Coaching Foundations | Coaching Certification Program CCP

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Columbia Coaching Certification Program

Columbia Coaching Certification Program

Department of Organization & Leadership

Coaching Foundations

The Columbia Approach to Executive and Organizational coaching is theoretically grounded in the Science of Human Performance and is based on what we call three coaching foundations of:

  1. guiding principles
  2. coaching competencies
  3. a three-phased coaching process (Jackson 1991 & Maltbia 2001)


The Columbia Coaching Foundations are the result of extensive applied and empirical research, grounded in the science of human performance initially conducted in 2006 and included a systematic review of competency frameworks and ethical codes from over 40 professional coaching associations, consortia, and networks. The foundations were updated in 2010 and again in 2018 to reflect either shifts in our understanding and/or new insights based on emerging research published in journals.


This multidisciplinary approach to coaching emphasizes integrating theory with practice drawing from psychology, neuroscience, organization development, business management, and leadership research. Click on any of the three elements in the graphic above to learn more about each.


Columbia’s Full Set of Coaching Foundations Include:

  • 4 Guiding Principles (with descriptions and 3 practices each)
  • 9 Core Coaching Competencies (organized into 3 competency clusters, including 3 competencies with definitions and 3 behavioral examples each)
  • 3-Phased Coaching (with 3 components per-phase [with definitions] and 3-coaching tasks for clients per component)

The curricula for the Coaching Center of Excellence (COE) open-enrollment and custom programing are informed by Columbia’s foundations.