Selecting the right Wellness or Holistic Coach!

published in Issue 33
International Coaching News

Now, more than ever in our personal history, everyone needs the support of the right Wellness and/or Holistic Coach.  As this pandemic continues, the IRCM CIC is hearing from coaching and mentoring industry Consumers, through the press and media outlets, and from a number of other channels about health and wellness challenges.  People on the frontline are facing unprecedented working environments – 14+ hours a day with more people dying in the wards than ever before.  People on the frontline not being recognised for the support they provide e.g. the shop assistants and delivery staff.  People being ‘trapped’ at home and having to work in an environment that used to be their ‘get away from it all’ place.  Parents learning to become teachers to support their own children’s growth and development.  Husbands/Wives understanding what the other goes through every day to support their household.  Not being able to live a ‘normal’ life and the impact of no exercise, while eating too much.  This pandemic gives each Coach whose niche market is health, wellness, and fitness; and each Mentor with the personally gained experience; the opportunity to provide a needed level of support.

Coaching and Mentoring puts each Coach and Mentor in a very privileged position.  It is a position from which the correctly selected Coach or Mentor can enrich the lives of their client, but where the wrong coach or mentor is selected, could cause harm.

Are you aware that Consumers have the best kept secret in the coaching and mentoring industry working for them?  If not, let us introduce ourselves to you.  The International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC (aka IRCM CIC) is the UK Government approved regulator for the protection of the Consumers who benefit from the services of Coaches and Mentors.  The IRCM CIC provides support to all Consumers and not only those who benefit from coaching and mentoring but also their learning from Education/Training organisations, and the support and on-going guidance from Professional Bodies, Associations, etc.

Over the past years, the IRCM CIC through its Ombudsman Service has been supporting Consumers who have purchased a service from a Coach or Mentor that does not live up to their expectations.

Through its investigations, the Ombudsman Service often finds that no due diligence is done when a Consumer selects a Coach or Mentor.  Whether a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague; or responding to an online advert from a platform like LinkedIn or Facebook, it is important to complete your own due diligence.

Due diligence is simply a process that is conducted to provide the Consumer with trust.  Trust in their choice of the right person to work with to enrich their own life.  The IRCM CIC recommends that, as the person paying for the service or product, you undertake a verification process which includes interviewing the prospective Coach and/or Mentor.  Coaching and Mentoring is a personal service, and it is important that as the Consumer:

  • you are able to build a rapport with the person who will be providing the level of support you require.
  • the person providing this level of support has the right competence – registration, accreditation/credential, qualification, and experience.
  • you select the person to work with.

Due diligence does not only apply to the Consumer, but also to the Coach and Mentor.  Research shows that often a contract is agreed, even through one person in the party is not 100% sure that the other person is the ‘right’ person to be working with.

The IRCM CIC works closely with all individuals and organisations who have a pride in the coaching and mentoring industry.  The IRCM CIC partners with Professional Bodies (who represent their coaches, mentors, and private commercial training organisations) and the Formal Education Bodies, as well as receiving feedback, suggestions, and input from all registered Coaches, Mentors, and Private Commercial Training Organisations.  This collaboration has given the coaching and mentoring industry recognised and published fundamental requirements for the Consumers benefit:

  1. Industry recognised definitions and terminology explanations.
  2. An industry standard for standards and ethics.
  3. An industry standard for core competencies of every coach and/or mentor.
  4. A consumer checklist to support their due diligence when selecting a coach and/or mentor and/or trainer and/or education/training course or workshop.

The outline of selecting the right Wellness and/or Holistic Coach is to ensure that the coach is working within the coaching and mentoring industry is registered with the IRCM CIC.  This will confirm to their Consumers that they have agreed to demonstrate their professionalism by abiding by the industry definitions, terminology, codes of conduct (standards, ethics, and core competencies), and recognise the Ombudsman Service for the benefit of their own Consumers.

The IRCM CIC recommends that each Coach and Mentor also gains an independent verification of their excellence within the industry, by being awarded an accreditation/credential from one or more IRCM CIC registered or accredited Professional Bodies.  This will confirm to their Consumers that in addition to demonstrating their professionalism, that they have the ability to provide the right level of support to their own Consumers.

Where the Coaches and Mentors qualification cannot be verified as part of their accreditation/credential with one or more IRCM CIC registered or accredited Professional Bodies, the IRCM CIC recommends that the Consumer verifies that the Coach or Mentor is qualified through one or more IRCM registered Formal Education Bodies or Private Commercial Training Organisations.

If the Consumer selects a Coach or Mentor that is not registered with the IRCM CIC and accredited/credentialed with an IRCM CIC registered or accredited Professional Body, that their experience may result in inadequate or ineffective coaching or mentoring.

Although there are additional points on the IRCM CIC’s consumer due diligence checklist, the IRCM CIC is resolute in its support of the Consumers with the IRCM CIC’s Ombudsman Service.