A growing profession
The ICF’s annual report reveals that there are thousands of coaches working all over the world, says Elizabeth Eyre
The coaching profession is growing all over the world, says the International Coach Federation.
In its 2012 Global Coaching Study1, the ICF says there were around 47,500 professional coaches working last year, earning close to $2bn a year.
Although the profession is still concentrated in Western Europe, North America and Australasia - which together contain more than three in four coaches - the study demonstrates that coaching is enjoying faster growth in other parts of the world, including Latin America and the Caribbean.
Western Europe, North America and Australasia also have the highest proportion of coaches with five or more years' experience.
"Coaches are looking confidently to the future, with expectations over the next 12 months of increasing demand (clients and sessions) leading to growth in annual revenue and income from coaching," says the ICF.
It believes the key issues for coaching include dealing with untrained people calling themselves coaches, increasing awareness of the benefits of coaching and regulating the profession.
"The findings reported in the Global Coaching Study solidify the presence of coaching as an increasingly integral part of society. Coaches now provide services to individuals, teams and organisations in every sector imaginable," said ICF president in 2012 Janet M Harvey MCC.
The survey is one of the highlights of the ICF's annual report for 20122, which the organisation published last month. According to Harvey, it demonstrates "the positive influence and impact our collective efforts have achieved around the world".
And CEO and executive director Magdalena Mook adds: "There has never been a better time to be a coach! The scope and depth of the coaching influence in the world is amazing - and growing with every coaching client, one at a time. It is our vision, our push for humanity flourishing and our insistence on quality standards that make [our] potential impact truly limitless."
The ICF has more than 20,000 members in 100 countries (including 1,065 in the UK), forming 117 chapters. More than 9,000 of those members hold ICF credentials. It says its credentials programme experienced "unprecedented" growth during 2012, thanks to the implementation of an enhanced process for using recorded coaching sessions in performance examinations and changes in its application review process.
Its strategic overview and priorities for 2012 were to create an attractive, credible presence and voice for professional coaching (by building a global standards system, enhancing the image and awareness of coaching, facilitating a global community of coaches and making the ICF into a high-performance organisation) and to create global strategic alliances (by becoming the business community's preferred resource, developing partnerships for membership growth, building relationships with governmental organisations, creating partnerships to grow the body of knowledge about coaching and advance standards and "inspire multi-disciplinary global alliances").
The annual report also provides a brief overview of last year's ICF Global conference, held in London last October - the first time the event has been held outside the USA. Another highlight of 2012 was the ICF's partnership with the Association for Coaching and European Mentoring & Coaching Council to create the Global Coaching & Mentoring Alliance, in a bid to "partner to make a difference to the emerging profession and society as a whole".
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