I put off submitting my many years of coaching with individuals, executives and teams, for Accreditation. I told myself I didn’t need the Accreditation: clients were not asking for it, I had no problem getting new clients and keeping existing ones. Yet, at the back of my head, a niggle always whispered: ‘would you hire a Psychologist who was not accredited and registered with the Psychological Society of Ireland? or a Plumber who was not registered with the Heating and Plumbing Association of Ireland?’ The answer was a big no. There are too many un-registered Practitioners out there from every walk of life (the RTE advert on un-register gas installers comes to mind – try not to get distracted by watching it now!)
Practitioners, such as myself, may be highly qualified intellectually or Education-wise up to Masters or even Doctorate level, but the vital question still remains: are they practising Coaches, with documented experience supported by checkable testimonials, continuously developing and learning, adhering to international coaching standards, monitored against these standards, competencies and ethics? 2020 became my year to correct that for myself and even though I could have put it off again, due to the awful world we were all plunged into on 10th March, I chipped away at the submission at the same time, and finally met my own deadline of 30th September 2020.
I did not expect to learn anything from the Accreditation process with EMCC (I chose the European Mentoring and Coaching Council vs ICF International Coach Federation, because first of all I am a European living in Ireland and secondly, I like their ethics and the general atmosphere of welcome and inclusivity I experienced at informal networking events). I looked at the Accreditation submission requirements and yawned. I immediately saw it as a chore: to be ploughed through, laboriously. I had to provide the evidence that my coaching practice met the standards and competencies for Senior Practitioner level including my coaching qualifications, practice standards, client testimonial, case studies and reflection logs, continuous professional development (CPD) and number of hours conducting coaching going back to 2015. Whew, it was a chore, no point in dressing it up as anything else.
What I did not expect at all, was to gain, through the case studies and reflections, as well as analysis of my CPD and client feedback, invaluable insight into myself, not only as a Coach but as a human being. The submission almost forced me, to notice and pay attention to what brings me most joy in my work (invaluable during this pandemic while adapting my life almost fully to the virtual world). It encouraged me to analyse the value that I, with my personality, my continuous thirst for exploration and learning, all my experience, education and interests, bring to the coaching partnership. It is unique, not the same as other Coaches (we are all truly unique!) I always knew that, but it all emerged, beautifully for me, as if arising from the depths of everyday work and detail, like a lovely flower. In another post I will summarise what I learned and how reflection and analysis has informed me, helping me grow, develop and continuously learn.
I am thankful to EMCC and to the Accreditation process for this learning, and in doing so, want to specifically thank:
My wonderful clients for their insightful feedback, in particular: Trend Micro, VMware, the SFPA and Novartis
and of course:
Dr. Chandana Sanyal of EMCC who reviewed and approved my Accreditation Submission with care, attention and encouragement.