The International Coach Federation


The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. ICF envisions a future in which coaching will be an integral part of society and ICF members will represent the highest quality in professional coaching.

Founded in 1995, the ICF’s core purpose is to advance the art, science, and practice of professional coaching. As the leading global coaching organization, the ICF is working toward this goal by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.

Today, the ICF is recognized around the world for:

The ICF operates according to a comprehensive strategic plan. This long-term plan was first prepared in 2007 by the ICF Board of Directors in partnership with our members, our global leadership teams, staff, and an association expert. Included in this plan are ICF’s Core Values:

Preamble: We are committed to reliability, openness, acceptance, and congruence, and consider all parts of the ICF community mutually accountable to uphold the following values:

Integrity: We uphold the highest standards both for the coaching profession and our organization.

Excellence: We set and demonstrate standards of excellence for professional coaching quality, qualification, and competence.

Collaboration: We value the social connection and community building that occurs through collaborative partnership and co-created achievement.

Respect: We are inclusive and value the diversity and richness of our global stakeholders. We put people first, without compromising standards, policies, and quality.