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A to Z of coaching organisations


There are many benefits to joining a coaching association but sifting through pages of information to find out which is the right one for you can be both frustrating and time-consuming. To make life easier, has compiled a handy A-Z guide so you can see at a glance the pros and cons of joining-up.

Association for Coaching 

Contact details: Association for Coaching, 66 Church Road, London W7 1LB.

Ethos and aims: To actively advance education and best practice in coaching.
To develop and implement targeted marketing initiatives to encourage growth to the industry.
To promote and support development of accountability and credibility across the industry.
To encourage and provide opportunities for an open exchange of views, experiences and consultations.
To build a network of strategic alliances and relationships to maximise the associations' potential.

Who is it for? Professional coaches, training/service providers and organisations involved in coaching; the areas covered include executive, business, personal, speciality and team coaching.

Number of members: 2000 individual, 100 organisational/corporate.

UK or international? Representation in 39 countries including the UK.

Cost of Membership: Individual, organisational and corporate membership packages offered. These range in price from £40 for an individual affiliate membership to £1,350  for corporate membership fee for one primary contact with 40-90 representatives.

Any accreditation or qualifications offered? Individual Coach Accreditation – a senior accreditation scheme scheduled for 2009 together with specialist Executive Coaching Accreditation; foundation course recognition scheme; course recognition scheme for internal corporate coaches.

Advantages of joining: Member benefits include eligibility to apply for AC individual coach accreditation after being approved as a full AC member for at least three months, regular newsletters and exclusive access to industry reports and a range of courses and workshops on offer to members-only.

Annual conference or events? There is bi-annual international conference, monthly training events around the country as well as co-coaching groups and one day training events.

Blog: No.

Forum: Offers an on-line executive forum and online general forum.

Networking? Plenty of exclusive networking events held across the country.

Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision

Contact:  Adam House, 71 Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 2BD. Tel: +44 (0)1892 864038. Email: pam.atki[email protected].

Who is it for: APECS has five membership categories: accredited executive coaches (including founder members), accredited supervisors of executive coaches, associate members, corporate members and invited members.

Ethos and aims: APECS is a not-for-profit organisation which accredits executive coaches and the supervisors of executive coaches who attain its standards. Aims include safeguarding and developing the standards of professional coaching and supervision; and providing a stimulating forum for individuals engaged in buying or delivering professional coaching.

Number of members: Circa 100.

UK or International: Primarily UK but with international members.

Cost of Membership: Accredited membership costs £150 per annum.

Any accreditation or qualifications offered: APECS only has members who have undergone full professional accreditation.

Advantages of joining: It offers a good opportunity to share best practice with other members and provides a professional reference point for coaches wishing to maintain and develop their own coaching expertise.

Annual conference or events? A regular monthly event provides insights into current critical and /or leading areas of professional practice and APECS runs an annual conference.

Blog: Not an official one, but links to individual members’ blogs.

Forum: Monthly events also involve a regular ‘forum style’ session and there are regular member- only forums held.

Networking: Networking opportunities available at the numerous APECS events and online forums.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Contact: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 151 The Broadway, London, SW19 1JQ.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8612 6200.  Fax: +44 (0) 20 8612 6201.

Who is it for?  The CIPD is the professional body for all those involved in the management and development of people.

Status:  Royal Charter.

Ethos and aims: To lead in the development and promotion of good practice in the field of the management and development of people, for application both by professional members and by their organisational colleagues.
To serve the professional interest of members.
To uphold the highest ideals in the management and development of people.

Number of members: 133,000.

Cost of membership: £121 per year (2009/2010 fee).

Any accreditation or qualifications offered? From the post graduate CIPD Professional Development Scheme to NVQs in learning and development, there is a long list of qualifications available for all levels (visit for the full listing).

Advantages of joining: Member benefits include: employment law resources, delivery of its fortnightly magazine People Management, networking opportunities through conferences, exhibitions, branches and online communities, discounts on CIPD publications, events, courses and a range of professional and leisure products and services.

Annual conference or events: Annual Conference and Exhibition, 17-19 November, Manchester; HRD, Spring, London; HRSS, 17-19 June, London. For a full list of conferences and events, visit:

Blog: A number of CIPD staff blogs covering HR and people management issues can be read online here.

Forum: Members can participate in the CIPD’s professional communities’ forums here.

Networking opportunities? Mainly through the conferences, exhibitions, online communities and branch events that run throughout the year.

European Mentoring & Coaching Council

Contact: PO Box 3154, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 3WD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 845 123 3720. Email: [email protected]/uk
Ethos & aims: Exists to promote good practice and the expectation of good practice in mentoring and coaching across Europe.

Who is it for? Individual coaching professionals and coaching organisations.

Number of members: 3,500 across 20 countries.

UK or international: A pan-European council that consists of representatives from several national EMCCs plus direct members in countries where a local EMCC does not yet exist.

Cost of membership: Individual, EQA providers, academic and organisational (small, medium and large) membership is offered in the UK. In addition there are also membership opportunities for Associates and Affiliates. These range in price from £100 (+VAT) for an individual membership to £925 (+VAT) for large organisational membership. In addition free Affiliate membership is available to qualifying students and Associate membership to members of linked organisations.  For more information email: [email protected].

Any accreditation or qualifications offered?A major new initiative is the creation of the EMCC’s European Individual Accreditation (EIA), a rigorous assessment of an individual’s coaching practice. For more info about EIA, email Claire at [email protected].

Advantages of joining: The EMCC is the biggest network of its type in Europe and offers members a badge of professionalism (ethics and standards), an ethical code and competency framework, an opportunity to get EIA and EQA accreditation, a quarterly UK bulletin/newsletter and International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching, opportunities to participate in research, quarterly round tables discussions with high profile speakers sharing best practice and experience, for L&D/HR professionals.

Annual conference or events? Monthly London events and regional CPD and networking events plus an annual conference.

Blog: No.

Forum: No.

Networking: Regional CPD events offer networking opportunities.

International Coach Federation

Contact details: UK ICF, 36 Freemantle Drive, Oakleas Estate, Wimblebury, Cannock, Staffordshire
WS12 2GZ. Tel: +44 (0)19 22 66 00 88.

Ethos & Aims: Purpose: To advance the art, science and practice of professional coaching.
Vision: For coaching to become an integral part of society and for the ICF to represent the highest quality in professional coaching.
Values: Integrity / Excellence / Collaboration / Respect.

Number of members: 16,800 members across 93 countries.

UK or international? Global.

Cost of membership: £135 per year.

Any accreditation or qualifications offered? ICF  offers an independent international coaching credential at three levels – ACC, PCC, and MCC. Currently, the ICF credential is in the process of becoming ISO compliant.

Advantages of joining: From increased opportunities for training and acquisition of globally recognised credentials to Building Your Practice – an international coach referral service, networks, toolkits, free teleclasses and speaker/leadership opportunities, there are lots of advantages of becoming a member of the ICF. In addition to the above, the ICF offers a research portal on the web, monthly global newsletter, UK newsletters, toolkits and presentations as well as discounts and offers for conferences and a special ‘Coaching at Work’ discount, insurance discount, free professional development teleclasses and resource partner offers.

Annual conference or events? Global conference annually and a European conference every two years. There are also a number of local conferences in the UK each year and a programme of professional development teleclasses globally and throughout the UK.

Blog: ICF has a coaching community blog, research portal and knowledge base available to members only which is accessed via the global website.

Forum: No.

Networking? ICF has a number of networking groups on LinkedIn together with a number of local groups in the UK which meet on a regular basis and over 30 global special interest groups that meet via telecalls.

  Worldwide Association of Business Coaches

Contact details: Worldwide Association of Business Coaches, c/o WABC Coaches Inc, Box 215, Saanichton, BC V8M 2C3 Canada.

Who is it for? Members include executive coaches, corporate coaches, leadership coaches who work with businesses, organisations, institutions and governments.

Status: Offers certification and accreditation programs for full listing visit:

Ethos and aims:
Ethos: To unify business leadership throughout the world.
Mission: To develop, advance and promote the emerging profession of business coaching Vision: worldwide.
Vision: A business coach working with every business, organisation and government worldwide.

Number of members: Many hundreds—no exact figures available. 

Cost of membership: WABC Full Member US$395 (plus one-time US$75 administrative fee); WABC Affiliate Member
US$195 (plus one-time US$75 administrative fee).

Any accreditations or qualifications offered? A wide range of qualifications offered including post graduate degrees available:

Advantages of joining: From regular member events, media referrals and lead generation and an extensive peer resource library and network, there is a long list of benefits listed here.

Annual conference or events: A range of ad-hoc events but no annual conference.

Blog: No.

Forum: Yes.

Networking opportunities? Yes - virtual, credentialing programs and events.

Other networking groups


International Coaching Network is the first informal networking group for professional coaches who want share ideas, information and tools and promote events and coaching culture (1,798 members).

Independent community for coaches which aims to advance and strengthen coaching; “playing a role in helping a strong, young industry become something superb, significant and trusted” (1,298 members).

Network affiliated with The Association for Coaching (583 members).

Networking group for professionals working in the coaching and mediation industry. Enables members to share information and to identify career opportunities (315 members).

A global networking group for life, business, executive and career coaches to enable sharing of resources, best practice and ethical business development (not unwarranted marketing). The group is supported by a fast evolving website and a newsletter (494 members).

This is a group for trainers, facilitators, motivators and consultants globally in the area of Performance management, organisational development, leadership, communication, sales and service, executive coaching, life coaching, success coaching (190 members).

The CPN Group on LinkedIn is a worldwide networking platform for coaching development. The aim is to promote information, support, resources and communication between coaches and other professionals with a serious interest on this activity. Members share and discuss topics  such as the coaching 'concept', 'process', 'tools' and 'ethical guidelines' (143 members).

A group specifically for those involved in conflict coaching - a specialty that combines coaching and conflict management principles that helps people improve their conflict management skills and interactions when engaging in interpersonal disputes. Coaches, mediators, ombudspeople, HR professionals, leaders and others are invited to join and network to discuss related matters (124 members).


The Coaching group on Facebook aims to encourage dialogue between coaches around the world and in different specialities. Personal, Business, internal coaches are welcomed to this group. Members of the ICF, Coachville, other coaching organisations are also welcome (140 members).


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