Why no coaching a coach for your exam recordings?

The ICF has issued new requirements for the submission of recordings for your ACC, PCC or MCC exam. Here is the wording from their documents on portfolio application instructions;

“The recordings must be of an actual coaching session between you and a paid or pro-bono client. The client may not be a coach unless the coach is one of your regular clients. Sessions that occur as part of coach training may not be used.”

What has led to that being a requirement? Well, when you have a coach as your client, they know about coaching and are interested in coaching, so they often inadvertently coach themselves. This means that you are not showcasing your coaching skills. It muddies the waters for us Assessors to differentiate between your skills and the coach helping you by coaching themselves. Most often, your coaching will be scored lower as a result. So I highly recommend against submitting any recordings where a coach is your client, even a regular, ongoing client as is permitted.

Mentoring Tip:
Choose a (non-coach) client that you have an ongoing coaching relationship with. In your sessions, refer to what has happened before in a previous session. Maybe you debrief fieldwork at the beginning, as you normally might with a client. If you have a coaching plan you are working toward with them (i.e. your agreed outcomes for the coaching) then refer to that too, if it makes sense to do so. This way, you’ll do yourself a big favor, and being showing many more of the competencies.