Given the widely varying qualifications, background and experience of coaches, how do potential purchasers of coaching recognise a good coach? During 2004 I and around 30 other experienced coaches were interviewed by Ginny Kidd as part of her quest to understand excellence in executive coaching. Her action inquiry process led her to a scaled competency model (the table below shows a summary of the six competencies she developed). In the full model, each competency has four levels and within each level are detailed descriptions of the behaviours that the coach exhibits.
Generally I don't like competency frameworks - they can tend to over-emphasise conformity and sameness and militate against novelty and indeed excellence (more on this) - but this one I do like. And, as well as its role in assessing coach competence, this framework can also be used developmentally to support the journey to becoming an excellent coach. Copies of the paper "Action Inquiry into Coaching" which outlines the findings are available from Ginny at firstname.lastname@example.org