International Coaching Federation

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International Coaching Federation
HeadquartersLexington, Kentucky
Thomas J. Leonard[1]
Magdalena Nowicka Mook

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to professional coaching.[2]


ICF has been called "the main accrediting and credentialing body for both training programs and coaches".[2] ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.[3]


As of July 2020, ICF has approximately 41,500 members in 147 countries and territories.[4] Founded in 1995,[1] ICF campaigns worldwide for professional standards within the coaching profession, and provides independent certification for professional coaches (through the ICF Credential) and coach training programs (through ICF Training Program Accreditation).[5][6][7]

As of July 2020, there are 30,079 coaches in 130 countries and territories who hold one of three ICF Credentials: 16,898 Associate Certified Coaches (ACC); 11,946 Professional Certified Coaches (PCC); and 1,235 Master Certified Coaches (MCC).[4]

In 2011, the ICF and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) led in the lodging with the European Union a charter which lays out how the coaching and mentoring profession across Europe can remain a self-regulated profession.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ a b "History – About – ICF". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b Tugend, Alina (7 March 2015). "Before starting as a coach, it helps to go into training". The New York Times. p. B4.
  3. ^ "How does the International Coaching Federation (ICF) define coaching? - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)". International Coaching Federation. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  4. ^ a b "ICF July 2020 Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  5. ^ Brennan, Diane; Whybrow, Allison (2016) [2006]. "Coach accreditation". In Passmore, Jonathan (ed.). Excellence in coaching: the industry guide (3rd ed.). London; Philadelphia: Kogan Page. pp. 287–312. ISBN 9780749474461. OCLC 927192333.
  6. ^ Grant, Anthony M.; Cavanagh, Michael J. (2011). "Coaching and positive psychology: Credentialing, professional status, and professional bodies". In Sheldon, Kennon M.; Kashdan, Todd B.; Steger, Michael F. (eds.). Designing positive psychology: taking stock and moving forward. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 295–312. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195373585.003.0019. ISBN 9780195373585. OCLC 610144651.
  7. ^ Gavin, James; Mcbrearty, Madeleine (2013) [2005]. "Meeting ethical guidelines and establishing the coaching agreement". Lifestyle wellness coaching (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. pp. 74–75. ISBN 9781450414845. OCLC 796355109.
  8. ^ "European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and International Coach Federation (ICF) and others, Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring, June 2011". 8 September 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Digital Single Market: Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring – About – ICF". Retrieved 18 May 2017.