By Micki McMillan

Reflecting back on the past year as President for the Association of Coach Training Organizations, better known as ACTO, I realize that last minute decisions can turn into lifelong changes and one year is sufficient time to accomplish important goals.

My role as President of ACTO unfolded when Joan King had to leave her position as President because her cancer re-occurred. Joan, a woman who had an eminence about her, was once the department head of Neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine and later became an Master Certified Coach and well known author.

When she had to step down, I knew her shoes could not be filled, and I did not try to fill them with my own feet. Instead, I honored her and met the invitation with a reverent greeting.

Once I found myself in this position, I did a quick assessment of the organization and identified three goals to put ACTO in the best position for the 2014-2015 year. These goals were:

1.  Demonstrate value and relevance to our members

ACTO members are people who are in the business of teaching and educating others to become coaches. Like Blue Mesa Group, many ACTO members are accredited through ICF. It was an insightful experience as we shared best practices and ideas on coach training.

This past year we had a very active board who focused on membership and the reward in growth has been wonderful. This year our organization increased from 45 members to 76 members and ACTO is represented by a large percentage around the world who have been trained by one of the schools in our organization.

Our members consist of organizations like Coach U and CTI; there are hundreds of ACTO representatives in the world of coaching and that is a good thing.

2.  Connect with key stakeholders and build strategic alliances

The board conducted a key stakeholder analysis to decide who to have strategic alliances with and we focused on developing these relationships.

We recognized ICF as one of these organizations and I’m happy to announce we are partnering with ICF and moving forward with the ICF Accreditation Council. This work is in the early stages, but ACTO is playing an active part in helping ICF to shape this Council for future program accreditation. This will allow for a more independent review for the accreditation process for schools and programs.

3.  Continue the pursuit of excellence in teaching the ICF core competencies

Our entire focus for the year was to emphasize the ICF core competencies, and helping members to elevate their ability to teach these well. ACTO offered monthly forum calls for our members. Each month we offered a deeper dive into the Competencies.

ICF has changed how they assess coaches through the PCC Markers and what that tells me is the whole world of coaching is changing and becoming more mature. It’s paramount for coaches and teachers to be completely on top of that and ACTO needs to act as a thought leader as it relates to excellence and best practices within the coaching profession.

Moving the Mark

Fundamentally, I’m very proud of what the board has accomplished this past year. I think we really moved the mark in demonstrating value to our members.

There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm at this year’s ACTO conference in Orlando. This enthusiasm showed up in the engagement of various speakers and the anecdotal feedback from participants was very strong. We look forward to seeing all those who have committed to attending next year’s conference.

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to welcome Dr. Marcia Reynolds as the incoming President of ACTO. She is the past ICF Global President and is completely equipped to take these new initiatives and continue to move the mark for this organization.

I’ll continue to be involved in ACTO as Chair for the Nominating Committee of 2018-2020. I look forward to ACTOs continued growth. To learn more about ACTO, or to become a member, visit our website at