Whether you have decided to apply to the ICF for a professional credential or not, consider collecting permission from your clients now to use in the future.

According to the ICF application for certification: (please note: the ICF recently announced a substantial overhaul to their website effective January 31, 2006. Therefore, this link may no longer have the correct target address. We apologize for the inconvenience.)

In keeping with the ICF Code of Ethics, you must obtain consent from your clients to release their names to ICF and for the Application Review Committee to contact them in the event it becomes necessary.

Include a release form with your discovery session packet and contract. File these forms somewhere safe and keep a list of from whom you haven’t heard. It’s easier to get the paper work signed at the beginning of the relationship than to have to track the person down when you are no longer working together.

Remember your client will only be asked to verify your working relationship, not to disclose the content of any conversations.

Here’s a sample of a form and cover letter you could use to get permission from your clients to verify your coaching hours for the ICF. This cover letter is designed to be emailed. Adjust it appropriately if you plan to mail the forms.

Use the “Save as” function of your internet browser. Choose Text file. Open the file using your word processor and adjust the blanks as necessary. Then save in what ever word processing program you use.


Sample cover letter requesting permission to report coaching hours

Dear [client name goes here]:

I am in the process of securing credentials from the International Coach Federation as a [name of credential]. This designation requires verifiable documentation of [ x ] paid coaching hours.

I would appreciate your giving me permission to list you as a previous coaching client. Let me be clear that I am asked to provide name and contact information only. The ICF holds the confidentiality of client information with the highest regard. No one will ever contact you from the organization for any other reason.

If you agree to be listed, the ICF MAY contact you to verify that we did work together – but nothing further will be asked or need be supplied.

If you are willing, just reply to this email, the whole body should remain in tact.

Fill in your name and phone number or email address in the appropriate space and send it back to me. If you do this by email, you don’t have to worry about a signature. The headers in the returned mail to me will suffice.

Thank you for your time.


[ Coach’s name goes here ]

Permission to Be Identified as a Client and
Release of Coaching Hours

I hereby grant permission to [ Coach’s name goes here ] to identify me as a client or former client of [ his /her ] coaching practice and release the number of hours of coaching received. This information will be used solely for the purpose of coaching credentialing and re-credentialing for [ Coach’s name goes here ] by the International Coach Federation, www.coachfederation.org, and will not be shared with any other individuals or agencies.


Address (optional):

Phone or email address:

The signer recognizes and agrees that a copy of this form is acceptable and binding and will serve as an original in any instance.

The signer recognizes and agrees that an email of this form with senders header in tact is acceptable and binding and will serve as an original in any instance.



Please return this form by email to:

[ Coach’s email address goes here ]

Or you may print it and mail it by USPS to the address below:

[ Coach’s name and full contact info goes here
including street address and phone number. ]



Kerch McConlogue

About the author:

Provided by Kerch McConlogue, a Baltimore-based coach in private practice who works with adults who have too many ideas. You can find her on the web at www.mapthefuture.com. Contact her by email using kerch@mapthefuture.com or by phone at (410)233-3274.