Personal Conduct – 4: Excellence points 5 – 9

There are 11 points under the sub-heading of Excellence.  In this article, we will discuss and expand upon the following five points:

5. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will clearly understand their own levels of Coaching or Mentoring competence, experience, qualifications, and accreditation, and will not exaggerate, embellish, misrepresent, or defraud these in any way.

6. Coaches, Mentors, and individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will work within the limitations of their own competence (Note 1) and will distinguish situations where it may be necessary to refer a consumer either to a more experienced Coach or Mentor, or to seek the help of the IRCM CIC or a more qualified professional or practitioner.

7. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation have a responsibility to monitor and maintain their fitness to practice at a level that enables them to provide an effective service. If their effectiveness becomes impaired for any reason, including health or personal circumstances, they should stop working and seek advice and support.

8. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will ensure that they develop and enhance their level of competence (Note 1) and excellence (Note 1) by continuing to participate in relevant training and appropriate Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  A written record will be maintained of all training and CPD.

9. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will ensure that they are aware of new skills, tools, techniques, technologies, and practices; especially those that are relevant to the Coaching and/or Mentoring industry. A written record will be maintained of their awareness, and all relevant training and CPD.

These five points focus on the Coaches or Mentors ability to work as a Coach or Mentor; and their commitment to their own professionalism through reflection and on-going continual professional development.

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5. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will clearly understand their own levels of Coaching or Mentoring competence, experience, qualifications, and accreditation, and will not exaggerate, embellish, misrepresent, or defraud these in any way.

Point 5 covers two aspects of a Coaches or Mentors competence:

  • an understanding of their own ability to coach or mentor.
  • clarity on how they explain their own ability.

It is important that the Coaches and Mentors within the industry are competent to undertake the role as a Coach or a Mentor.  Competence within the industry is demonstrated by each Coach and/or Mentor:

  • REGISTERED on the IRCM CIC’s Coaches and Mentors Directory.
    Registration on the IRCM CIC’s Directory demonstrates to the consumers that the Coach and/or Mentor is a professional who agrees to abide by the industry recognised Codes of Conduct and acknowledges the Ombudsman Service.
  • ACCREDITED or CREDENTIALED with a Professional Body who is REGISTERED or ACCREDITED with the IRCM CIC.
    Professional Bodies within their Accreditation or Credentialing process will confirm the quality of each Coach and/or Mentor through verification of their experience and qualifications.

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It is important that the organisations within the industry are competent to undertake their role.  Competence within the industry is demonstrated by each:

  • Formal Education Body
    • REGISTERING on the IRCM CIC’s Education/Training Directory.
      Registration on the IRCM CIC’s Directory demonstrates to the consumers that the Formal Education Body provides professional education/training and agrees to abide by and include in their training material the industry recognised Codes of Conduct and acknowledges the Ombudsman Service.
    • ACCREDITATION or CREDENTIALING is automatically provided with a level of approval through their countries government-led Education Department.
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  • Private Commercial Training Organisation:
    • REGISTERING on the IRCM CIC’s Education/Training Directory.
      Registration on the IRCM CIC’s Directory demonstrates to the consumers that the Private Commercial Training Organisation provides professional education/training and agrees to abide by and include in their training material the industry recognised Codes of Conduct and acknowledges the Ombudsman Service.
    • ACCREDITED or CREDENTIALED with a Professional Body who is REGISTERED or ACCREDITED with the IRCM CIC.
      Professional Bodies within their Accreditation or Credentialing process will confirm the quality of each course/workshop, the experience and qualifications of each course/workshop creator, each member of the faculty, and the methodologies and qualification process used to determine the students’ qualification grading.
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  • Professional Bodies:
    • REGISTERING on the IRCM CIC’s Professional Body Directory.
      Registration on the IRCM CIC’s Directory demonstrates to the consumers that the Professional Body agrees to abide by and include in their own Codes of Conduct the industry recognised Codes of Conduct and acknowledges the Ombudsman Service and provides professional service to their members (consumers).
    • ACCREDITED on the IRCM CIC’s Professional Body Directory.
      Accreditation is Registration on the IRCM CIC’s Directory with independent verification of the organisations’ ability to grant Accreditations or Credentials to Coaches, Mentors, and Private Commercial Training Organisations.  In this way, each consumer can be confident that the Professional Body has developed its own internal standards and processes in line with the quality and professionalism of the coaching and mentoring industry.

In some ways, this should be self-explanatory, but it has been found by the Ombudsman Service that Coaches, Mentors, and Private Commercial Training Organisation have exaggerated, embellished, or misrepresented themselves or their organisations in a way that could be deemed to be fraudulent.

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It is important that when the Coach or Mentor is promoting themselves that they are honest about their qualifications and experience; especially when they are talking to a prospective consumer.  It is very easy for a Coach or Mentor to focus on their need for an income stream before they consider the requirements of the consumer.  Where the consumer requires a level of experience that the Coach or Mentor has not yet attained, it is important that the Coach or Mentor is transparent with the consumer and allows the consumer to make the final decision.

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As there is no international standard for Coach or Mentor training, it is difficult for each consumer to understand what is being offered by both Formal Education Bodies, Private Commercial Training Organisations, and Coach/Mentors who provide training.  It is important that when a training course or workshop is being marketed that the education/training organisation is clear about the level of qualification in line with the understanding of formal education qualifications.

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competence

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6. Coaches, Mentors, and individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will work within the limitations of their own competence and will distinguish situations where it may be necessary to refer a consumer either to a more experienced Coach or Mentor, or to seek the help of the IRCM CIC or a more qualified professional or practitioner.

Point 6 follows on from the second part of point 5.  The Ombudsman Service has received complaints from consumers when a Coach or Mentor has exaggerated their ability to provide a coaching or mentoring service.  Therefore it is beholden of the Coach or Mentor to fully understand their own limitations and work within them.

While some consumers will accept that working with a Coach or Mentor who does not have the experience may not provide the same level of progress as working with a Coach or Mentor who does have the right level of experience; they may still select to work with a less experienced Coach or Mentor for a number of reasons which may also include supporting the growth and development of the Coach or Mentor.

Where a Coach or Mentor does not have the right level of experience, they do have the opportunity to demonstrate their professionalism by either:

  • seeking the help of an IRCM CIC Registered more qualified and experienced professional Coach or Mentor, or
  • recommend a more experienced Coach or Mentor to work with their consumer.

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7. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation have a responsibility to monitor and maintain their fitness to practice at a level that enables them to provide an effective service. If their effectiveness becomes impaired for any reason, including health or personal circumstances, they should stop working and seek advice and support.

As with all supporting industries, Coaches and Mentors have the responsibility to monitor their own fitness to practice at a level that allows them to provide a professional service to all of their consumers.  Sometimes the number of sessions that a Coach or Mentor commits to in their diary means that they do not provide a professional service to all of their consumers and that one or more may not benefit.

Unless the Coach or Mentor regularly works with a more senior and experienced Coach and Mentor in a monitoring or supervision manner, it is beholden to the Coach or Mentor to monitor themselves.

There are a number of ways in which a Coach or Mentor can maintain their own fitness to practice at a professional level, and each Coach or Mentor can select the way or ways that is appropriate for themselves.

If the Coach or Mentor, or the person they are working with, becomes aware that their professionalism and effectiveness isn’t at the right level for any reason, the Coach or Mentor should seek the right support, advice, or guidance.  If as part of this support, advice, and guidance it is recommended that they should stop working; or make this decision themselves.  The IRCM CIC recognises that it is difficult to let consumers down, but working within a community will allow the Coach or Mentor in this situation to request support from their own coaching or mentoring community so that their consumers can either work with another Coach or Mentor or wait until they can return.

Working with a consumer when the Coach or Mentor is not providing the right level of professionalism not only damages the consumers’ experience but also damages the Coach or Mentors and industry reputation.

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8. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will ensure that they develop and enhance their level of competence (Note 1) and excellence (Note 1) by continuing to participate in relevant training and appropriate Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  A written record will be maintained of all training and CPD.

9. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will ensure that they are aware of new skills, tools, techniques, technologies, and practices; especially those that are relevant to the Coaching and/or Mentoring industry. A written record will be maintained of their awareness, and all relevant training and CPD.

Points 8, and 9 relate to the Coaches or Mentors ability and on-going continuous professional development.

In an industry that is continuing to grow and develop, it is important that each Coach or Mentor continues their own continuous professional development (often recognised as CPD); and that they both:

  • continue to grow their skills and knowledge through new courses and/or workshops, and
  • is aware and where appropriate learns new skills, tools, techniques, technologies, and practices.

To support a Coaches or Mentors accreditation or credential, a written record must be maintained of their awareness of their own ability and on-going development.  This written record will document both their own reflections and all training and CPD.

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Although this article refers to Coaches and Mentors; it is equally important that each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation whether they are a receptionist, administration, book-keeper, accountant, trainer, course/workshop creator, mentor, coach, or any other person working within a coaching and/or mentoring organisation recognises that they are part of the coaching and mentoring industry; and therefore, that each clause also applies to them.