Welcome to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
with the IIC&M


Wherever you are within your professional development, this is your opportunity to move your professional development, as a coach, forwards.

Whether you are an employee with an organisation or run your own business, CPD means taking charge of your career.  It is a means of self-managed and career-long professional development.  CPD is a process by which everyone benefits.

CPD helps you navigate the uncertainties and ambiguities of your working life.  It is a key factor in enabling you to participate in shaping your own professional environment.  As such, it helps you take advantage of change, rather than risk becoming its victim.  Incorporating CPD into your everyday working life has an immediate and positive impact on your professional life.

CPD is the conscious updating of professional knowledge and the improvement of your professional competence throughout your working life.  Conscious updating of your professional knowledge and skills implies that CPD is a state of mind, rather than a set of rules or a programme of learning.  CPD is your commitment to being professional; continuously seeking to learn and to improve your competence, attitude, skills, and habits.  It is about keeping up-to-date.  CPD is the key to optimising your professional opportunities.

On-going CPD encourages you to think deeply about your own career and enables you to continually update your own professional development plan.  Assessing and evaluating your skills increases your self-awareness.  To continue enhancing your own professional prospects, CPD requires your determination not to be satisfied with remaining in a rut.  Defining your own professional growth, allows you to exploit every opportunity to increase your own knowledge and skills.  This not only enables you to make a real difference to your clients and colleagues, but to greatly enhance your career prospects too.  Your CPD log may become an invaluable tool for marketing your skills as a coach.

Your CPD could also serve to benefit your colleagues.  Colleagues with less experience than yourself may start to ask you for assistance and guidance.  In this way you can become a role model and help your colleagues identify their own professional career development plans.

This CPD presentation provides you with information, support, and guidance to promote a thorough understanding of the IIC&M’s CPD policy while providing useful resources to help your development.  You will discover that the benefits resulting from on-going CPD far outweighs the perceived effort involved.

CPD with the IIC&M

IIC&M Professional Membership is available for all coaches who want to demonstrate their competence through an internationally recognised coaching professional standard.  Each coach – new or existing – once awarded their accreditation can apply to upgrade their membership to the standards established by the IIC&M for Professional Coaches.

The IIC&M have long recognised that CPD forms part of the accreditation process.  However, it also recognised that in developing skills and knowledge for accreditation, CPD was almost an inevitable aspect.  Therefore, how best to identify those coaches who, after accreditation, continued to develop their competence?  The answer was the introduction of the ‘Professional’ level for coaches.  This recognises those individuals who continue to develop their professional capabilities for the benefit of their clients as well as themselves.

The IIC&M's Vision and Mission Statements

The IIC&M’s Vision and Mission

Vision: The preferred Accreditation Body for Coaches, Mentors, Training Providers, and Clients.

Mission: creating excellence in the coaching and mentoring professions.

The purpose of Professional Membership is to:

The purpose of Professional Membership is to:

  • re-inforce coaching as a professional industry.
  • demonstrate that, as an industry, coaching is able to validate its professionalism and each coaches competence through the independent requirements defined in each accreditation and professional levels.
  • assure the individuals and organisations that are hiring coaches, that those coaches awarded a Professional Membership have met or exceeded the professional standards defined for that specific level of professional membership.

The IIC&M's CPD Mission

The IIC&M’s CPD Mission

As an officially recognised and independent organisation with an international focus to create excellence in the coaching profession, while promoting best practice and raising awareness; the IIC&M carries the responsibility for safeguarding the reputation and standards of the coaching industry.

As a relatively new industry, coaching is constantly under review to ensure that the standards and ethics meet the constantly changing needs of the profession, coaches, and their clients.  Therefore the IIC&M’s mission is to:

  • Promote and protect coaching standards
  • Lead in the development of good practice
  • Uphold the highest ideals in the profession of coaching and in coaching development
  • Serve the professional interests of our members and of the coaching industry

Not surprisingly, the IIC&M is the main source of information when it comes to CPD for coaches.  The IIC&M is committed to helping its members optimise their professional value.  The IIC&M accomplishes this by defining and promoting standards of professional competence.  These form the basis of the IIC&M’s CPD process that enables its members to maintain a professional status that are both highly valued and widely respected.

The Key Principles of CPD

The Key Principles of CPD

The Key Principles of CPD:

  • CPD within the IIC&M is the awarding of a Professional status, which is an Internationally Recognised Coaching standard
  • CPD is a regular investment of time and learning and should be seen as a natural extension of your professional life
  • CPD brings a greater awareness of what you do and how you do it
  • Professional development is a continuous process that is applied throughout the coach’s’ working life
  • Professional development should be applied whether your coaching is as part of your job, paid for, pro-bono or voluntary
  • Coaches should decide for themselves, based on where they are today and their professional goals, what their learning needs are
  • Coaches are responsible for managing their own professional development
  • CPD is personal; coaches should therefore, decide how to fulfil their own professional development
  • Professional goals in relation to learning must be clearly defined
  • Professional goals in relation to learning should support the needs of the client and/or employers as well as meeting the coaches professional goals
  • Professional development is most effective when it is goal oriented and acknowledged as part of all professional related activity

The IIC&M’S CPD Programme

The IIC&M’s CPD Programme

In 2013, 87% of professional bodies had a CPD policy of some description.  To us, that emphasises the importance of promoting CPD within the coaching community and within our membership.

The IIC&M CPD Programme is designed to support your continuous ongoing development of knowledge and experience as required of you as a professional coach, from the moment you become accredited with us.  Keeping skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career is at the heart of what it means to be a Professional coach.  Continuing Professional Development (CPD) can support coaches in maintaining and updating their skills, knowledge, and behaviour throughout their working life.

NB: CPD within the IIC&M is voluntary.  If you choose to remain an accredited coach, then that is your choice. Nevertheless, we invite all of our accredited members to consider the benefits of CPD and of achieving their Professional status.

Defining CPD

‘Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the means, by which members of professional associations maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives. It is any process or activity that provides added value to the capability of the professional through the increase in knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary for the appropriate execution of professional and technical duties, often termed competence.  CPD a vital part of any professional’s career’.
Professional Associations Research Network.

Within the IIC&M we define CPD as:

‘The ability to maintain, improve and extend the skills, knowledge, experience, qualities and behaviours necessary for the enhanced performance of professional responsibilities as required by the IIC&M in order to ensure confidence in the professionalism and competence of IIC&M Professional coaches.’

CPD and ‘professionalism’

‘Professionalism’ is the act of learning something new, or refreshing or developing your knowledge or skills, in order to clearly demonstrate your status as a Professional Coach.

As a Professional Coach with the IIC&M you have a duty to maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge, experience and skills and make sure your behaviour maintains your client’s confidence in you and the coaching profession.  This ensures that coaches are providing the very best intervention for their clients or client’s organisation, which in-turn helps to maintain confidence in the IIC&M’s reputation.

CPD helps to maintain the IIC&M’s register of Professional Coaches by showing that coaches are staying up to date in their ability to deliver exceptional coaching and thus make an effective contribution to coaching wherever they are in the world.

CPD hours

The number of hours of CPD required each year is based upon empirical evidence and IIC&M industry knowledge.  Each level presumes that it would be difficult for any member to maintain their professional and technical competence by undertaking less than the number of required CPD hours per year.

The minimum required CPD hours have been agreed by the IIC&M Accreditation Department and Leadership Team following extensive research.  We have set the fundamental requirements at a level which is not expected to be onerous or cause a problem to our members.  However, the fundamental requirements represent the minimum amount of CPD that the IIC&M believes to be satisfactory.  The responsibility therefore sits primarily with you to ensure that you are undertaking what is essential to appropriately and proactively maintain and enhance your professional skills and competencies.

To demonstrate your continuing professional development and gain or retain your Professional Coach status, the IIC&M requires all accredited coaches to complete a minimum number of hours in each CPD year.

The number of hours required each year to either gain or retain your Professional status is:

  • PPC – Professional Practitioner Coach (IIC&M)             35 hours
  • PSC – Professional Senior Coach (IIC&M)                        45 hours
  • PMC – Professional Master Coach (IIC&M)                      55 hours
  • PFC – Professional Fellow Coach (IIC&M)                         55 hours

The CPD cycle (also known as the CPD year)

For first time applicants, the CPD year (cycle) runs for 12 months from three months after you have been awarded your Accreditation status.

For existing/renewing applicants, the CPD year (cycle) runs for 12 months from the date of you being awarded your Professional status.

In all cases, this will be evidenced by your CPD log, which you will submit as confirmation of your CPD activity.  CPD activity must be over a minimum period of four months (ideally longer).

Awarding of ‘Professional status’

For Accredited Coaches, if you have completed your minimum number of CPD hours or more, you will be awarded your Professional status, which is an Internationally Recognised Coaching standard.

For Professional Coaches, if you have completed your minimum number of CPD hours or more by your yearly CPD validation/renewal date, you will be awarded Professional status, which is an Internationally Recognised Coaching standard.

The Professional status remains with the coach upon yearly validation of their CPD, as long as their membership is valid.

CPD coaching hours

All applicants for Professional status must also identify how many coaching hours have been completed in their CPD year.  A minimum of 50 hours is expected for all grades.

Reflective Essay

All applicant for the Professional Master and Professional Fellow levels must complete a reflective essay of 1,000 words.  This should highlight what learning has taken place over the CPD cycle and how this has impacted your coaching practice.  Emphasis should be placed upon what you are doing differently as a result of your CPD and how this is benefitting your clients.  This essay can encompass both formal and informal activities (for a definition of formal and informal CPD, see below).

The reflective essay must be submitted with your CPD log.

Professional contribution to the industry/profession

This is a requirement of the Accredited Fellow Coach and allows each coach to capture where they have provided an input into the profession through IIC&M volunteering, training other coaches, mentoring other coaches, supervising other coaches, or in some way providing a level of support to the coaching profession.  This must be clearly highlighted on your CPD Log.

Formal (verifiable) CPD

Formal (verifiable) CPD can be any form of advanced structured learning that has clear learning objectives and outcomes, such as a professional course or structured online training.  It could also be learning that includes an assessment measure or self-managed learning that can be assessed by an expert third party.

To count as formal (verifiable) CPD, the activity must have:

  • Concise learning aims and objectives
  • The opportunity to give and receive feedback
  • A clear objective
  • A certificate or other proof of attendance
  • Clear links to the IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies

A minimum of 30% of all submitted CPD activity must be formal (verifiable) and a minimum of 60% must relate directly to the IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies.

Informal (non-verifiable) CPD

Informal CPD (non-verifiable) is any self-managed learning that is relevant or related to your professional role. This could include activities such as private study, on-the-job training, attendance at informal seminars or events where the focus is on knowledge sharing.  Development may or may not be directly linked to the IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies, although this is encouraged.

Activities that do not count towards CPD

Any activity that does not have a clear learning purpose, or does not relate to your role and/or specialism cannot be considered as appropriate CPD.  Activities such as networking, social events, team meetings or informal events, and involvement on boards, committees or clubs that have little or no relevance to your professional role, cannot count towards your CPD requirements.

In addition, there is an expectation that all CPD activity will enhance your ability as a Professional Coach.  As such, if you have attended, for example, an ‘introductory’ course or workshop in a subject, we would not accept attending the same programme again as evidence of CPD.  We are looking for evidence that you have evolved and developed your ability; advanced coach training, writing, research etc. In essence, you cannot use the same evidence more than once.

Activities that will count as CPD

We do not specify an exhaustive list of activities which will count as CPD, we simply expect you to undertake a range of CPD throughout the CPD year that will advance your development as a Professional Coach.

Remember that a minimum of 30% must be formal (verifiable) and that a minimum of 60% must be directly linked to the IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies.

Types of CPD activities that can be counted towards your CPD are shown in Appendix A1.

You must demonstrate and provide evidence of CPD which covers at least five different areas/activities/categories of development.  For example, you cannot claim 30 hours of CPD (for the Practitioner level) by just attending formal training.  You are required to demonstrate development across a range of activities and over a minimum period of four months.

CPD and the IIC&M Coaching Competencies

There are seven Core Coaching Competencies:

  1. Presenting a professional image (in each session)
  2. Creating a safe environment (for the coaching relationship)
  3. Questioning skills
  4. Effective communication
  5. Listening skills
  6. Facilitating growth
  7. Planning and accountability

When planning, completing and recording your CPD, it is important to consider which of the core competencies are being developed.  In some instances, one CPD event may cover several competencies, others may only cover one.  Wherever practicable, ensure your CPD is relevant to these competencies.  This is especially true for formal (verifiable) CPD.

In any event, a minimum of 30% of your [advanced] CPD activity must directly relate to one or more of the IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies. This must be recorded on your CPD Log.

A full description of the IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies can be found by following this link.

IIC&M Standards and Ethics

When planning, completing and recording your CPD, you may wish to consider development which is directly attributable to the IIC&M’s Standards and Ethics.  This ensures that you always operate with full knowledge and competence of our professional standards and subscribe to the IIC&M’s values and key areas of responsibility.

A full description of the IIC&M Standards and Ethics can be found by following this link.

Auditing CPD

To ensure that the rigorous standards of the IIC&M’s CPD programme are upheld and as part of our quality control, we may carry out a CPD audit.  As part of this we may require you to send us your full CPD record including documentary evidence of your formal (verifiable) CPD to check that you have met our requirements.

For this reason you must keep your full CPD record for a minimum period of two years; that is a minimum of one year after the end of your CPD cycle. The documentary evidence that we may require includes all evidence that you have undertaken the CPD that you have claimed, including third-party information/evidence of aims and objectives; emails; letters; venue; providers’ details; certifications, etc.

Please do not submit any additional CPD records to us unless we ask you to do so.

IIC&M CPD policy

CPD is an integral part of each coach’s professional development; therefore at the IIC&M we take our responsibility to CPD very seriously.  Consequently, as part of the IIC&M’s CPD policy:

  • Applicants must attain their Accredited status before applying for Professional status and must hold this for a minimum period of three months before commencing their CPD year
  • All members of the IIC&M:
    • Are expected to organise their own CPD in accordance with these guidelines
    • Are required to maintain a full record of their CPD activity which includes written evidence from any provider, for example certificates of attendance etc.
    • Who are Accredited Coaches must submit their CPD, demonstrating their development activities over a minimum period of at least four months during their CPD cycle
    • Each coach is required to submit their CPD log, indicating the correct number of CPD hours for the level they are applying for;
      • If they wish to apply for their Professional status, or
      • Retain their Professional status
      • On-going CPD is required to retain your Professional status.  If a Professional coach does not complete their CPD log by their 12 month anniversary date, their Professional status will expire on that date.  As long as their membership is current, they will revert to being an Accredited coach.  Their Professional status can be renewed after submission and validation of their CPD.
Planning CPD Activity

Planning CPD Activity

CPD is most effective when it is planned.  When planning your CPD, reflect on your coaching practice and identify which areas of development would be best for you.  Identify what you would like to learn and plan your CPD activity to address those learning needs.  Remember that 60% of your CPD must relate to IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies and 30% must be formal CPD.

There are no maximum or minimum learning outcomes.  These should be specifically attuned to your development.  Planning a minimum of five learning objectives gives you something to aim for.  Remember to be flexible in your approach as you may need to change the plan over the CPD year to accommodate changing circumstances.

Effective CPD is all about making good decisions, not just what you want or need to learn, but how you will learn and apply it.  Consider, for example, your primary area of practice.  What are the areas that you need to develop and what new areas do you want to learn about or develop?  Consider:

  • How will this development support you in your role?
  • What target dates will you set for beginning and completing?
  • How long will you spend on your CPD in any given area?  Some areas of CPD may require more learning hours than others

In addition to undertaking CPD to maintain and develop your knowledge, skills and experience as a coach, there may be other skills which are important to your practice. This could be increasing your ability to use Spreadsheets or sales techniques. Whilst these are not directly related to the IIC&M’s Core Coaching Competencies, they are nonetheless CPD activities and can be recorded as such.

A simple structure for effective development planning is SPARE:

  • Self-Awareness – know yourself and what you need to learn or develop
  • Plan – identify how and when you can develop
  • Act – complete the development activity
  • Reflect – how has your learning improved your practice?
  • Evaluate – how effective has your CPD been over the year?

Unplanned CPD activity

Unplanned CPD activities are those that you encounter unexpectedly as part of your work.  This could be a critical incident, or it may arise as a result of something which has gone wrong, such as not receiving a psychometric report in time for a feedback session.  It could also be as a result of peer review, conversations with colleagues or from feedback received from clients.

An unplanned activity is anything which requires you to learn something new, or apply an aspect of your knowledge/experience in any given moment. This can be a very valuable experience and where appropriate, you can add this to your CPD record. Unplanned CPD is likely to be ‘informal’ unless under exceptional circumstances, such as running a seminar or workshop at extremely short notice.


CPD log

Your CPD Log is an important record of your professional development and should be kept safe at all times, even after you have submitted it to the IIC&M CPD team.  The fundamental aspects of your CPD record are as follows:

  • You can only commence your CPD after you have been an Accredited Coach for a minimum period of three months
  • The CPD year (cycle) runs for 12 months consecutively from the date you commence
  • Your CPD log must clearly show [different] development activities which take place over a minimum period of four months. It is advisable to plan your CPD throughout the CPD year
  • You must record evidence of your development activities relating to your CPD (see Appendix A1 for examples)
  • You must show CPD across at least five different types of activity (this excludes coaching sessions). This ensure that different types of learning, development and experience are acquired
  • You must clearly identify the date of the CPD activity and the hours claimed
  • Travel and breaks must not be included in any CPD activity hours
  • The maximum number of hours that may be claimed per day is 6 (which is the average for a full day programme)
  • You must keep all documentation relevant to your CPD as this may be required as evidence or as part of our quality control audit process
  • You must clearly show, wherever practicable, which IIC&M Core Coaching Competencies are relevant to the CPD activity (60% must be applicable to Core Coaching Competencies)
  • You must clearly show if the CPD activity is formal or informal (30% must be formal)
  • You must show what you have learned and how this will enhance and/or advance your ability as a Professional coach
  • You must also keep a separate record of coaching hours throughout your CPD year.  This is also useful when applying to upgrade your Accreditation status.  A minimum of 50 hours coaching is required in the CPD year for all levels
  • Where the CPD activity is in excess of the number of hours you require for your specific level, additional hours may not be carried forward as a credit for the following year’s CPD.  Every 12 months after your Professional status award, the CPD earnings reset to zero for the next CPD cycle
  • You must keep your CPD records for a minimum period of two years in case you are selected for sampling as part of our audit procedures
  • The IIC&M reserves the right to amend the points earnings and advise its members accordingly in due time.

Coaching Hours Log
(these are found in the Members Area, under ‘My IIC&M’)



Currently the IIC&M provides the outline of a number of templates, which are are all available under My IIC&M in the Members Area of the IIC&M web-site.

Coaching Hours Log

Submitting My CPD Log

Submitting my CPD log

Submitting your CPD log is simple – just click here or contact the CPD team.

Issue 3: June, 2014

Appendix A1
Your Frequently Asked CPD Questions Answered