Coaching Competency

Coaching Competency

Competencies are the skills identified as critical to the profession.  The International Coach Federation defines and measures 11 Core Competencies for coaches. Coaching Competency

About Coaching Competency:

  • Coaching requires a set of learned skills.
  • Coach training both teaches the competencies and supports application of the skills.
  • Coach-specific training builds on previous education and experience with a focus on information applied to coaching.
  • Hands-on learning, discussion, research, and coaching with feedback develops competencies for coaching.

Competency is Important Because:

  • Coaches provide a service based on competency.
  • Without competence through training and experience, the possibility of harm is increased.
  • In an uncontrolled profession, the recognition of applicable competencies and the consistent focus of professionals to enhance these skills serve both the profession and clients.


  • As a growing profession, coaching is moving toward either self-regulation through the ICF or government regulation. Currently it is increasingly seen as self-regulating.  This means the core competencies may be a future requirement if ICF membership is seen as the baseline for being a coach.
  • If offering services as a professional coach, a lack of competency or training may increase liability.
  • Competency requires training and practice to develop and maintain.


  • The ICF defines and promotes eleven core competencies.
  • Clients ask about certification to ensure competence.
  • Quality service makes good business sense and benefits clients; competency is a basic requirement for quality.

Learning and developing the coaching competencies supports an effective coaching engagement.


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