An expert on the coaching industry sent Peer Resources an email that said, “Approximately 95 percent of the 500 organizations that provide training for coaches are ‘for profit’ businesses. They compete against each other to sell their coach training and in doing so they must find numerous niches, specialties and unique issues that can boost their competitive positions.”
While most of the coaching associations hold not-for-profit status, they still compete with each other for members. Few individuals can afford to hold memberships in more than one of these associations, and their membership standards are restrictive enough that it would be quite unusual for an individual coach to qualify for membership in more than one. But the myriad of standards, definitions and promotion of membership benefits has created uncertainty among many coaches as to which one to join.
Typically, the coaching associations operate as if the other associations don’t exist; and as of this date only one membership-based group actually mentions and fully acknowledges all the other coaching associations on its website. In addition, the coaching associations have increased their efforts to approve and accredit coaching schools, and thus gain allegiance to their model of a coach training curriculum as specified by the association. This system, in the guise of raising standards, contributes to minimizing innovation and experimentation, and homogenizes the offerings available.
Even more troubling is the fact that coaching associations have assigned themselves the authority to ‘grant’ accredited or approved status to coach training schools. No external authorities review or monitor their accrediting practices, and the associations are not accountable to any expert authority on accreditation or curriculum approval.
As far as I could tell from enquiries to the associations, none have the expertise and experience with accreditation and curriculum approval models that exist outside of coaching; none are members of various organizations that oversee accrediting procedures; few have consulted with or have an on-going relationship with existing agencies that have been engaged in accrediting and curriculum approval; and none have the expertise or staff hours to conduct accreditation or approval that would make them relatively equivalent to the most well-known and reputable accreditation models. Even the methods and standards used by the coaching associations to accredit or approve coaching schools are quite different from each other. This lack of authority and coordination can and does contribute to public confusion as to what those terms actually mean. (See our latest guide to the use of accreditation in the coaching industry on our website at www.peer.ca/coachingschools.html.)Download Article 1K Club
December 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm
Fabulous article. As a 20+ year organization development professional schooled in the NTL methods, I’ve been, well, disgusted, to see work taken from my plate by “coaches.” Where I would have listened, offered (not required), and helped with feedback on various approaches for setting and achieving goals (or not goals), I’ve been told I can’t “coach” in some Federal Agencies because I’m not “ICF certified.” Meanwhile, some of the folks I’ve met in the “coaching profession” seem woefully unbalanced and bereft of use-of-self skill. What a mess, and you captured it. Thank you.