Standards for Coaches

The IOBC competence profile for coaches ensures and promotes quality in business coaching.


Coaching requires appropriate knowledge and skills to understand what is happening and what is at stake intrapersonally, interpersonally, and entrepreneurially. This requires competences, which are in turn acquired based on knowledge. 


Coaching competence is the ability to reflect on and act appropriately in the context of person-oriented dialogical consulting people in the world of work. On the one hand, this refers to a doing, i.e. the ability to practice or effect something. On the other hand, it means (self-)reflectivity; the ability to reflect when, how and why actions or reactions are appropriate.

Five Fields of Competence 

The Coach Competence Model (CCM) describes concrete requirements of a professional business coach in five fields of competence - containing a total of 29 competence clusters and 117 competences, aligned to the coach’s qualification level:


  • Associate Coach (IOBC) – up to 3 years of coaching experience
  • Professional Coach (IOBC) – at least 3 years of coaching experience
  • Senior Coach (IOBC) – at least 5 years of coaching experience

Coaching requires competences. Worldwide.

The Coach Competence Model (CCM) describes competences for: 


  • (Self-)Reflection - Personal Skills
  • Relationship Management - Social skills
  • Knowledge - Professional competences
  • Methods - Methodological competences
  • Experience - Field and functional competences

What is a competence?

A competence is a disposition for performance-oriented behavior. A personal competence is characterized by:


  1. Coping with complex requirements
  2. Creative problem solving
  3. Solution-oriented behavior
  4. An alignment of personality traits, abilities and motives
  5. Outcome and context relevance 
  6. An ability and desire for self-development

Quality standards for business coaching

Coach Competence Model (CCM)

Methodological competences
Coaching need methods. Worldwide.
Methodological competences means: 
dialog competence, planning competence, analytical competence, didactic competence and cognitive-emotive development competence.
Professional competences
Coaching needs knowledge. Worldwide.
Professional competence means:
general education, philosophical, sociological, educational, psychological and economic resources and resources of coaching research, legal resources and integration of theory and practice.
Field and functional competences
Coaching needs experience. Worldwide.
Field and functional competence means: professionalism, field and functional experience, educational training and development, organizational competence, role awareness and micropolitical skill.
Social-communicative competences
Coaching needs the ability of building and designing relationships. Worldwide.
Social-communicative competence means: 
competence in relationship, ability to communicate, self-confidence and reflectivity.
Coaching needs (self-)reflection. Worldwide.
Personality / Self-Competence: motivation, performance orientation, perceptual faculty, ability to judge, ability to learn and develop as well as self-regulation.
Methodological competences Field and functional competences Professional competences Social-communicative competences Personality

Our requirements for coaches are based on five fields of competence containing multiple competence clusters (click on the respective field in the diagram).


The model is currently being scientifically evaluated by the University of Salzburg.

CCM describes concrete requirements for business coaches.

More information on the five fields of competence


A coach needs to exhibit personal characteristics fitting to their professional task. In addition to competences that can be learned, self-competence includes...

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Social competence

Coaching is substantially based on relationship building. This entails the ability to perceive and guide themselves and others in their relationships and interactions...

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Professional competence

Professional expertise is the ability to be reflective and judgmental for technical and factual areas. A coach must be able to...


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Methodological competence

The coach has to be able to apply and execute strategies and methods adapted to versatile and changing situations, tasks and...

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Field and functional competence

Field experience plays a very important role in coaching. This means profound and far-reaching experiences...


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The IOBC Coaching Compendium is a comprehensive document setting out our quality standards for coaches, coaching processes, coaching ethics, and coaching education & training.