Why coaching accreditation is VITAL
Through accreditation, we build trust and confidence in the coaching and mentoring profession for the benefit of everyone.
Following a recent article in the Saturday Telegraph about the potential damage that can be caused by unqualified coaches and therapists, the IAPC&M (International Authority for Professional Coaches and Mentors) has stressed the importance of accreditation.
David Monro-Jones, Chief Operating Officer of the IAPC&M, said: “The article in the Telegraph highlights the need for anyone seeking the services of a coach to be vigilant and discerning when making their choice. Through accreditation, we build trust and confidence in the coaching and mentoring profession for the benefit of everyone."
“We accredit coaches because the members of the public who put their lives in the hands of people need to know they are being given a professional service, and I want people to understand the importance of only working with those professionals who are professionally trained, qualified, experienced and above all accredited.”
David added that although the coaching industry is not yet regulated, clients should ask about the experience and qualifications that their potential coach has.
“When you board a plane, how often do you ask to see the pilot’s license and their latest performance review? At your last check-up at the doctors, did you ask about their licence to practice? If, like me, you didn’t, it is likely because there is an expectation that the person you are with knows what they are doing. We take it for granted because it is a regulated industry/profession. So why would you not ask these types of questions in an unregulated industry? I would argue that you should, indeed you must!”
“An accredited coach has demonstrated their capability and proficiency in several areas. Their training, qualifications and experience are all checked and verified. Next, they also undertake a comprehensive and detailed assessment of their capability through interviews and skills assessments, which is an accreditation model we have researched to ensure best practice and is in keeping with the requirements of the industry.
Only those who meet the exacting standards expected of a professional coach will be awarded their accreditation. The higher the level, the higher the standards required to pass.”
But accreditation does not end there. Every accredited coach is expected to follow a Code of Professional Conduct and to be re-assessed every three years, earlier if they upgrade to a higher level. During this period, they are expected to develop their skills, knowledge and experience further through CPD (Continued Professional Development). They are also encouraged to be insured and to seek their own coaching, mentoring and/or supervision.
David added: “Our organisation has long argued for the importance of accreditation for coaches, mentors and training providers (for coaching and mentoring). We strenuously align ourselves closer to the caring professions where the end client is the most important person. All our accredited coaches, mentors and training providers know that they are bound by our Code of Professional Conduct and that any breach may result in suspension or removal of their accreditation status; temporarily or indefinitely.
“If you paint a wall in your house and you don’t like the colour, you can repaint it. That’s easy. If a coach asks a client a question and this results in the client ‘taking a lid off a box’, then a professional coach will know how to deal with the issue or recognise that it is beyond their level of ability. If this is the case, they may refer the client to another coach or an alternative therapeutic intervention. Either way, they will act accordingly and professionally.
If the issue you are dealing with is important enough to seek the help and support of a coach (personal, executive, leadership, business, health, or wellbeing), then it is important enough to ask the pertinent questions before you engage anyone. Are they trained? Are they qualified? Are they experienced in the issue/topic you need to deal with? And above all, are they [actively and currently] accredited?
Accreditation may not be a panacea, but it is certainly a step in the right direction and one that you must not ignore.”
David added: “We would endorse the Telegraph’s request for people to contact their MPs to get the law changed “...to protect vulnerable people from any form or therapy by unqualified practitioners”.
The IAPC& M has the following guidance for anyone who is looking for a coach:
• Both coaches and clients need to understand what coaching is and isn’t – accredited coaches will know the difference and will not cross boundaries
• Professional coaches will contract with you for the services you require and utilise a coaching agreement. If they don’t, you are entitled to ask why?
• An accredited coach will be able to confirm what they can and can’t do. They will refer anyone that they cannot help
• Being accredited is a different matter to registration, or even certification; it is based on the vigorous process applicants have to go through
• The IAPC&M is the only accreditation body accredited by the IRCM [http://ircm-register.org/accreditation.php]
• A professional coach will establish, during the contracting stage, the anticipated duration of each session and how much time the issue at hand will take to resolve
• Coaches need to be registered with an organisation such as the IAPC&M directory, and they can be struck off for failing our professional standards [https://coach-accreditation.services/standards/code-of-profe...]
• A complaints procedure is here to protect everyone [https://coach-accreditation.services/standards/complaints-pr...]
• More detail about accreditation guidelines can be read here: [https://coach-accreditation.services/public/]
Note to News Desk:
David Monro-Jones is available for interview on 01642 294465 and via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 2004 as ECI Accreditation Limited, and most recently recognised as the IIC&M, the IAPC&M remains an independent organisation, run by coaches and mentors for the benefit of coaches, mentors and training providers.
We are an international organisation with members all over the world. We are an authority on accrediting professionals in our industry because that’s our core business. We don’t have a training course to plug, and we are not driven by shareholders. Therefore, our sole focus is to make sure every single step of the accreditation process directly benefits our members, including the hiring public.
What we do:
We accredit independent coaches, mentors and coach/mentor training providers to ensure that they are operating at the highest possible standards. We also work with corporations to accredit in-house coaching/mentoring teams. This is reflected in our purpose:
• We provide accreditation to enable practitioners to demonstrate they have the highest levels of professional standards in the industry
• We are committed to supporting training providers and helping with the on-going education of practitioners personally and professionally, though a structured CPD programme
• We are an independent, inclusive organisation, open to exploring strategic alliances as well as adopting new ideas and practices that benefit everyone.
Why do we do what we do?
We are passionate about protecting everyone from non-accredited practitioners and trainers so we only promote professionals working to the highest possible standards.
• We believe that everyone has the right to be protected from non-accredited coaches, mentors and training providers
• We believe that every coach, mentor and coach/mentor training provider must be accredited in order to practice
• We believe in challenging the status quo and the taken-for-granted assumptions that surround our industry
• We believe our accreditation levels improve the industry standard that everyone should expect
• Our sole focus is making everyone aware of why accreditation matters and the added protection that affords them. Click here
We stand up for the importance of accreditation in the coaching, mentoring and coach/mentor training profession, as well as within corporations who have coaches and/or mentors.
Our motto clearly expresses our beliefs and purpose:
‘Through accreditation, we build trust in the coaching and mentoring profession for the benefit of everyone’
Our mission is to increase public confidence and raise industry standards by enforcing a vigorous and comprehensive accreditation process that ensures the quality of professional coaches and mentors.
Coaching and mentoring is all about relationships. We never lose sight of this and always endeavour to maintain the ‘human element’ with all our clients, be they members, volunteers or strategic partners – they are all clients to us.
We support all of our members through the specific skills, knowledge and expertise offered from each of our departments:
• Accreditation supports coaches, mentors and training providers in applying for, upgrading and renewing their accreditation. The process is regularly reviewed to ensure that our accreditation methods and standards are comprehensive and in-line with the demands of the industry and the hiring public, which is formally re-assessed every three years.
• Education supports coaches, mentors and training providers by providing webinars and educational information for the development of skills, knowledge and business-building capability.
Professional Standards is responsible for providing the Code of Professional Conduct and outlining the requirements for Continued Professional Development (CPD), a core element of the accreditation process. This department also manages the complaints procedure, should anyone raise a complaint against one of our accredited members.