From the President

by Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC

The IAC: Expanding the Path with Integrity…Continued!
by Bob Tschannen-Moran

In last month’s President’s message, The IAC: Expanding the Path with Integrity, I reprinted an email exchange with a concerned member regarding a new IAC Licensee whose website states that people can “become a certified professional life coach in just 16 hours.” The concerned member called that a “ridiculous promise” that should disqualify the program from holding an IAC License.

I replied that the IAC does not monitor or assess the quality of our Licensees’ programs. We simply grant training programs the right to use the nine IAC Coaching Masteries® in whatever way they see fit. Although the IAC is introducing mechanisms of support and accountability around how to use the Coaching Masteries® in coach training, the IAC is not seeking to regulate or certify coach training programs. That is beyond the scope of our Licensee program.

Had I stopped there in my reply, I would not have gotten myself in trouble with our new Licensee. Instead, I voiced my personal opinion that 16 hours of coach training was “more of an introduction to coaching than a complete course” and that graduates of their program, without any other coach-specific training, might find it difficult to become IAC Certified Coaches.

Publishing that opinion as President of the IAC was a mistake. It did not reflect accurately the orientation or understanding of the IAC when it comes to Expanding the Path to Coaching Mastery, our new slogan. The integrity of the IAC Certified Coach credential lies in the quality of our written and oral review processes, not in how people prepare themselves to pass those reviews.

Almost immediately after publication of my President’s message, I received a strong expression of concern from the Licensee in question. They correctly noted that my comments evaluated and called into question both the scope and effectiveness of their training program, even though I said that the IAC did not qualify or take such positions regarding Licensees.

Although the Licensee in question was not named in my President’s message, I have apologized to them for that oversight and I appreciate their understanding. I also appreciate their efforts to explain their approach to coach training and certification to me and to others. Here are excerpts of a recent letter I received from their President, Barbara Wainwright:

Dear Bob,

Although you did not mention our organization by name in your October President’s Message in the IAC VOICE, it was immediately obvious that you were describing Fowler Wainwright International Institute of Professional Coaching (FWI) and our professional coach training course. It was also apparent that you, and perhaps other members of the IAC, have much to learn about the background and approach that enables us to train and certify a professional coach in only 16 hours.

A little over three decades ago, my partner, Berry Fowler, developed a training program that, in only a handful of hours, enabled him to teach teachers who had never taught reading or math before, to use his educational tutoring system to help students who were struggling in school, to increase their reading or math scores by over one grade level in only 36 hours of instruction. Berry’s systematic approach to tutoring became the foundation for Sylvan Learning Centers, a company he founded in 1979. Although the Sylvan teaching system was initially criticized for its brevity and claims, today, with over 4 million successful students having benefited from the program, Berry Fowler is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts in educational systems development.

35 Years of Coaching Experience
Before Berry created Sylvan Learning Centers, he was coaching. First, as a classroom teacher, he coached his underachieving students to reach their full potential. Next, Berry coached his Sylvan franchisees to set goals, develop plans and identify the action steps necessary to achieve their success. To date, Berry has coached over 1500 clients by using a coaching system he developed and refined over the past 35 years.

FWI delivers much more than an “introduction to coaching”
FWI students learn a complete coaching system. It is the same, proven, coaching system which Berry created that Fowler Wainwright International’s students learn during our 16-hour Certified Professional Coach Course. FWI’s unique and effective training program, also developed by Berry Fowler, allows our students to master all of the tools and techniques of our professional coaching system during our live online course.

To protect the quality and integrity of our certification program, our course is assessment based. Simply showing up for the allotted hours does not guarantee a student’s certification. Each FWI student is evaluated on his or her participation in class, performance in their practical coaching exercises and the successful completion of their homework assignments. In addition, to qualify for certification each student must pass a written essay examination at the end of the course demonstrating their complete mastery of our coaching system.

FWI’s proven coaching system is successfully used by over 2200 professional coaches, coaching in over 50 different specialties all over the world, and it changes thousands of lives for the better every single day. And, isn’t that what successful coaching is all about?

FWI demonstrates its commitment to the IAC
One of the main reasons Fowler Wainwright International now includes a one-year membership in the IAC to every new student we enroll, is because we believe in providing continuing value to our graduates. IAC accreditation appears to be an excellent natural step for all of our students in advancing their professional knowledge and achieving additional credentials.

Berry and I are excited about our new relationship with the IAC. We have a genuine desire to support its goals and objectives. We hope to contribute real value to the IAC and all of its members over the coming years.

As with all Licensees, FWI does not certify coaches for the IAC. FWI certifies its own trainees as to their competence in the FWI coaching system. IAC Coach Certification represents a totally separate process, based upon the nine IAC Coaching Masteries®, and we look forward to receiving applications from FWI graduates as well as graduates and mentees from other Licensees.

With the advent of the new IAC Practitioner designation, we see many more ways for the IAC to expand the path to coaching mastery with integrity. By applying for recognition from an independent and global certifying body like the IAC, coaches stand to elevate their game to the highest level of coaching mastery. That being our hope and intent, we invite one and all to apply.

May you be filled with goodness, peace and joy,


Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC, is CEO & Co-Founder of the Center for School Transformation and President of LifeTrek Coaching International. Bob has co-authored a new book, titled Evocative Coaching, which incorporates the IAC Coaching Masteries® in a coaching model designed for leaders and coaches in K-12 schools.

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