at SCP and did not feel seen. Therefore, my observation has been experienced by others also. My comment was about increasing the size of the funnel- i.e.

SCP being more inclusive. Maybe I'm wrong here.  But what I was trying to articulate is that ICF has been both very inclusive and very international in terms of growing its coaching membership.  My view is that SCP has not done that.


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