I have decided to head down the path of becoming a certified professional coach. Specifically, I am enrolled at the International Coach Academy, pursuing the PCC level of coaching as defined by the International Coach Federation. I am doing this for a couple of reasons. First, when covering the professional coaching aspects in my ICP-ACC workshop (the coaching mode/stance from ICAgile’s Agile Coach model of coaching, mentoring, facilitating, teaching), I want to be able to do that from the position of being a certified professional coach. Second, I am planning to offer ICF certified coach training to the Agile Coaching community, hopefully starting in the beginning of 2020.
As I make my way on this journey, I would like to invite you to come along with me. I will be incorporating more of what I learn on this blog, in my ICP-ACC workshop, and in additional workshops that cover more of the ICF coaching competencies. I am hoping that some of you will want to be part of my first graduating class of ICF certified coaches as part of my ICF accreditation process, much as some of you were part of my ICP-ACC accreditation process.
As a start, in this post I will introduce you to the International Coach Federation, the professional coach certification process, and areas of the coaching competencies that don’t typically come up in the materials and offerings that most Agile Coaches are exposed to.
The International Coach Federation – ICF
The ICF is the world’s largest professional coach association. They offer a coach training accreditation process for coach training organizations as well as a certification process for coaches. You can become a member of the ICF without being a certified coach. Membership obligates you to follow their ethics guidelines and signifies to the world that you intend to operate as a professional coach. This is a good step to take along the way to becoming a certified professional coach.
The ICF Coaching Competencies
The ICF’s coaching competencies cover 11 different areas, from ethics to powerful questions to managing progress and accountability. The learning objectives of the ICP-ACC primarily overlap with the ICF’s competencies in the areas of: coaching agreements, active listening, powerful questions, presence, self-management, feedback, and coachee accountability.
Looking Beyond the ICP-ACC
Considering that the goal of the ICP-ACC is to simply introduce a few of the concepts of professional coaching while also covering many other aspects of Agile Coaching, it can only scratch the surface of professional coaching. If you are interested in learning more about what it means to be a professional coach, here are two resources I encourage you to explore. The descriptions of the ICF competencies: https://coachfederation.org/core-competencies and the behaviors associated with coaching at different levels: https://coachfederation.org/app/uploads/2017/12/ICFCompetenciesLevelsTable.pdf