Christmas Greetings From UK ICF
With Christmas around the corner I think it’s time to review the year and to let you know more about some of the achievements and projects we’ve been working on.
My term as President comes to an end this year and Sarah Gornall will take over from January 2018. Sarah has served on the board for 4 years and brings her experience and passion to the exciting plans she has for the chapter for the next 2 years. Many of you will know Sarah as she has been the driving force behind the excellent PD offering for the past 4 years. I know you will all join me in welcoming her as President and wishing her every success.
Celebrating our progress
The Board team set out this year:
- To build the membership by attracting new members and retaining existing members
- To promote professional coaching by supporting coaches to develop the competencies and become credentialed
- To offer excellent opportunities for professional development and networking
- To build awareness of coaching and the ICF in the UK
- To develop a community of coaches to provide professional connections and benchmarking opportunities, and to learn from one another.
We are delighted with the membership growth of over 25% from 1327 in December 2015 to 1678 in December 2017. Even more exciting is the increase in members who have achieved credentials. We now have 1069 ICF coaches who hold credentials, a growth of almost 12% over the past 2 years, with 41 MCC’s.
Developing a Community of Coaches
Building connection with our members through Local Coaching Groups and Special Interest Groups
As our UK ICF membership has grown, so has the challenge to meet with all our members and connect with their needs for community and networking. We recognised that we needed to find some way of offering that connection and the energy that is generated when coaches get together.
The idea of Local Groups is not new to our chapter and we have had a handful of very successful groups running for many years. However, we recognised that to meet the needs of over 1600 members we needed to increase the number of ICF branded Local Groups. To achieve this we planned to support willing members to connect with coaches and work together to explore ideas to support one another.
This year we introduced New Member Webinars so that we might have the opportunity to meet everyone who joins the UK ICF. These meetings provide us with an opportunity to introduce all the benefits of membership including the professional development events, support for credentialing and local groups. This has provided the opportunity to link new members with groups close to them.
We developed a webinar for members who are interested in and motivated to explore running a group and advertise this on our website. This webinar offers an opportunity to share our vision for this project and to describe the process for setting up a group. It provides interested members with a wonderful opportunity to hear from experience group leaders who share their learning and tips for establishing and running a group.
This has strengthened our relationship with our existing group leaders and we have met regularly to learn from one another and to discuss the themes and thoughts that are emerging from our members. It also offers us (UK ICF Chapter Leaders) the opportunity to inform both the Group Leaders, and through them our members, about relevant news and projects. We are very proud to now have 27 active groups in the UK a growth of almost 150%.
We could not have achieved this without the involvement from our longstanding and current leaders. Their generosity and motivation to help others has been inspiring. This is a great example of how the different groups within the UK ICF can help and support each other in providing the development of professional coaching in the UK.
Raising awareness of the ICF
One of the key activities of the board is to seek out and develop opportunities to raise awareness of professional coaching, the quality of ICF coaches and the ICF in general.
This year we took advantage of the opportunity to exhibit at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition which took place in Manchester on the 8th & 9th November. With over 4,000 HR and L&D professionals in attendance, this was the biggest HR event in the UK this year.
We had over 160 people visit us to have conversations about membership, credentialing and building a coaching culture. We also had organisation leaders enquiring about how coaching might support them achieve their goals, academic organisations enquiring about ICF accreditation for their courses and excellent opportunities to connect with our members who discussed a variety of exciting projects.
Joy Harcup (President 2015) and Beverley Grant (Prism Award winner 2016) collaborated to deliver a session “Delivering a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders. Their presentation drew on the research conducted with HCI. The topic attracted a huge audience with every seat occupied and as many people again standing to listen. Thank you to Joy and Beverley for their contribution and for helping us to raise awareness of the ICF and professional coaching.
I would also like to thank all the members who offered their time to coach people who visited our stand. We were struck by the difference we experienced this year, as most of the people who came to speak to us either had a coach or had experience of being coached. Despite this we were able to connect 17 people with credentialed coaches.
Building the UK ICF Chapter
Two big projects have dominated our investment in infrastructure this year. We have invested time in developing our website and have introduced a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system which we see supporting us to meet the needs of our members more effectively in the future.
This year saw the next iteration of our website. With our very large membership distributed across the UK the website is a crucial medium to connect us and provide information which adds value to members. This year we have developed the knowledge and skill in our office to manage and develop the website. This has resulted in several improvements:
- The UK ICF prides itself on the Professional Development program we provide for members. This year we offered more than 60 opportunities to engage in different learning experiences. All of these have been advertised on our website and the significant enhancement has been the automation we have been able to build into the booking process. Having booked and paid on line, members receive their confirmation with details about how to join the webinar. At the end of the webinar an email is triggered to all attendees with a link to the feedback request. The attendee is invited to complete the feedback and enter the 2 CCEU passwords. These 2 passwords are given, one at the beginning of the webinar and one at the end. When the feedback and passwords are received, an email with the CCEU is triggered and sent back to the attendee. This process has been extended to cover all our events and has resulted in a 40% time saving for our back office. It has also results in fewer errors and greater satisfaction for our members.
- Website enhancements have included an online shopping cart which enables visitors to book online. This facility enables members to book multiple webinars in one go, offering more convenience for members and non-members. This facility has enabled us to sell recordings of past webinars via the shopping cart thereby extending the reach of the webinars.
- The Member area is more efficient allowing credentialed members access to keep their profile up to date. This offers all credentialed members visibility and the database is searchable under ‘find a coach’.
- There is a greater opportunity for advertising for Members which is more streamlined. In the form of a sliding banner ad we have no limit to the number of services we can advertise and it offers great impact for advertisers.
We are in the process of introducing the Sugar Customer Relationship Management System and pulling all our member data into this software. Our intention is use this software to deepen our knowledge of our members.
We see this software helping us with:
- Efficiency – replacing manual processes with reliable data led processes
- Collaboration – managing the member relationship more effectively by learning more about them individually
- Data – understanding and learning from the data in a way which informs our decision making. Being smart with our time and resources
- Improved Member Experience – members can be accurately segmented, needs easily identified and accurately tracked meaning we interact with them meaningfully at the right times.
May I take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge some of the people who have made this such a memorable year. I am very grateful to Sarah, Kaveh, Jane, Karen and Chris for the wonderful contribution they have made to our chapter this year. We have had a great year and the voluntary contribution you have offered has been significant in the progress we have made as a chapter.
Alison, Steve and the wonderful team in our office, thank you for your hard work and the consistent service you offer all of us.
I would like to thank Joy Harcup and Debbie Rynda for their ongoing support on the Governance Project which is being led by Jane Kidd. I would also like to thank our group of past presidents (the Wise Owls) for their advice and encouragement throughout.
Let’s not forget the great team of Local Group Leaders, old and new. What fun it has been working with you all to connect members across the UK. Thanks to your generosity and commitment we have been able to grow the number of groups from 12 – 27.
I would like to thank Sarah Urquart for her contribution to the board and specifically to the work she did on our PRISM award this year. Maria Katsarou did a brilliant job on the Robin Shohet event. Thank you Maria, and for your support this year. May I also thank Lisa Face for her contribution to our thinking about social media and the Local Group project. I am very grateful for the time you volunteered to support our chapter.
To all who have come forward to offer their knowledge and expertise in events and webinars, thank you. We are very proud of our PD events which receive consistent attendance and good feedback. Thank you to all the speakers who offer their time.
The conference in 2017 attracted a record number of members and wonderful feedback. Thank you to Sarah and Jane who led this project and to Alison Rhind-Tutt and her team for the valuable support CL Events provided.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas season. May 2018 bring you health, happiness and adventure.
UK ICF President
UK ICF Charter Chapter
UK ICF office: 01922 660088