Development of Coaches: VI. Does ICF Certification Make A Difference?

William Bergquist December 30, 2016 1
Development of Coaches: VI. Does ICF Certification Make A Difference?

This report is the sixth in a series that convey and interpret results from two versions of a questionnaire that was initially prepared by the Development of Coaches Research Collaborative in cooperation with the Collaborative Research Network of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. [Note: for those readers who are familiar with the first five reports, I recommend that you move immediately to the “focus of study” and results sections of this sixth report, given that the initial sections of this report provide background material regarding the two surveys that was already covered in the first reports.]

Critique and Comment

Before moving directly into this sixth report, I wish to honor, as I did in the fifth article, a criticism regarding this series of Development of Coaches reports, offered by my colleague, Rey Carr. He made this comment after reviewing the fourth report (on gender):

When it comes to surveys, particularly those conducted via the Internet, it makes little difference if the survey was completed “by a widely ranging group of coaches,” or by organizations with “no stake in the outcomes,” or distributed by “practitioners.” What counts is the reliability and validity of the survey.

The results of the survey are great for talking points or a place to start a dialogue about the issues raised, but they cannot and should not be understood as representative of coaches. These surveys are typically suspect when it comes to generalizing the results to the coaching industry or population. It doesn’t mean you can draw conclusions, but the data should always be accompanied by a set of “limitations” or “cautions” in using the data.

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1 Comment on "Development of Coaches: VI. Does ICF Certification Make A Difference?"

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Rey Carr
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What a terrific paper! And I’m not saying that because my name is spelled correctly or my ideas are accurately presented. The distinction between internal/external locus of control, the renegades/certified distinction, and the frontier town analogy are all stimulating and thought-provoking ideas.

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