Coaches competencies according to ICF and EMCC

This article complements the articles:

Professional coaches work from who they are.

I coach as I am – I coach as I am

This reality is absolutely fundamental.
The tools of the coaches are also essential.
However, it is mainly the way they are used that has an impact. And the variety available to the coach, allows to get out of the adage “for a hammer, everything is nail”.

Thus, the competency frameworks of professional coaches make it possible to evaluate skills on explicit and shared criteria.
They are also benchmarks that allow the coach to measure his progress in his professionalization and his ability to accompany coaching situations of increasing complexity.
These abilities of the coach are also related to his own development, in the sense of adult development.

The two professional associations of coaches ICF and EMCC have written standards, which, if they present differences, are also very consistent.
In addition, the ICF standard was rewritten in 2020, in order to be in better adequacy with the results of the research conducted by the association.

Reference of the ICF 8 coach competencies
Reference of EMCC 8 coach competencies

Are you a coach? How do you appropriate these skills, to live them on a daily basis?

Are you a coaching client or buyer? How do these skills resonate in your choice?

Certification, accreditation, what are we talking about?

This article completes the article: Coaching & Quality

LinkedIn profiles are full of terms describing the skills of Coaches, and this is good news: the profession works to ensure that its members, working according to the rules of the art, are recognizable.

However, the terms used do not always mean the same thing, according to the source. Here are synoptic illustrations to find your way around quickly.

The next article will detail the 8 key competences.

The professional development criteria are for ICF the number of hours of training, the number of hours of coaching, and for EMCC, the number of hours of coaching, the number of clients, years of experience.
As can be seen in the synoptic illustrations, the thresholds for passing from one stage to another differ.
However, they participate in the visibility of measurable elements of the coach’s development.

The challenge of the profession today is to link even better measurable elements to the maturity of the coach.

Want to know more?
Contact Agnès Grisard freely for a discovery appointment of coaching or supervision.

Coaching & Quality

How to choose a coach?

A previous article took stock of the choice of coach, from the point of view of the beneficiary of the coaching. Here, we wonder about the choice of coach, from the point of view of the buyer of coaching.

The buyer is for example a human resources manager, a department/company director who has the related budget, a training manager, who builds a training course, including coaching.

Faced with an identified coaching need, how to choose the coach(s)? So that their service corresponds to the needs of the company?

To take a parallel, when you buy a yogurt, you expect a product of standardized composition and that has been kept in compliance with the cold chain. What about coaching?

What are the rules of the game of the professional coaching profession?

Professional coaching is a self-regulating profession.
Advantage : it is responsible for its own benchmarks and its dynamism and evolutions are correlated with the market.
Disadvantage : the repositories are multiple and it can be difficult to navigate.

The purpose of this article is to clarify the terms used and what they correspond to.
It clarifies the two main references of the professional coaching profession: that of the International Coach Federation ICF and that of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council EMCC.

The ICF and EMCC Associations in numbers

EMCC was founded in 1992.
It has in France 22 foundation practitioners, 115 practitioners, 45 seniors, 10 master’s degrees.
And worldwide 190 foundation, 825 practitioner, 979 senior, 90 master.

ICF was founded in 1995.
It has in France 334 ACC coaches, 403 PCC coaches, 49 MCC coaches.
And worldwide 14,770 ACC coaches, 14,536 PCC coaches, 1,565 MCC coaches.

NB: these figures are those recorded on the day of writing the article on the directories of the two federations.

Common objectives

These two associations work together to develop the professionalization of coaches, via quality training -independent, delivered by organizations whose mission it is-, and processes of labeling the maturities of coaches, through their professional development.

For this, each association has its own criteria and levels required.

However, the logic is the same:

  • support professional development, through coach training and supervision
  • give explicit quality benchmarks for coaching buyers : skills are observed in the field, by qualified people independent of training schools

Be careful, the RNCP, a system of qualification of training on french territory only blurs the understanding, because it uses terms identical to international standards, but with different contents, such as that of “professional coach” or “certification” -see the diagram-.

The indicators of professional development or “stages” are 3 at ICF, and 4 at EMCC.
Certificates and accreditations are renewable for 3 years for ICF and 5 years for EMCC.
These elements will be detailed in future articles:

Certification, accreditation, what are we talking about?
The skills of coaches according to ICF and EMCC

The challenges of the professional coaching profession

Today the challenges of the coaching profession are:

  • to support the professionalization of coaches and
  • to develop the professionalization of supervisors.

Supervisory competency frameworks exist, and training organizations are actively taking them up.

With or without breaks?

What happens in your body and brain when you go through the meetings?

This illustration shows the stress levels measured by the intensity of beta waves in the brain.

The first line shows what happens when you move from one meeting to another.

The second line shows what happens with a small pause between each meeting.

Concretely, in the first case, the subject moves from one meeting to another without interruption. His body and brain are in constant activity, and the level of stress accumulates.

In the second configuration, there are brief breaks between meetings. There is alternation of the phases of activation, and slowdown and recovery.

What do you think is the state of energy of the person at the end of the day in each case?

What configuration are you in? On the scale of the day, the week, the month, the year?

What are your routines between meetings? How do you pay attention to yourself?

One of the tools I use makes it possible to make objective measurements of how your body spontaneously manages these alternations, in different situations of stimulation and return to calm. A way to discover yourself exciting for all the customers I have supported until today in this proposal 😉

If you’re curious about more, let’s take a moment to discuss it.

Choosing your coach

This question comes up regularly, both on social networks and in discussions in companies or networks.

And that's an essential question!

This decision-making has a stake, that of the benefits that the coachee will be able to obtain from his commitment to a coaching course. The benefits of coaching are also spread throughout the company, in particular thanks to a coaching phasing, the rule of the art of the profession.

Several approaches of choice can be considered, as well as their combinations.

A professional certified by an independent body

When you buy a yogurt, it seems normal to have a guarantee as to its freshness, the continuity of the cold chain and its composition. Well, this could be a metaphor for a coaching purchase!

In France, official professional bodies certify professional coaches independently (without also being training organisations): ICF and EMCC.

The certification aims to assess:

  • the initial and continuing training of the coach, in particular by schools audited and recognized by the profession
  • reflection on professional practice, via individual or collective supervision
  • the analysis of the conformity of the practice with regard to a competency framework (attested by the provision of coaching sessions recorded in the initial ICF certification)
  • the number of hours of coaching practice
Certification renewed
every 3 years ICF, 5 years EMCC
Associate Certified Coach
Professional Certified Coach
Master Certified Coach
Stages of expertiseexercise start coachesconfirmed coachesexpert coaches
35,000 ICF professional coaches in 2021, including 800 in France60%40%0.4%
hours of coaching training required> 60> 125> 200
hours of coaching practice required>100> 500> 2500
The stages of expertise of the Professional Coach, according to the ICF reference system

A coach with whom you have experienced a session

Trust your intuition too. The relationship of trust is essential to the coaching process. Do a first session or a discovery interview and then determine yourself for a commitment in a coaching course.

A referenced coach

A coach who is recommended to you by your network or who can provide coaching references from former clients.

Dare to assert oneself on a daily basis

We often hear about assertiveness, in a professional context or in a personal context.
But what does this title cover? And how to assert oneself individually, in a collective functioning, being in a fair balance between the individual point of view and the collective point of view?

Let's start from the heart of self-affirmation: the individual.

Assertiveness can also be called assertiveness.It is a posture in which we take a position, in front of a group, in front of a system. In this posture, we are neither in aggressiveness, nor in flight, nor in manipulation.

Let's take an example.

You are attending a meeting that starts late. This does not suit you because you have a lot of files to deal with and no time to waste. If you adopt a posture of aggressiveness, you could, for example, blow, sigh, ostensibly look at your watch, strongly reproach the organizer of the meeting for its delay. If you adopt a manipulative posture, you can proclaim out loud "Yes usually with such and such meetings are late…If you adopt a flight posture, you don't say anything, you attend the meeting and you do something else during the meeting, such as checking your emails or processing your files on your computer or smartphone.

What would then be an assertive reaction?

It could be to simply say that the delay of the meeting upsets you, because you have other important topics to deal with. You can also come up with a solution that would be good for you and others.

What makes it sometimes difficult to assert oneself?

There are many parameters. First of all, there are educational and cultural parameters but also parameters that are more related to the moment, such as the level of serenity or stress in which you find yourself. The atmosphere of the group in which you are is also a parameter that will vary your spontaneous affirmation.
The cultural or educational side makes us integrate a number of values. If throughout your childhood you learned that being late was not allowed at all, you may be very responsive in the situation of a meeting that starts late. If, on the contrary, you have learned to manage hazards, you will immediately have a much more flexible posture.
In addition to the question of your values, which are personal, the emotional state in which you are, at the start of the meeting, also has an impact. If you arrive in a relaxed state, there is more chance that a meeting delay will not affect you or little. If you arrive in a stressed state, especially by questions of deadline on your other topics, the delay of the meeting is likely to upset you.
Finally, in a group with "strong personalities" it can be more difficult to assert oneself.

So how to improve your assertiveness or assertiveness?

It should be noted that, culturally, women are more often encouraged to take care of others, and therefore to put their needs after those of those around them. Assertiveness, or even impostrix syndrome, is therefore more frequently a subject of personal development.
The very first step of assertiveness is to become aware of what is at stake for oneself and for the group: the values that can be achieved, the emotional state that can be heckled, a particular group composition. In short, take stock of its internal compass. Then, in a second step, express in a calm and calm way what we really want. For example, using turns of phrase such as: It is important for me to…, I need…, I would like…, etc.

How to progress?

Start by identifying the topics that usually make you react. Try to understand what is affected in your home. And, every day, practice trying to overcome this automatic posture, in order to develop another more adaptive posture, which will help you to be more comfortable in your group interactions and to deploy your leadership, have more impact, less suffer situations while taking others into account.

Talk to each other verbally

I regularly observe a problem that massively affects my individual and collective clients: we no longer have time to talk to each other orally.

20 years ago when you called someone, you had a good chance that the person would pick up their phone. Or even responds to a written or voice message. 
Today it has become quite exceptional. Except in an emergency.
Generating its share of stress.

20 years ago when a company was called via the switchboard, a person in the flesh filtered or put in touch with the requested correspondent, according to the instructions given to him.
Today we come across a voice standard, which offers many options… As long as what is needed corresponds to one of the options !!! Or also sometimes on a saturated voicemail. 
Generating its share of stress.

With my eyes and my experience as a systemic coach, and I observe that it is when humans talk to each other, really, that questions are unraveled, that creativity is offered, on small things or more complex issues. 

What does this overload of tasks in days that are always only 24 hours, prevent?
What does it allow? 
What balance would it be interesting to strive for, both on the individual and systemic dimensions?
What have you done in the last 24 hours to nurture your 3 privileged relationships in your personal life, in your professional life?
And during these last 7 days?
What about your relationship with yourself?

#coachseye #dansloeilducoach #relations #pauseandreflect

Emotional field in coaching

Just this morning I was amazed by the ability of my client's pet to be connected to its inner state.
And to serve as a revealer, or mirror of this emotional state.

Now that coaching or supervision sessions are regularly held via zoom, at my clients' homes, pets are entering the coaching dance. 

Indeed, they share with us, mammals like them, instinctive governance and the capacity for emotional resonance, or empathy.So, even before the customer knew how to name his emotion, his pet gave him signals. Barking, agitation, interposition between the customer and the screen, quiet activity in his corner, falling asleep… And these signals are valuable to question: what is happening right now? What is this a sign of?

Photo credit: CLabate; THorudko

And you, how do you use these resources? 
For yourself, or for your clients – if you are a coach – ?
How do you make yourself available to these subtle and informative signals?

#signaux #embodiment #zoomdezoom #gouvernancescerebrales #révélateur

Chronic stress

Stress is an instinctive reaction of the body for the survival of the individual, in the face of a danger of death. It is shared by all mammals.

However, stress today is no longer mainly triggered by this archaic reason, but by multiple factors, emotional, cognitive, social, experiences, beliefs, impactful situations …

Thus, chronic stress can settle permanently, bringing the individual to a new balance, higher than that of complete calm -homeostatic balance-. The offset between these two levels is called the allostatic charge.

Because of its installation over a long period of time, it generates global wear, a price paid for adaptation to the demands of the environment, physiological and behavioral adaptation.

The impact study carried out in 2020-2021 by OpenMind Neurotechnologies on performance and post-Covid mental health quantifies the degradation of certain human skills.

after Do Yup Lee, E.K., & Choi, M.H. (2015). Technical and clinical aspects of cortisol as a biochemical marker of chronic stress. BMB reports, 48(4), 209.

The challenge is to become aware of this state of affairs, and to find strategies to return to homeostatic balance.

An innovative tool that allows you to explore these aspects is the Cognitive and Emotional Assessment.

Cognitive and Emotional Assessment

For what?

The Cognitive and Emotional Assessment is an innovative tool, developed by OpenMind Neurotechnologies, which allows you to quickly access in a fun and powerful way keys to reading your functioning in the face of uncertain and unpredictable situations.

What An-Dante’s customers are saying

  • during the Virtual Reality experience : “very pleasant”, “an interesting immersive experience”, “I am not used to playing with a controller”, “I saw my reactions to stressful situations”, “it allowed me to approach meditation in an interesting way”, “It was too short! I’m not a player I was almost frustrated not to continue”…
  • at the end of the debrief : “it was very useful to link data to my concrete situations”, “I better understand my modes of operation”, “sharing in context in an interactive way is very interesting”, “it gives analytical consistency to what I feel”…

Current issues

The challenge of chronic stress is now major.
Understanding one’s personal mode of functioning and accessing one’s abilities to return homeostasis balance is essential. In particular to preserve his health and his immune system, cadiovascular, inflammatory, but also his cognitive abilities, at the source of complex decision-making, daily lot of Leaders -leaders, managers …-. 

Stress prevention equips individuals and teams with the means of understanding and action, and thus contributes to the prevention of burnout, burnout , turnover.
Information about your cerebral and physiological modes of functioning helps to clarify your resources and modes of action.
The debrief carried out with your coach allows you to develop tracks to develop them, tracks to be deployed in coaching sessions afterwards.


The Cognitive & Emotional Assessment presents two ways of access:

  • cognitive: what you know you’re doing, how you function…, measured by questions
  • physiological: your body’s reactions, measured by skin moisture sensors, pulse, during the virtual reality experience

How is the Balance Sheet going?

The assessment consists of different phases:

  1. an online questionnaire -20 minutes-
  2. a virtual reality experience -40 minutes-
  3. a restitution -2h-
  4. it is followed by coaching sessions, in order to refine the links between the results, the situation experienced and your coaching objectives


The Cognitive & Emotional Assessment is a diagnostic element of a coaching course, which allows you to quickly access information about your cognitive, emotional and social skills. Three fields of expertise that allow you to navigate professional life. 

During the restitution with the coach, you will discover or clarify your strengths, and co-build the axes of development of capacities useful to your project, or to your coaching objectives.

The following coaching sessions allow you to implement and anchor the changes resulting from these development axes.

How does the Virtual Reality experience take place?

VR makes it possible to stimulate the brain in different modes – concentration and relaxation, stimulation by playful situation, to measure its characteristics.
Its restitution with the coach makes it possible to transfer these measures into useful learning in your professional life, according to the objectives of evolution that you set for yourself.
The different modes of stimulation are in particular those of the confrontation with the novelty and the intense situations -overload, difficulty, pressure, stress …-, as well as the modes of recovery.

  • Cardiac coherence: measurement of the ability to enter into coherence, relax, modulate breathing
  • Space Stress: It also measures the level of attention (selection of relevant information), inhibition (occultation of irrelevant information) and flexibility (ability to switch from one action to another).
  • Sonification: ability to relax, openness to oneself, listening to one’s body

OpenMind Neurotechnologies

OpenMind Neurotechnologies is a French startup, which develops a new generation of scientific tools, to accelerate the human development of talents. And has set up a certification process for coaches who are duly authorized to use its tools.