International Coach Federation ( ICF ) grows members globally while raising membership dues . . .
The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization for coaches, professionals that partner with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Today, ICF counts more than 25,000 members and 11,000 credentialed coaches in more than 100 countries worldwide.
As part of a strategic planning process that involved senior ICF staff and the ICF Board of Directors, the organization identified opportunities for incremental global growth as well as undertaking a review of its basic business model and pricing approach.
Applying global market research to estimate the potential size of the market, combined with a “value based pricing
” approach to define appropriate membership fees, the strategic plan project revealed that ICF’s target market was not only much larger and more global than expected, but also that ICF was undervaluing membership for individuals, and for their organizational affiliates.
The resulting strategy and business plan was a much better defined target audience for ICF membership, professional development and credentialing services. In addition, the membership fees were raised to better reflect the actual value (based on a better understanding of the earning power of the core membership).
Did raising membership fees have a negative impact on membership recruitment and retention?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) reported unprecedented growth in March 2014, setting a single-month record for new members added and celebrating the continued expansion of the ICF Credential.
ICF 2014 Global Chair and Master Certified Coach Damian Goldvarg, Ph.D., said ICF’s record-setting month points to the success of ICF’s growth strategy. “Last year, the ICF began making strategic assessments about the growth of our organization. In late 2013, we told our members that we wanted to grow the ICF community to increase its diversity and enhance professional coaches’ networking opportunities. We called on our members to partner with us as we make a greater investment in the growth of ICF’s community.”
ICF added 1,426 new members in March 2014, bringing total ICF Membership to 25,322 at month’s end. Prior to March 2014, the highest number of new members ICF reported in a single month was 717, in April 2013.
“Our increased investment in attracting and retaining the best coaches in the industry is yielding dividends for our organization. The ICF community has never been stronger, and the opportunities and resources available to our members have never been greater. Together, we’re increasing global awareness of professional coaching and influencing the future of our industry,” Goldvarg said.
ICF Headquarters staff approved 300 applications for an ICF Credential in March 2014, bringing the total number of ICF Credential-holders worldwide to 11,894. Also in March, ICF distributed an unprecedented 2,370 credentialing applications to professional coaches. As these applications are completed, submitted and processed, they lay the foundation for the continued rapid expansion of the ICF Credentialing program.
The mission of the ICF Credentialing program is to measure and certify competence of individual coaches, protect and serve consumers of coaching services, and inspire pursuit of continuous development. ICF Credentials are offered at three levels: Associate Certified Coach, Professional Certified Coach and Master Certified Coach.
The first ICF Credentials were awarded in 1998, with more than 200 coaches holding an ICF Credential by the end of the following year.
“As the coaching industry grows, so does the need for a body of highly trained, experienced coaches well-prepared to provide outstanding service to their clients,” said ICF CEO/Executive Director Magdalena Mook.
“The ICF offers the only globally recognized credential for professional coaches, and we couldn’t be more thrilled by the continued growth of this program. ICF Credential-holders represent the best that coaching has to offer, and the ICF Credential is a signal to consumers that they’re partnering with an outstanding coach committed to continuous growth and education.”
For more information, please visit ICF at www.coachfederation.org.