The IAC® was the brainchild of Thomas J. Leonard, who is often credited as the founder of the modern coaching profession. As more people come to realize that great coaches can make a significant difference in their lives, the marketplace has responded with more coaches, from all walks of life. Academic and vocational training for coaches has also become a growing field.

It begs the questions. “What separates a great coach from the rest; how do I find a great coach; and, how do I know I am a great coach?”

It took Thomas over a year to develop the first international standards for coaching certification. The result was a rigorous certification process that goes beyond just academic or vocational qualifications. The certification embraces universal guidelines, principles, proficiencies, standards and behaviors that make a coach a great coach, regardless of profession or geography. The standards continue to evolve in response to client requirements and expectations of the industry.

For instance, in 2005, the IAC® undertook the task of evolving the coaching standards to include global perspectives. Over a 24 month period, the team that developed the new IAC® Coaching Masteries worked diligently to provide a model of coaching skill that embodied universal sensibilities as well as an evolving understanding of coaching.

The 4 phases of development and implementation were created by teams of coaches from several countries and a variety of coaching models. See the list of coaches here.

One of the reasons people are drawn to coaching revolves around it’s departure from “business as usual”. There is a resounding call for positive change in the world, and this profession was designed as a stimulus for that change.

The IAC® was established on March 11, 2003 as a nonprofit organization incorporated under the New Mexico Nonprofit Corporation Act. The IAC® is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code as a business league. Its focus is on the improvement of the coaching profession overall, and is not on the performance of particular services for individuals.

To date, more than 13.000 coaches in over 80 countries have subscribed to our newsletter and we have more than 800 active members worldwide. Due to its simplicity, flexibility and very high quality standards, an increasing number of coaches aspire to IAC® certification.

The IAC® enVISIONs a world where:

Coaching professionals commit to continuously learning, growing, collaborating and holding themselves accountable; Coaching recipients are inspired to achieve their desired outcomes; and The world benefits in many surprising, life-giving ways.

The IAC® is on a MISSION to provide a highly accountable learning, certification, and ethical framework for aspiring and experienced coaches, so their mastery of coaching is valued and contributes to evolving human potential worldwide.

IAC® embodies the following VALUES:

  • Lifelong learning
  • Innovation and change
  • Diversity and inclusiveness
  • Partnership and caring
  • Openness and transparency
  • Abundance thinking and trust
  • Sustainability and responsibility
  • Inner peace and centering
  • Integrity and high ethical standards

We are managed by a volunteer Board of Governors. Governors serve staggered terms and new governors are elected from time-to-time by the Board. The Board’s Executive Committee is comprised of its President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Immediate Past President.

The Board of Governors, along with the Certification Board when applicable, determine the policies of the Association, and ensure that the objectives of the Association are actively pursued. Each board member also chairs a committee/portfolio of their choice, among the available committees/portfolios. This may include, but is not limited to, Membership Services, Member Benefits, Research, Masteries Licensing, IAC® Chapters, PR and Marketing, etc.. Attendance at monthly board and/or committee meetings, that meet via teleconference, is required.

Non-Discrimination: The IAC® prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. Discrimination, as defined by the IAC®, occurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favorably than another person or group or denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in activities of the IAC because of race, color, national or ethnic origin; gender or marital status; disability; religion or political beliefs; sexual preference; or some other central characteristic.

Download the IAC® Strategic Plan

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