In a joint initiative aimed at self-regulation, the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the International Coach Federation (ICF) today file with the European Union a common Code of Conduct as the benchmark standard for the coaching and mentoring industry


Lexington, Kentucky, USA and Brussels, BELGIUM –


In view of the tremendous growth experienced over the past decade in the coaching and mentoring industry, professional bodies have increasingly recognized the need to lay the ground rules, to establish markers of good practice and to move to self-regulate.


Thus, ICF and EMCC have joined forces to spearhead this initiative, and have agreed a common Code of Conduct for coach and mentor practitioners, and for their representative industry bodies.


The Code establishes a set of guidelines whose goal is to establish a benchmark for ethics and good practice in coaching and mentoring.


It forms the basis for the development of self-regulation for the coaching and mentoring profession. It is drafted with regard to European law such as to be registered on the dedicated European Union database which lists self-regulation initiatives in Europe. This publicly accessible database is co-managed by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee. See


This initiative is also designed to inform coaching and mentoring clients, and to promote public confidence in coaching and mentoring as a process for professional and personal development, which serves society as a whole.


The guidelines for practitioners cover requirements for:


–        Competencies

–        Training

–        Continuous professional development

–        Ethical standards


The guidelines for professional bodies cover requirements for:


–        Ensuring commitment to ethical standards by their members

–        A disciplinary and complaints procedure for ethical issues

–        An independent board to monitor and sanction breaches of the Code of Conduct



“The ICF and EMCC are working hard to make sure there are safeguards in place for those interested in working with a coach or mentor—be it an individual or a business,” said ICF President and Professional Certified Coach Ed Modell. “Both groups are interested in advancing the profession as well as helping to protect consumers.”


“By putting our full weight jointly behind this major initiative for the profession to self-regulate, EMCC and ICF are setting the benchmark for all professional coaches and mentors,” said Grégoire Barrowcliff, Master Practitioner coach and EMCC’s Vice-President for Regulatory Affairs.


The ICF and EMCC have worked together over the years on various projects other than regulatory in the spirit of encouraging and supporting the growth and integrity of professional coaching worldwide. Joint efforts and discussions have centered on research, standards for coach-specific training programs, and individual credentials.


As the two largest professional bodies in Europe, EMCC and ICF now jointly call on other representative professional organizations to join this initiative for the further professionalisation of coaching and mentoring.






The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with more than 4,500 members in Europe and nearly 16,000 members in more than 100 countries, dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. The ICF is the only organization that awards a global credential which is currently held by more than 7,200 coaches worldwide. For more information, please visit


The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) has more than 5000 members in over 20 countries across Europe, and exists to promote professional good practice. EMCC welcomes coaches and mentors, buyers of coaching and mentoring services, providers of coaching and mentoring training, researchers and others with an interest in the field. The European Quality Award (EQA), an international accreditation, provides rigorous standards underpinned by an evidence-based competence framework for providers of coaching and mentoring training programmes. The European Individual Accreditation (EIA) offers a similar accreditation for practitioners.


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ICF Contact:

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