Although the global coaching and mentoring industry is legally unregulated, meaning that anyone can call themselves a coach or a mentor (or both), regardless of their professional background, qualifications (Note 1), and competencies (Note 1).
To address this issue, the industry has found a solution in self-regulation; and the International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC (IRCM CIC) is a UK government-approved Regulator for the protection of the consumers. The IRCM CIC works closely with a number of Professional Bodies who have set independent professional and ethical standards for coaches, mentors, and private commercial training providers.
Although self-regulation can be seen as a big step forward in becoming more professional as an industry, it still doesn’t solve all the industry problems: as seen through the Requests for Facilitation and Formal Complaints lodged with the Ombudsman Service. Not every person or business within the coaching and mentoring industry agrees to comply with the minimal Unified International Codes of Conduct.
These Formal Complaints highlight the challenges of Coaching and Mentoring Organisations that have been set up to train coaches and/or mentors, without fully understanding or agreeing to comply with the self-regulation unified international industry codes of conduct – ethics, standards, and competencies.
- With no regard for the consumers (the Private Commercial Training Organisations students), the owners of the training company have completely disregarded the standards set-up through many years of self-regulation; and left their students without the opportunity to utilise the ‘qualification’ they have paid for.
- When the industry recognised and qualified trainer left half-way through the course, the trainer’s son stepped in to complete the course. This has not only left those students and all following students with qualifications not recognised in the NLP industry but raises the ethical question about a mother training her own son.
- The Professional Body that accredited this course, using qualifications issued by the trainer’s mother and an accreditation awarded by a different Professional Body for the trainers coaching accreditation; is a Professional Body that works within the Complementary Medical industry.
- After gaining their own and their course’s accreditation from a Professional Body; the owners of the Private Commercial Training Organisation changed their course so that it both certifies and accredits the students who complete their coach training course.
- With complete disregard for the coaching and mentoring industry; the owners of the Private Commercial Training Organisation have devalued their coach training course by selecting to award an accreditation, which is normally awarded by an external and independent organisation, and not a qualification.
- The Professional Body that awarded the accreditation to the two trainers (owners of the business) and the course has not protected their brand and organisational standards. They have devalued their own standards and branding as they have continued to allow the Private Commercial Training Organisation to use:
- the trainers coaching accreditation to verify the Private Commercial Training Organisations NLP course content and standards.
- their logo on all the Private Commercial Training Organisations courses, whether the courses are coaching and mentoring related or not, inferring that all the courses (coaching, NLP, and business) are accredited by the Professional Body.
- their logo on the Private Commercial Training Organisations membership area, which is updated monthly with new courses; inferring that all courses in the membership area are accredited by the Professional Body.
- Although the Private Commercial Training Organisation confirmed that they “highly respect” the International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC, the written submissions, actions, and behaviour of the owners raises concerns over their Professional and Ethical Behaviour.
As the Ombudsman Service received no appeals from Complainant, the Respondent’s, or the Third-Parties; the Head of Ombudsman Service concluded that the report, sanctions, and recommendations have been accepted. Until the Sanctions and Recommendations have been met, these will be retained on the Ombudsman Service Register, and should further grievances, disputes, and/or complaints be registered with the Ombudsman Service against the Respondents; this complaint will be incorporated into the review.