​Cegos opens its ICF™-certified Coaching School

Cegos, a world leader in continuing professional development, has announced that it is opening a Coaching School in France, following an initial successful experience in Spain. This three-level course is certified by ICF (the International Coach Federation), the foremost independent international accreditation body in this field. Coaching has proven popular in companies, but is still suffering from lingering misconceptions and, sometimes, inadequate professional standards. Cegos is intent on righting that wrong.

Coaching and why its image is suffering

Public opinion of the coaching market is biased because the term has been tarnished in recent years by untrained, self-proclaimed ‘coaches’ and, more generally, by certain television shows which have stretched the ‘concept’ of coaching into a variety of unrelated fields.


France’s three professional coaching organisations – SFCoach (Société Française de Coaching), EMCC (European Mentoring & Coaching Council) France and ICF (International Coach Federation) France – are aware of the prevalent confusion and of the need to raise professional standards in this business. They accordingly released a joint statement at the end of 2012 to uphold, promote and organise coaching professionals. This initiative carries weight because these three organisations represent roughly 90% of the certified coaches in France. The goal is clear: to raise professional standards in the coaching market by providing a clear framework and to vouch for coaches’ professional skills by attesting that they have acquired a set of key theoretical and practical skills.

Raising professional coaching standards

The three certifying organisations on the French market are converging towards a shared vision of professional coaches’ job requirements, the skills they need to do their job, and the associated code of conduct.


ICF certifies coaches according to three seniority ‘grades’:

  • ACC (Associate Certified Coach) after 100 hours of practice
  • PCC (Professional Certified Coach) after 750 hours of practice
  • MCC (Master Certified Coach) after 2,500 hours of practice

As well as completing the hours of practice, coaches need to demonstrate that they have acquired the 11 ICF-defined key skills in order to secure professional coach certification.

Etienne Basse, who is coordinating the Cegos Coaching School in France, goes further:

“The big customers are asking for solid credentials and serious professional coaching skills. And they are right to do so. A coach’s professional skills need to be verified and attested by a trustworthy organisation.”

A recent worldwide survey by ICF shows that customers are likelier to commend and recommend coaches who have professional accreditation and/or are members of professional organisations.

This same study shows that 85% of the people who have been coached say they are satisfied with the experience, and that this figure is 93% among people who have been led by a certified coach.

Cegos opens its Coaching School with ACTP accreditation by ICF™

Changes are occurring faster than ever and the quest for excellence is gathering momentum. This is why people and teams increasingly need professional support to unleash their resources and thereby achieve their performance objectives.

That is what professional coaching does. It is defined as “an ongoing relationship between the coach and his customer, for a given period of time, based on the stated objectives.”

Professional coaches are not trainers, therapists or advisors.

They empower their customers to achieve measureable results in their professional and personal lives.

Coaching processes help customers to deepen their knowledge and improve their performance.

The ICF-accredited Cegos Coaching School will provide these professional experiences. The school opening in France will build on the success of the coaching school that Cegos opened in Spain at the beginning of 2013, which has already trained 132 professional coaches. It is aiming to train PCC-level coaches.

This course is intended for:

  • People who want to steer their professional careers towards coaching and thereby help the people they coach to grow in their jobs
  • Middle-level and senior managers who wish to learn about coaching techniques and the underlying philosophy with a view to blending them into their management style

A demanding three-level course

The training approach at the Cegos Coaching School is based on a three-level curriculum:

  • Level 1 – Professional coaching basics (3 days)
  • Level 2 – Professional coaching training: building, developing and using professional coaching techniques (4 modules, 3 days each)
  • Level 3 – Professional coaching training: consolidating professional coaching skills to secure ACTP[1] certification from ICF (3.5 days)

To take Level 2 and Level 3 courses, learners need to complete the previous level or an equivalent training course.

Level 3 includes written and oral exams, which learners are required to pass in order to earn their professional coaching degrees and accreditation. To obtain their individual ICF™ accreditation, they are moreover required to produce proof of the number of hours of hands-on coaching that they have provided.


Personal certification is valid for three years.

Etienne Basse adds:

“Raising professional coaching standards is essential for Cegos today. Companies are asking for it. The Coaching School is our way of building on the most demanding approach available today, ICF™’s solid and respected framework and code of conduct. Our trainers are therefore certified to PCC or higher professional standards. We will systematically focus on experimenting and hands-on experience. The process to learn the 11 key skills will involve working alone and in teams, real-life coaching with customers, and one-to-one mentoring.”


To maintain its uncompromising professional standards, the Coaching School will for example be teaming up with three professional coaches and speakers: Marie-France Fourrier, a member of ICF France’s Professionalisation Committee and certification correspondent for Greater Paris (MCC), Isabelle Serru, the President of ICF Paris Ile de France (PCC), and Paul-Hervé Vintrou, the former President of ICF Paris Ile France (MCC).

The first Level 1 session will take place in February 2015 and the final exam in February 2016.

See the Coaching School website for all other practical information.


Learners are welcome to register online on the Coaching School website or Cegos website.

Press contacts:

Mathieu Cadot / +33 1 55 00 96 64 / +33 6 76 05 96 17 / mcadot@cegos.fr

About the Cegos Group

Since its creation in 1926, the Cegos Group has developed into Europe’s leading player and one of the world’s top providers of professional and continuing training. Cegos currently employs 1,200 people and operates in over 30 countries worldwide through its subsidiaries and partner distributors. The Group generated sales of €158.5 million in 2013.

Its consultants’ expertise covers every area of skills management and development, and enables the Group to roll out large-scale training programmes in France and worldwide.

Backed by this deep knowledge of the corporate world, Cegos trains 220,000 people around the globe every year, in open or in-house courses. The Group has a comprehensive product range (cegos.fr) that extends from off-the-shelf courses to bespoke solutions. Its ‘multimodal’ approach draws on all of the currently-available learning formats. Alone or in partnership with universities and top educational facilities, the Group also offers 90 certificate or diploma courses.


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[1] An ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program) means that ICF outsources part of the certification process to Cegos, as a training organisation.

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