Lexington, Kentucky, USA (May 20, 2021) — The International Coaching Federation (ICF) today released its updated “COVID-19 and the Coaching Industry” Study, revealing the coaching industry is recovering well from the impacts of the pandemic.
ICF’s second COVID-19 study shows the industry demonstrating resilience, embracing new technologies and fostering a positive outlook for the foreseeable future. Compared with ICF’s first COVID-19 snapshot study conducted in the middle of 2020, the latest data show a decrease in the percentage of coaches experiencing a negative impact on their business along with an increased percentage of coaches who say the pandemic had a positive impact on their practices.
Over the course of the pandemic, both coaching professionals and their clients adapted to the needs of the times, with more and more utilizing technology tools for coaching sessions compared with the largely in-person coaching interactions prior to the pandemic. In particular, coaches increased their use of audio-video platforms for coaching by 83 percent, while in-person sessions decreased by 82 percent, according to the new study.
The research also found that while the coaching industry still has challenges to address, coaches are feeling optimistic about the future. Top concerns included untrained individuals who call themselves coaches (23%) and concerns about a global recession (21%). Regardless, 70% of coaches were either somewhat or very confident that coaching would emerge stronger over the next six months, compared with 65% of coaches who said the same during the first snapshot survey.
“We remain dedicated to providing an updated picture of the obstacles and opportunities that face the global coaching community as the world continues to shift from the ‘new normal’ to the ‘next normal,’” said ICF CEO Magdalena Nowicka Mook. “As we continue to work toward a vision of ensuring coaching is an integral part of a thriving society, we are heartened to see increased confidence among coaches that the industry will emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Final Report for the second COVID-19 and the Coaching Industry Study is available as a free download from ICF’s website. The study was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) from January 18th to February 22, 2021 as a follow-up to a 2020 snapshot study of the same name. More than 10,400 coaches, as well as managers and leaders using coaching skills, completed the survey, representing 148countries and territories. The study was intended to assess the prevalence of effects experienced by the coaching industry; the impact of pandemic key indicators; changes coach practitioners have made to their businesses; perceptions about the future of the coaching industry, and more.
Both COVID-19 snapshot studies follow ICF’s record-breaking 2020 Global Coaching Study which served as the last pre-pandemic insight into the coaching industry.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organization leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Founded in 1995, its 46,000-plus members located in more than 150 countries and territories work toward common goals of enhancing awareness of coaching and upholding the integrity of the profession through lifelong learning and upholding the highest ethical standards. Through the work of its six unique family organizations, ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organizations, communities and the world through coaching.