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Martin Couzins

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International Coach Federation study provides global perspective on coaching


International study reveals the global scale of coaching and opportunities and barriers to growth.

Results from The International Coach Federation (ICF) global coaching study show there are 47,500 professional coaches practising globally and that the estimated 2011 global revenue from coaching is nearly $2bn.

More than 12,000 coaches representing 117 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America participated in the study commissioned by ICF and conducted independently by the International Survey Unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2011.

As well as looking at the scale of coaching, the survey revealed the key issues facing the industry. Untrained individuals who call themselves coaches were viewed as the main future obstacle for coaching over the next 12 months (43%), followed by marketplace confusion (30%).

The main opportunities included increased awareness of the benefits of coaching (36%) and credible data on the return on investment (ROI)/return on expectations (ROE) from coaching (28%).

On the issue of regulation, a majority of coaches (53%) believed that coaching should become regulated, 23% did not believe that coaching should become regulated.

Among those who believe coaching should be regulated, or who were unsure, the overwhelming majority (84%) felt that professional coaching bodies were best placed to regulate the industry.

ICF global president Janet Harvey said: "This wide-reaching industry study reveals the global scale of the profession of coaching as well as amazing growth in the number of practicing coaches. The research provides a glimpse into what contributed to that expansion. It also charges us who are stewards of the profession to ensure that the new growth is quality growth in every region of the world."

For more on the research, visit

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