Lessons from the Certifiers


Nina East: A Tribute in Two Parts

From Sali Taylor, IAC-CC, former Lead Certifier for the IAC:

It is a pleasure to be asked to honor Nina East’s enormous contribution to the IAC over the last five years! Nina has been one of the leaders in the coaching field practically since its inception. I knew Nina first as one of the stellar teachers at Coachville. Soon after that, Nina, Karen Van Cleve and I were in the first round to pass the IAC Part 2 exam and together we became certifiers for the recently created IAC.

I worked closely with Nina from 2004-2007 on the Certifying Committee and as Certifying Examiners. In addition to scoring candidates for certification, we met almost weekly to help refine the standards for certification scoring at the newly established IAC. At first, while we were using the 15 Proficiencies, we worked jointly with Coachville. Nina had worked closely with Thomas Leonard, Coachville founder, both on his R&D team and to help craft the study guides for the 15 Proficiencies. Nina knew this material forwards and backwards!

Besides bringing her great knowledge of the material to our Certifying team, Nina also provided a teacher’s style, a mentor’s mastery, a finely tuned ear and a wonderful ability to articulate the strengths and deficits of the coaching recordings she listened to. Scoring was always a labor intensive activity, but with Nina, things moved along pretty quickly. Yet, if there was ever any doubt or difference in scoring, she was always willing to re-listen to the recording to be absolutely sure we had given the candidate the benefit of a further review.

After our International team completed the Coaching Masteries®, Nina helped refine them and craft the scorecard, as we compared and re-scored the earlier candidates’ passing tapes using both the old Proficiency method and the Masteries prototype. That process took many, many months to complete, but Nina followed it every step of the way, committed to making sure we had the most comprehensive, workable, clear, accurate and equitable system to measure coaches’ performance.

If that labor of love wasn’t enough, Nina then willingly stepped into the Lead Certifier’s role, hosted calls to help present the new material to the IAC members and then helped craft the study guides for each of the nine Masteries.

She then generously shared her insider’s view in her monthly commentary on each Mastery, still available in back issues of the VOICE. Such largesse of knowledge, creativity, coaching mastery, mentoring skill, teamwork and generosity of time and spirit will be sorely missed. We wish Nina much joy and happiness on her next undertaking. Whomever she works with will be blessed, indeed!


From 2004-2007, Sali chaired the IAC Certification Team. As a Certifying Examiner, she advocated for and led an international group that developed the Coaching Masteries® for the IAC. Sali is a coach and artist in NYC. Her art was in the 2009 International Women Artists’ Biennale in S. Korea. www.RealSoulutions.com 


From Karen Van Cleve, IAC-CC, ACC, IAC Certifier since 2005:

The lifeblood of any volunteer organization is its volunteers, and the IAC is no exception. What does seem to make the IAC exceptional in this category is the quality of the volunteers. I am continually impressed with the caliber of the people involved in the IAC. And among this stellar group of volunteers, one stands out in my mind as an exemplary role model: Nina East, the outgoing Lead Certifier for the IAC.

I have had the blessing and good fortune to work with Nina since 2004, and to work under her leadership on the Certification team since 2006. She would never seek the limelight, but as she “retires” from the Lead Certifier role, I’d like to shine the light brightly on her accomplishments. Nina has been the heart and hands of so many important changes to the certification process and quality.

When Nina stepped into the Lead Certifier role, we were still “Navigating Via Curiosity” and “Recognizing Perfection” in our certifications using the Coachville Proficiencies. With the release of the IAC Coaching Masteries®, we had to figure out how the scoring with the Masteries would compare with the Proficiencies. As described in Sali's story, the team listened to a range of recordings using the Masteries and compared them to the Proficiency scores to ensure consistency and accurate use of the new model. During that effort, Nina, as always, elicited the wisdom of the team, kept clear communication with the IAC leadership, and willingly shared her time and talents to uphold the highest integrity of the IAC certification process.

The next big challenge for the team was to bring on new certifiers. Rather than follow the simplistic process that had previously been used, Nina led the effort to implement a rigorous new search and training process. Three certifier trainees went through countless hours of preparation to qualify to serve on the team.

Last year a new challenge was presented – licensees! Nina became the interface for questions about the Masteries, including definition, interpretation and clarification. As with everything else, Nina brought her exceptional communication and analytical skills to make that new process a success.

The philosophy of the IAC Masteries is to continually reflect the highest and best representation of coaching skills. Nina made that philosophy come alive over the course of several weeks by reviewing all of the proposed feedback from certifications, certifiers and licensees. Nina single-handedly compiled and incorporated these refinements, then worked with the team and ultimately the Board of Governors to officially update the Masteries. This is the kind of dedication that helps the IAC’s certification process to be so relevant and rigorous.

Anyone who volunteers their money and time is a special person. Someone who steps up to serve in the way that Nina has served the IAC, especially as the Lead Certifier for the last three years, deserves a hearty “GREAT JOB!” and “THANK YOU!” I know I’m not alone in my awe and gratitude for Nina’s efforts. If you feel so compelled, please pass your appreciation on to Nina by commenting on the IAC blog!

Karen Van Cleve, IAC-CC, ACC, has been an IAC Certifier since 2005. She is the President and Owner of Live Well Coaching and is also a Results Coach for the Robbins Research Company. She speaks on a variety of coaching topics, her favorite of which is “Do It Yourself Brain Surgery™.” Karen provides personal coaching for a wide range of clients. Her website is www.KarenVanCleve.com



Please send your questions on the IAC Coaching Masteries® and the certification process to certification@certifiedcoach.org.

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