WABC Business Coaching Competencies

The WABC Business Coaching Competencies is the first-ever list of global, association-sponsored evidence-based professional competencies for business coaches. This list covers an impressive breadth and depth of professional practice and is applied (at the appropriate level) to all WABC credentials (RCC, CBC, CMBC® and ChBC®) and to all WABC Accredited® marks (program accreditation available at four levels).

WABC Business Coaching Competencies

(Abbreviated Version)


Structure of the competencies

To ensure clarity and to permit standard and fair evaluation, the competencies are arranged in a hierarchical structure—areas (3), categories (15), competencies (37) and competencies’ indicators (249). This approach lends both structure and flexibility to the assessment process. 

WABC’s competencies cover an impressive breadth and depth of practice expected of a proficient master coach with at least five years of experience. Newer business coaches are not expected to demonstrate every competency. Rather, the competencies provide a framework against which individuals can map their training and experience. In this way, individual coaches can use the competencies to gauge their progress toward master-level proficiency.

Summary of the competencies

  • Self-Management–Knowing Oneself and Self-Mastery
    • Includes 3 categories
    • Includes 10 competencies
    • Includes 59 competencies’ indicators
  • Core Coaching Skill-base
    • Includes 5 categories
    • Includes 14 competencies
    • Includes 97 competencies’ indicators
  • Business and Leadership Coaching Capabilities
    • Includes 7 categories
    • Includes 11 competencies
    • Includes 93 competencies’ indicators


Since 1997, WABC has been committed to defining and leading business coaching excellence.

In partnership with UK-based Professional Development Foundation, a leader in research and education in the professions, we spent years on in-depth research, literature reviews and consultations with some of the world’s top business coaches and their clients. One result of that immense effort was the detailed list of evidence-based professional competencies based on the real-world tasks of master coaches in small and large businesses, governments, institutions, nonprofits– any organizations where business coaches practice. To maintain its relevance as an accurate description of our profession, the competencies will continue to evolve, so we welcome your comments and advice.

This revised edition reflects:

  • Inclusive terminology through the use of non-binary gender pronouns
  • Small adjustments to the structure of the Business and Leadership Coaching Capabilities area, specifically categories 4, 5 and 7

Despite these revisions, the WABC Business Coaching Competencies standards have not changed.