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How Is ICG Different from Any Other Coach-Recognising Body: A Comparison

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One of the questions coaches ask is “How is International Coach Guild (ICG) different from other coach-recognising bodies?”

To answer that, here’s how ICG compares to other benchmarks in industries of coaching.

A Little History about International Coach Guild (ICG)

The ICG started in 2013 as a way to provide the highest standards of training and recognition for coaching students, and for coaching schools.

At the time there was a decline starting in the credibility and standards of the coaching industry, which was not being addressed by recognition bodies, in the areas such as:

  1. an increasing focus on quantity and not quality,

  2. lack of focus on required business skills,

  3. lack of value-add benefits for individual members (E.G. insurance)

  4. lack of accountability for coaching schools

  5. lack of accountability for Continuing Professional Development

The intention behind ICG was to create a new coach-recognising body, similar to the Australian CPA/CA Accountants model, in order to promote healthy competition between recognition bodies and as a result of which, raise standards and accountability in the coaching industry as a whole.

At the time when ICG was founded, individual recognition bodies would recognise a course, trainer or school but not all, and none had a tangible focus on support for the individual coach through accountability to business training and supporting resources such as insurance.

For example, until 2013, the International Coach Federation (ICF) was the most established choice for international coaching recognition but lacked broader accountability for quality standards of a school or trainer.

ABNLP offered memberships to NLP trainers without consideration for the school or course, and ASQA regulated courses and training providers or schools in Australia only.

In 2013, a group of 143 passionate coaches saw this gap and came together to find a sustainable solution. The ICG was born. Since then, it has attracted hundreds of members, primarily within Australia and growing internationally.

The first school recognised by the ICG was The Coaching Institute in Australia, one of the oldest and most successful, having previously held recognition with all other bodies they were excited to align with the higher standards of the ICG.

In 2017, Richworks International was the second school that came on board, committed to driving the standards of coaching within Malaysia.

The International Coach Guild is committed to maintaining and promoting excellence in coaching practice.

It expects all members to adhere to the essential elements of ethical, competent and effective practice as set out in this Code of Ethics.

The focus on quality over quantity has led to a slow and steady progression of recognised members with many more schools in their application process, meaning you can rest assured that when you choose an ICG School or Coach you are aligning with the highest standards in the coaching industry.

Here are a few key differences between ICG and other coach-recognising bodies in the world:

Training and Development

1. Business Standards and Credibility:

There was a time when a school had no formal requirement to train a coach in business, marketing and client conversion strategies. The focus was solely on coaching skills.

The training and assessment process has been an effective preparation for ICG members to gain more paid clients, build their coaching practice and make use of effective marketing rather than just building their coaching skills.

With ICG, you have access to 150 Points of business development. It’s a requirement for all ICG recognised schools to deliver the BMP (Business Mentorship Points) throughout their programs.

For example, The Coaching Institute provides all 150 points that are spread out over the four levels of their programs. E.g. Accredited Professional Coach has access to all 150 points, whereas Credentialed Practitioner of Coaching has access to 25 points.

2. Rigorous Coach Assessment Standards: To ensure consistency of training, the ICG requires you to complete a minimum of three rigorous assessments at each level in order to be recognised as a coach.

The three assessments are: – Practical skills (including supervision) – Case study – Written Knowledge Paper

In comparison to ICG, other coaching bodies have only a maximum of three assessments, some of which are multi-choice questions and much less formal, one simple assessment or attendance only with no formal assessment process.

3. Core Competencies: The 15 ICG Core Competencies go up in required levels of competency and are continually reviewed and updated according to industry best practices.

School Accountability

4. Student Fee Protection: The ICG Recognised Schools protect student fees (unique to ICG) so as a student you’re 100% protected.

Other international coaching bodies focus on the course only without protection or recourse should the training provider itself collapse or go out of business. This gives advantages to colleges with low standards of internal management and puts you as a student at risk of paying out a lot of money for no reward.

5. Regular Audits: The ICG requires schools to have policies in place that are regularly audited including: – quality of training – protection of fees – protection of privacy – policies and procedures

ICG Schools are audited regularly to best practice standards so your experience and education is taken care of.

Other coaching bodies do not provide policies and standards for schools as such; they only provide competencies for individuals or courses and once passed, they are allowed to practice indefinitely with no other audits.

6. Money-back Guarantee: An ICG recognised school is required provide a success money back guarantee. The Coaching Institute for example, states their money back guarantee in writing on their website. Other coaching bodies don’t warrant or require any guarantee of success.

Individual Coach Benefits

7. Insurance Policy: ICG Coaches get the best insurance policy currently available to professional coaches in Australia, thanks to ICG’s partnership with AON insurance (one of the biggest providers) Other coaching bodies don’t offer any such insurance policy or benefits.

If you have any questions about becoming an ICG Associate Member or ICG Recognised Member, email us at

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