8 Core Coaching Competencies

The 8 core coaching competencies, as defined by the IACC, have been developed to promote greater understanding of the approaches and skills used within today’s coaching profession. These competencies will assist in determining the level of alignment between the training you have experienced and the coach-specific training you expected.



1. Conforming to Professional Standards and Meeting Ethical Guidelines: A thorough understanding of the standards and ethics of coaching and the ability to apply them effectively in all coaching situations.

2. Developing a Coaching Agreement: An understanding of what’s required in a specific coaching interaction and the ability to discuss and come to an agreement with a prospective new client about both the coaching process and the coaching relationship.

3. Developing a Relationship of Intimacy and Trust with the Client: The ability to promote a supportive and safe environment that produces trust and ongoing mutual respect.

4. Providing a Supportive Coaching Presence: The ability to consciously create a spontaneous relationship with the client, promoting a flexible, open and confident style.

5. Active Listening: The ability to focus on what the client is or is not saying, understanding what’s being said in the context of the client’s wishes, and supporting clients’ self-expression.

6. Appropriate In-Depth Questioning & Effective Communication: The ability to ask appropriate questions and effectively communicate with positivity in order to reveal the required information to maximize benefit to both the client and the coaching relationship.

7. Creating Awareness: Is able to integrate and accurately evaluate various sources of information, in addition to making interpretations which will assist the client in gaining awareness in order to achieve mutually agreed-upon results.

8. Developing Actions, Goal Setting and Planning, Accountability, & Managing Progress: The ability of developing and maintaining an effective coaching plan for the client, whilst leaving the client responsible for taking action.