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2021 Updated ICF Core Competencies

ICF Updates Coaching Core Competencies for 2021 Q3 Implementation

From the ICF Website (, it was announced that the "ICF Core Competencies were developed to support greater understanding about the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession as defined by ICF. These competencies and the ICF definition of coaching were used as the foundation for the development of the ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA). The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."

"The Core Competencies are grouped into four domains according to those that fit together logically based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group. The groupings and individual competencies are not weighted – they do not represent any kind of hierarchy and are all core and critical for any competent coach to demonstrate.

The updated ICF Core Competencies model was released in November 2019, marking its first update since the competencies’ creation in 1998."

"The updated Core Competencies will be integrated in ICF-Accredited Coach Training Programs curricula beginning in January 2021. Then, updated Credentialing assessments reflecting the revised Core Competencies will launch in the second half of 2021."

Learn more about this ICF update at this link: ( .

You are also invited to explore a video about the ICF Core Competencies Update Here (YouTube).


"Following a rigorous, 24-month coaching practice analysis, the International Coach Federation is announcing an updated ICF Coaching Core Competency Model. This competency model is based on evidence collected from more than 1,300 coaches across the world, including both ICF Members and non-members and representing a diverse range of coaching disciplines, training backgrounds, coaching styles and experience levels. This large-scale research initiative validated that much of the existing ICF Core Competency Model, developed nearly 25 years ago, remains critically important to the practice of coaching today. Some new elements and themes that emerged from the data have also been integrated into the model. These include a paramount emphasis on ethical behavior and confidentiality, the importance of a coaching mindset and ongoing reflective practice, the critical distinctions between various levels of coaching agreements, the criticality of partnership between coach and client, and the importance of cultural, systemic and contextual awareness. These foundational components, combined with emerging themes, reflect the key elements of coaching practice today and will serve as stronger, more comprehensive coaching standards for the future. The ICF updated Core Competency model will go into effect in the second half of 2021."

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Note: Arete Coach supports the values and mission of the ICF and provides this update here as an industry courtesy to executive coaches. Interested individuals are encouraged to go to the ICF website at one of the links above for more detailed information.


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