Credentialing Update: Enhancing Data Privacy Practices

As you may be aware, the European’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect on May 25, 2018, will have a major impact on European privacy law.

It is our policy to set the standard in the coaching world, which translates to us serving our Members, Credential-holders, accredited programs and the coaching profession to the best of our ability. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is committed to protecting the privacy of all personal data that we encounter.

GDPR provides an opportunity for us to enhance our data privacy practices to benefit not only coaches who live and work in the EU, but every member of the ICF Global community. To this end, we are updating our credentialing application process to ensure compliance with GDPR and alignment with best practices for promoting data security.

Beginning May 24, 2018, at 12 Noon (New York), coaches will be required to complete an attestation of coaching experience included in the ICF Credential application. This will replace the submission of a coaching log and is intended to help protect the privacy of coaching clients.

To ensure the integrity of this updated process, ICF will conduct periodic audits to verify applicants’ coaching experience. This means that coaches should continue to obtain and document clients’ consent to store their information, have a policy on how that information will be protected and maintained, and have a system in place for tracking relevant data. (ICF will continue to provide a downloadable coaching log template on our website.) If an audit reveals that a coach has provided inaccurate or fraudulent information regarding their coaching experience, they may be subject to denial and/or revocation of their ICF Credential and may be prohibited from reapplying for an ICF Credential for up to five (5) years.

Also beginning May 24initial and renewal credentialing applications will be amended to include additional fields asking applicants to consent to ICF collecting, storing and using the personal information you provide.

Finally, beginning this month, we are changing our data retention timeline for ICF Credential application materials. We will only retain your application materials for six (6) months after your application has been processed. At that time, all your application materials will be deleted from our systems.

You can learn more about our privacy, spam and data security policies by visiting and selecting the “Privacy and Spam Policy” tab. In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to communicate with ICF Members and Credential-holders about best practices for managing your own data and securing your clients’ personal information.

Thank you for being part of the ICF community and for trusting us to manage your personal information with transparency, honesty and care. If you have any questions about these changes and their impact on you, please contact us at [email protected].

Warm regards,
Carrie Abner
Assistant Director of Credentialing and Program Accreditation