Following a recent article in the Saturday Telegraph about the potential damage that unqualified coaches and therapists can cause, the IAPC&M has stressed the importance of accreditation.

David Monro-Jones, Chief Operating Officer of the IAPC&M, said: “The article in the Telegraph highlights the need for anyone seeking the services of a coach to be vigilant and discerning when making their choice.”

The IAPC&M builds trust and confidence in the coaching and mentoring profession through accreditation for everyone’s benefit.

“Coaches must be accredited because members of the public put their lives in their hands; they need to know they are provided with a professional service. I want people to understand the importance of working only with professionally trained, qualified, experienced, and accredited professionals. Accreditation is vital for success for both parties.”

The COO added that although the coaching industry is not yet regulated, clients should ask about their potential coach’s experience and qualifications.

“When you board a plane, how often do you ask to see the pilot’s license and their latest performance review? At your last check-up at the doctor, did you ask about their licence to practice? If, like me, you didn’t, it is likely because there is an expectation that the person you are with knows what they are doing. We take it for granted because it is a regulated industry/profession.

So why would you not ask these questions in an unregulated industry? I would argue that you should, indeed you must!”

“An accredited coach has demonstrated capability and proficiency in several areas. Their training, qualifications, and experience are all checked and verified. Next, they undertake a comprehensive and detailed assessment of their capability through interviews and skills assessments.

Our accreditation model has been researched to ensure best practices and meets the industry’s requirements. Only those who meet the exacting standards expected of a professional coach will be awarded their accreditation. The higher the level, the higher the standards required to pass.”

But accreditation does not end there.

Every accredited coach is expected to follow a Code of Professional Conduct and to be re-assessed every three years, earlier if they upgrade to a higher level.

During this period, they are expected to develop their skills, knowledge and experience further through CPD (Continued Professional Development). They are also encouraged to be insured and to seek their own coaching, mentoring and/or supervision.

The Importance of Accreditation for Coaches, Mentors and Training Providers

David added: “Our organisation has long argued for the importance of accreditation for coaches, mentors and training providers (for coaching and mentoring). We strenuously align ourselves closer to the caring professions where the end client is the most important person.

All our accredited coaches, mentors, and training providers know that our Code of Professional Conduct binds them and that any breach may result in the temporary or indefinite suspension or removal of their accreditation status.

“If you paint a wall in your house and don’t like the colour, you can repaint it. That’s easy. If a coach asks a client a question that results in the client ‘taking the lid off the box,’ then a professional coach will know how to deal with the issue. Or they will recognise that it is beyond their ability level. They may refer the client to another coach or an alternative therapeutic intervention if this is the case. Either way, they will act accordingly and professionally.

Suppose the issue you are dealing with is important enough to seek the help and support of a coach (personal, executive, leadership, business, health, or wellbeing). In that case, asking pertinent questions before engaging anyone is essential.

Are they trained and qualified? Do they have experience in the issue/topic you need to address? Above all, are they actively and currently accredited?

Accreditation may not be a panacea, but it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction and one you must not ignore.”

David added, ” We endorse the Telegraph’s request that people contact their MPs to get the law changed.

Guide for People Looking for a Coach

As a reminder, The IAPC&M has the following guidance for anyone who is looking for a coach:

  • Both coaches and clients need to understand what coaching is and isn’t. Accredited coaches will know the difference and will not cross boundaries.
  • Professional coaches will contract with you for your required services and utilise a coaching agreement. If they don’t, you are entitled to ask why.
  • An accredited coach can confirm what they can and can’t do. They will refer anyone they cannot help.
  • Being accredited is different from registration or certification; it is based on the vigorous process applicants have to undergo.
  • The IAPC&M is the only accreditation body accredited by the IRCM.
  • During the contracting stage, a professional coach will establish the anticipated duration of each session and the time it will take to resolve the issue.
  • Coaches need to be registered with an organisation such as the IAPC&M directory, and they can be struck off for failing our professional standards. Take a look at our code of professional conduct.
  • A complaints procedure is here to protect everyone.

Find more accreditation guidelines here.

David added, “If you have been affected by issues raised here, write to your MP to request the law be changed to protect vulnerable people from any form of therapy by unqualified practitioners.”