The coaching profession is at a stage of growth that most professions undergo: either successfully self-regulate or government will regulate. This means that regardless of the type of coaching, it is essential as professionals that minimum standards and a Code of Ethics are in place for all those who call themselves a coach. The International Coaching Federation is the gold standard for coaching and the leader for self-regulation. Currently, requirements for membership include 60 hours of training and accountability to the Code of Ethics.
Because untrained coaches or coaches whose training fails to adequately address ethics and coaching competencies are a reflection on the profession as a whole, national and state governments are watching the industry and in some cases implementing new legislation. There are those who say the creative process of coaching must be protected and then assert that requiring training and ethics stifles it. In reality, training and ethics enhance the creativity of the process because training and ethics invite and encourage it.
As a coach, consider this: professionals in all fields have training and ethics requirements and standards. When hiring a professional, consumers rely on them having the appropriate level of training and ethics. As a client, ask questions about training, ethics, and experience.
The basics for a coach offering services include what is required for membership in the International Coaching Federation: 60 hours of training and accountability to the Code of Ethics.