In late 2019 the International Coaching Federation (ICF) released an update to its Core Competency Model, which was directly informed by an analysis of coaching practice conducted in partnership with HumRRO. The Core Competency Model has provided a critical foundation for the coaching profession for over 20 years, informing ICF’s credentialing programs and the curricula of myriad life, leadership, and executive coach training programs. The new model consists of a simpler and more streamlined structure and integrates consistent, clear language.

The practice analysis reflected a true partnership, with HumRRO researchers working closely with the ICF Design Team throughout the project. Reflecting on the work, ICF Vice President Carrie Abner noted that:

“As the largest, most globally recognized certification body for professional coaches, the International Coaching Federation holds high standards for coach practitioners seeking an ICF Credential. We hold equally high standards for the ICF Credentialing process. That’s why working with HumRRO just made sense. Through our partnership with HumRRO, ICF was able to carry out a rigorous research initiative to analyze, review and ultimately update the ICF Core Competencies, which set the standard for coach practitioners and serve as the foundation of our credentialing program. The quality of HumRRO’s work, the integrity of their process, and the commitment of their team made for a wonderful partnership and an outstanding outcome.”

– Carrie Abner, ICF Vice President of Credentials and Standards

The rigorous process we designed to identify the tasks associated with coaching practice and the associated knowledge and ability requirements included:

  • A literature review targeting coaching competency and capability models and emergent coaching trends;
  • Semi-structured interviews with several coaching “thought leaders”;
  • Thematic analysis of over 200 critical incidents generated by both seasoned and novice coaches;
  • In-person workshops in the U.S. and the U.K.;
  • A global task, knowledge, and ability survey completed by over 1,000 coaches.

Watch this video to learn more about the model, the steps followed to update it, and reactions from coaches across the globe.