The International Coach Federation is delighted to be part of the GCMA (Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance), formed in November, 2012, to work alongside other global coaching & mentoring bodies, to provide a shared view of the practice of professional coaching.
What is the GCMA?
The purpose of Global Coaching Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) is to professionalise the industry in the field of coaching and mentoring and express a shared view of the practice of professional coaching.
The core objectives are:
To be the collective voice of professional bodies that clarifies, educates and strengthens awareness about our common ground for effective practice
To facilitate exchange and distribute information for all industry stakeholders about shared good practice
To focus attention on the wider impact of coaching and mentoring on society.
How does a coach who is a member of just one organisation become informed or involved in GCMA?
The GCMA is not set up as an entity that collects fees, nor is it a membership body that Coaches, Mentors, Organisations, or Institutions can ‘join’. But rather, it is an alliance of global, professional coaching and mentoring bodies, currently made up of the AC, the EMCC, and the ICF.
To illustrate, think of what the airline’s alliances do (e.g. ‘Star Alliance). You may join as a member any of the specific airline (e.g. United, Thai, Lufthansa), and by those airlines being a part of the alliance, then this gives greater benefits, to their respective members, and having a greater joined up approach.
Why was the GCMA established?
The thinking behind the GCMA is that having some of the leading professional coaching and mentoring bodies, working together in a more collaborative way, will help in professionalising coaching even further as the industry continues to grow and evolve on a global scale. There was also a ‘pull’ from some coaches and buyers, indicating that the major coaching bodies needed to align and work more closely together in order to bring further clarity and understanding to what we do and what is considered as good practice.
How will the GCMA behave, and work together?
When the GCMA formed, it agreed the following Guiding Principles:
To use a coach approach in its interactions
Honour and welcome all perspectives
Always consider what is in the interest of the profession first
Be member and market driven in our thinking and progressive in our actions
Engage in dialogue before decision
Synthesise, clarify and communicate
Remember the GCMA is an alliance of professional bodies not a body in itself.
How can someone submit a query or comment to the GCMA?
If there is a topic, or concern that is relevant to the overall aims of the GCMA, then this is best fed in via the respective bodies, so it can be raised as a potential agenda item. The contact details for these type of requests, are below:
Association for Coaching (AC)
European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)
International Coach Federation (ICF)
Are there plans to become one ‘super body’?
As mentioned, the GCMA is not a professional body, nor does it have a desire to be set up as an organisation in its own right. It serves as an alliance made up of professional bodies. There are no plans to merge and become one, but we do continue to strive to find ways to work together that best serve the emerging profession of coaching and mentoring.
Is the GCMA reaching out to other bodies as well?
The intention, over time, is to invite other global professional coaching bodies to be a part of the GCMA as we do recognise the importance of having other representatives, and different viewpoints. This would be looked at, after a bedding-in phase with the three organisations involved, and clear criteria will be set around how this can occur to best support the aims and scope of the GCMA.
How will the GCMA ensure it takes a global perspective?
At this stage, the GCMA is listening to these diverse views and needs, and establishing what it makes sense to best do, together, for the benefit of the industry as a whole. Some of the current areas of discussion include running joint global research initiatives, as well as investigating each of the respective professional body’s accreditation and credentialing systems etc.
We have already agreed joint values that underpin our professional bodies’ cooperation such as Courage, Collaboration, Integrity, Respect and Trust.
What are the HR Buyers’ views of GCMA?
As the GCMA is newly formed, it has not gone out to market to get a formal pulse on how it is being perceived, nor what the HR Buyers’ hopes or expectations are from it. However from the initial discussions so far, based on input from the three bodies, the feedback has been very positive that such an alliance has been born.
How does the GCMA define coaching? Is there an agreed, collective view across the three professional bodies?
The three members of the Alliance are signatories to the “Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring” which has been accepted on the European Union’s dedicated website for Self-Regulated professions. Click here to view a summary of the Charter and then choose the option ‘Private Act’ in the Linkbox.
The Professional Charter gives the following high-level description of coaching and mentoring, stressing that this is not intended as a definitive statement.
“Coaching and mentoring are activities within the area of professional and personal development with focus on individuals and teams and relying on the client’s own resources to help them to see and test alternative ways for improvement of competence, decision making and enhancement of quality of life.
Thus, a professional coach/mentor can be described as an expert in establishing a relationship with people in a series of conversations with the purpose of serving the clients to improve their performance or enhance their personal development or both, choosing their own goals and ways of doing it.”
Definitions of coaching are also available on each of our respective websites.
What is the value of credentialing/accreditation?
We believe that obtaining a credential/accreditation is an investment that demonstrates and distinguishes professional practice. It is similar to gaining a degree or a professional designation and differentiates a credentialed/accredited coach from anybody who may call themselves a coach. The value of such a designation therefore is quite significant.
Could you define credentialed/accredited?
Credentials/accreditations are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding and practice of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the industry. Achieving credentials/accreditation signifies a coach’s commitment to integrity, an understanding and practice of coaching skills and a dedication to clients.
What's the role of mentoring in this organisation, beyond coaching?
The formation of the GCMA was in direct response to our membership asking for clarification about the confusion being created in the mentoring and coaching industry relating to professional practice. EMCC is keen therefore to represent its total membership where both mentors and coaches work within a framework of generic professional standards. See also the Professional Charter for Mentoring and Coaching.