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HomeMembership Categories FAQ
Please Note: ICF and SFBAC are related but separate membership organizations.
You do not become an ICF member by joining SFBAC or vice versa. 
In early 2015, our parent organization, the International Coach Federation (ICF) made changes to membership policies which affected ICF Chapter membership policies. SFBAC is a Charter Chapter of the ICF so as a result of these changes, our membership categories have also changed. Here's a summation of FAQs about the change:



Q: What is San Francisco Bay Area Coaches (SFBAC)?

We are a Charter Chapter of the globally recognized International Coach Federation (ICF), the coaching industry’s largest community of professionally trained coaches.

  • SFBAC is the premier professional organization for coaches and coaching in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • We welcome both coaches who are members of ICF and coaches who are not members of ICF.

  • Membership in SFBAC is separate from membership in ICF.

Q: What is the relationship between SFBAC and ICF?
As a Charter Chapter of ICF we accept ICF requirements for maintaining our Charter Chapter status.

ICF has new requirements for membership which affect those who belong to SFBAC.

  • SFBAC coaches who are ICF global members will be called Members.
  • SFBAC coaches who are not ICF global members will be called Affiliates.

Why: ICF believes this change is necessary to advance coaching as a unified profession, always growing in credibility.

SFBAC Position:

  • People who do not wish to pursue ICF global membership have always been welcome and will continue to be welcome as an integral part of the SFBAC community. Those who are not ICF global members, may join as SFBAC chapter Affiliates.

  • We encourage ICF global membership but will not require ICF global membership because we understand that this is a personal choice.

  • SFBAC chapter Members and SFBAC chapter Affiliates receive the same SFBAC chapter benefits with two exceptions (exceptions mandated by ICF):

    • Only chapter Members may vote in annual elections

    • Only chapter Members may hold elected leadership positions on our chapter’s board of directors (Executive positions of President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer).

SFBAC believes ICF global membership has important benefits which include:

  • Integrity provided by a clear Code of Ethics which ICF global members are committed to uphold

  • Credibility that comes with being a member in the the world’s most widely recognized organization of professionally trained coaches

  • Educational and professional development opportunities through ICF global

  • Access to the latest research that supports the efficacy of coaching as a means for personal and professional growth

  • Networking and leadership opportunities within an international community

For those who are affected by the change initiated by ICF: Please know SFBAC values Members and Affiliates alike. Because we believe in the benefits of ICF, we intend to support SFBAC chapter Affiliates if they choose to pursue ICF membership--see the next column for ICF information and links.


This policy change will help advance the reach of professional coaching worldwide by further strengthening ICF’s already-vibrant global community, and will align the membership requirements of local chapters with ICF global’s membership requirements.

Q: When does this change take effect?

The SFBAC chapter has set up a one-year transition period that will begin on January 1, 2015. If you establish a new SFBAC membership or renew an existing membership on or after January 1, 2015, you will be subject to the new membership requirements.


Q: Who can be an SFBAC Member?

A: You are eligible to be an SFBAC Member ($75 per year) if you are a current member of ICF global.


Q: Who can be a SFBAC Affiliate?

A: You are eligible to be a SFBAC Affiliate ($100 per year) if you are an experienced coach, coach-in-training, or new to coaching and you want to be part of a thriving local coaching community, but you are not a current member of ICF global.



For more information about the differences between SFBAC Members and SFBAC Affiliates, see the member benefits page.


Member Benefits

Q: Why is ICF global requiring Chapter Members to be current ICF Global members?

This policy change will help advance the reach of professional coaching worldwide by further strengthening ICF’s already-vibrant global community, and will align the membership requirements of local chapters with ICF global’s membership requirements.

Q: What’s required to join ICF global?

Please visit the ICF website to see the latest information on ICF global membership. 

Q: Why should I consider becoming a member of ICF global?

There are many benefits associated with ICF global membership. Aside from being part of a world-class global organization that has set the stage for the future of coaching, established industry-recognized core competencies, and set the bar for ethical behavior, other benefits include:

  • Eligible for local chapter membership

  • Availability of ICF credentialing (ACC, PCC, or MCC)

  • Use of ICF logo

  • Discounts to global conferences and events

  • Career Center

  • Coach Referral Service

  • Coaching research

  • Coaching World e-magazine

  • Access to professional insurance and other resources

Additional information is available on ICF’s website.


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