'The Big Boom' in Coaching

'The Big Boom' in Coaching

The industry experienced a massive boom world-wide across a range of sectors over the past few decades, being the second fastest growing sector in the world within past 10 years. The main reason that contributes to this rapid expansion is the fact that coaching is not regulated by any formal authority which means the bars are quite low for anyone to enter the market as there's no previous qualification, education or experience formally required. Also it's very easy to get qualified or only self-qualify to start. Currently, there's over 500 entities that certify coaches worldwide, an expanding market itself; it'd be insightful to analyse its quality standards. The only globally recognized professional coaching certification at this point is 'the ICF Credential' granted by International Coach Federation. 


As the sector is so broad and unregulated, there's no precise way to determine the number of coaches or the full extend of the industry. Finding accurate and consistent data about its global or regional growth has also proven difficult. Nonetheless, a recent report by PwC suggests that global coaching market value crossed $2,4 billion in 2019 expecting to grow annually by 6% as compared to $2 billion in 2016. The estimated global total revenue from coaching in 2015 was $2.4 billion representing a 19% increase over the 2011 estimate. In the US, the market value was $1.02 billion in 2016, compared to $707 million in 2011. Interesting data, right?


A search for 'Coaches' world-wide over LinkedIn as of April 2020, gives over 6,280,000+ results. A survey by ICF from 2009 estimated about 47,500 coaches worldwide which represents over 132 times (13,200%) growth in volume over the past decade. We also have to consider that this number is only a fraction of the full industry result as not all Coaches in practice are LinkedIn registered. The ICF also accounted for 21,000 professional coaches based in Europe in 2009 out of which 7,500 business coaches were based in the UK. The study failed to account for private coaches/ life coaches which suggest a far higher number of coaches in total at the time. The UK market currently hosts over 370,000 coaching professionals only registered with LinkedIn which represents 1,5 % out of 24.46 million full-time working population. (Results from Jan 2020 by 'Office for National Statistics') 


The rapid growth over the past few years determines the state in which coaching industry is found today. And it links to its challenges as well as the direction it'd have to proceed. There certainly is a need for regulation to take place requiring more credibility for coaches. The study from Harvard Business Review from 2009 already suggested that: ''The {...} industry will remain fragmented until a few partnerships build a brand, collect stellar people, weed out those who are not so good, and create a reputation for outstanding work.'' 

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