Home Research Coaching Surveys Development of Coaches: VI. Does ICF Certification Make A Difference?

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

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Both versions of the Development of Coaches questionnaire are based on one devised by the Collaborative Research Network of the Society for Psychotherapy Research in their international study of development among professional psychotherapists described by Orlinsky and Rønnestad in How Psychotherapists Develop (Orlinsky & Rønnestad, 005). Both of the coaching studies include questions that parallel those used in the Society’s Development of Psychotherapists Common Core Questionnaire. This enables us not only to study varied aspects of coaches’ development, but also compare responses of coaches to these made by psychotherapists. Many questions have been posed over the past twenty years concerning the similarities and differences between professional coaching and psychotherapy. The data being gathered in these two surveys will provide some of the first answers regarding this comparison.

Modification of Development of Psychotherapists Survey

In adapting the questionnaire, members of the Development of Coaches Research Collaborative drew on their own experiences as coaches to ask questions that they hoped would seem meaningful and relevant to those responding to the questionnaire. The majority of questions could be answered quickly by checking alternatives that most closely reflected the respondent’s own experience.

Instructions to the Respondents

In the case of both surveys, respondents were asked to answer all of the questions and were provided with the following framework:

The complete set of responses provides us with a fuller understanding of your own work and the context in which you work. You may find these questions offer a useful opportunity to reflect on your own coaching career. If any seem difficult to answer exactly, give your best estimate and continue. To ensure confidentiality, the questionnaire is completed anonymously. Information you provide will be used only for research purposes.

Designers of the original survey proposed that the respondents would benefit in two ways. These two benefits made this truly a collaborative effort between those who designed the questionnaire and those who completing it. Following is a statement offered to those considering completion of the second survey:

You can sign up to receive the report findings from this study when they become available. . . These reports will also be made available at no charge to the general coaching public through the Library of Professional Coaching. The reports will identify which modes of development have been found to be the most effective. . . . [Furthermore, results from this survey may] increase the credibility of the coaching profession. As Francine Campone, one of the creators and initiators of the original survey has indicated, a culture of research and evidence needs to be created in the field of professional coaching. The more we learn from one another about professional coaching practices, the more collectively knowledgeable we will become. The more knowledgeable we become, the greater the opportunity for building evidence-based coaching strategies and tools. The better the strategies and tools the more effective we will be as coaching professionals. The more effective we become as a profession, the greater the demand will be for our services.

Focus of the Present Study

This sixth report is the first in a series regarding potential differences in responses to the Development of Coaches survey based on the training, education and certification of professional coaches. In the previous two studies, we focused on two typical distinguishing features among human beings (and coaches): the gender and age of respondents. In this sixth study, we focus on the certification of professional coaches.

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One Comment

  1. Rey Carr

    December 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    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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