ICF announces name change to International Coaching Federation and much more!

ICF more than name changeIf you are an ICF member and read the monthly Member Updates, you might have seen the preview late in 2019 that the ICF had changed its name from International Coach Federation to International Coaching Federation.

On February 13, 2020, ICF CEO/Executive Director Magda N. Mook, sent an email to all ICF members around the globe, officially announcing this change.

The past 3 days (February 12-14, 2020), I’ve had the honor of being at ICF Global Headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, with a global work team of my peers. More on that later though. On February 12, Magda joined us and spoke with us about the significance of this change, and the thinking behind it.

The timing coincides with the 25th anniversary of ICF’s existence as the global organization for coaches and coaching. It was exciting and inspiring to hear from Magda the reasoning for this change. Basically, we’ve grown up and need an industry professional body which reflects where we are now, and where we are heading into the future.

This change to International Coaching Federation is great because in truth, for years and years, so many coaches have mis-written the ICF as International Coaching Federation. As Magda told us, coaching is the wider context of our industry scope and a ‘coach’ is integral, yet only one part of the bigger context.

Note: The ICF domain name will change too, sometime later this year.

You can read the email here sent out by Magda announcing this change. 

Here is an excerpt of what is in Magda’s email release:

“Last month, the International Coach Federation became the International Coaching Federation.

This is more than a new name. This marks our transition to a new way of serving coaches, coaching clients, our communities and the world as we accelerate the pursuit of our vision: ensuring that coaching is an integral part of a thriving society and every ICF coach represents the highest quality of professional coaching.

We will achieve this vision through the work of six unique family organizations. Each organization has a dedicated board and resources to move its work forward.

As a trained professional coach practitioner, you are now a member of ICF Professional Coaches. As a member, you will continue to enjoy the credibility, community and robust benefits you’ve always enjoyed with ICF Membership. You will also be able to leverage new opportunities across the expanded ICF ecosystem.

You and your interests are represented by the ICF Professional Coaches Global Board: a body of elected members who govern the affairs of the organization.”

Flying into our Future

A large part of this change is the Leadership, and Governance, of ICF to meet the current and future needs of our global professionalism as an industry that is ‘growing up.’ Coaching is now a proven approach to the development of people in every personal, professional and business context of life, across the globe, across socio-economic and every other human ‘boundary.’

Here is the ICF overall rationale for this long-coming change to the new ecosystem of six separate yet inter-related ICF organizations:

“Over the past quarter-century, we’ve (ICF) evolved from a membership association created to give credibility to an emerging profession into the leading voice for the global coaching community. Our vision is to ensure that coaching is an integral part of a thriving society.”

I’ve been a continuous ICF Global member since 1999! I’ve witnessed how our profession, and therefore the ICF, has grown in this 25 years. According to their February, 2020 Fact Sheet, there are currently 36,383 ICF members in 143 countries. And growing! You can access that Fact Sheet here. 

Six Unique Family Organizations

Besides the ICF Global Board (which has representation from all six family organizations), these are the organizations which now comprise the ICF:

ICF Professional Coaches

ICF Credentials and Standards

ICF Coach Training

ICF Coaching in Organizations

ICF Foundation

ICF Thought Leadership

You can read full details about the Six Organizations within ICF here

Carrie Abner, Vice President, ICF Credentials and Standards

I want to say something about Carrie. I’ve had the honor of witnessing her evolution in 3 short years at ICF Global. She is an amazing professional and quality person who is caring, knowledgeable, open to listening, learning, and developing herself and her knowledge of our profession. And she is fun! I’m so happy for all of us that she is now Vice President.

Carrie led us over the past 3 days so we could work with focus and purpose to update the PCC Markers system, to reflect the Updated Core Competency Model widely released in November, 2019. The pre-work she put in along with her team, set a strong foundation for us to ‘take-off’ from. We were ‘in the air and flying’ really quickly on day 1 of our 3 day workshop. When there was ‘turbulence’ in the room due to us all ‘popcorning’ with different and sometimes opposing viewpoints, Carrie was the grounded voice of leadership who guided us. Here is a photo of the team who was together February 12-14, 2020. Carrie is in the red dress to the right (I’m middle in the back).

By the way, working with diverse 15 coaches in this work team, made the whole experience a joy. There was intense focus, good energy, and ability to hear differing viewpoints and intensity of expression at times. Our collective foundation as trained professional coaches, coach trainers, ICF assessors and mentors to coaches, meant we could ride through the ‘turbulence’ and reach our destination with a strong sense of accomplishment for our first draft of the work we were charged to do.

Now back to Carrie.😊 It is a joy to know that she is so highly valued by ICF Global, as she is now Vice President, ICF Credentials and Standards. Carrie shared some exciting initiatives which are coming, to enhance the professionalism of the credentialed coaching community and uphold standards so that what we work hard to achieve in credentials and standards, is strengthened.

We also had the good fortune of hearing from Luke Davis, Vice President ICF Coach Training. Luke gave us insight into the initiatives he and his team are working on, which will greatly enhance the overall professionalism of coach training programs approved by ICF. There will be more stringent monitoring of those who claim they are ICF accredited programs, yet who are not. Or once were accredited yet are not current with their accreditation. Or who are teaching something very different than what their accredited coaching program was approved for.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say a huge thank you to some of Carrie’s staff who supported us; Thomas Tkach – Assistant Director of Credentials and Standards, Angie Holleran: Assessor Manager. As well as George Rogers – Director of Quality Assurance, Credentialing and Accreditation. Plus other staff who supported them to support us!

In closing…

Here’s me yesterday (February 14, 2020) opening my Lexington, Kentucky hotel room curtains to find it had and was snowing! Something novel for me given I live in Southern California.

It’s exciting times for our beloved professional industry of coaching! In the short term, there is a lot of change to embrace, and a lot of logistical considerations with updated core competencies, the name change, program material changes, and more. Yet as professionally trained coaches, we are uniquely equipped because of coaching skills specific training, to deal with change, to engage our mindset of curiosity, of inquiry, and of getting on with it to close the ‘gap’ from where we are to where we are heading.

I’ve used the metaphor of flying in a plane, as metaphor is such a powerful way to convey more than words. For me, it feels like the ICF is truly allowing us to fly into an exciting future. The next destination is known, yet the journey will have it’s own way of unfolding.

ICF more than name change

Are you preparing for your first or next ICF Credential?

Do you want to “Sharpen the Saw” as a Coaching Professional?

Two Mentor Coaching Group Programs now open on a first registered and paid basis. Maximum of 6-10 participants per group.

Group #42 for MCC skill level commencing February 24 – 3 places remain; limited time to still apply.

NOW OPEN! Group #43 for PCC/ACC and re-certification – commencing April 14, 2020


Begin your mentoring early, as it can take 3-6 months or more to prepare, before you are ready to apply to the ICF. Then 1-4 months for ICF process.

Member resources available once 6 people registered and paid.  

I offer a rich, experiential mentor coaching group and individual program that has many exclusive offerings for our participants. You can read some testimonials here

I have been trained by the ICF to assess using the PCC Markers. I also regularly assess for the ICF MCC and ACC credentials.

One of the unique offerings is an extensive library of MCC, PCC and ACC coaching sessions for participants to listen to, evaluate, debrief, and learn from, along with The Target Approach to demystifying the ICF core competencies. These are incredibly valuable learning tools, and will accelerate your understanding of competency distinctions.

Carly has created products to more deeply understand Establishing the Coaching Agreement and Ten Characteristics of MCC Skill Level.

Here’s where you’ll find more about The Mentor Coaching Group

6 thoughts on “ICF announces name change to International Coaching Federation and much more!

  1. Thanks for the update, Carly. It’s great to know that you are part of this group. It’s exciting to travel with quality coaches into the future!! And, congratulations to Carrie!

Comments are closed.