ICF Certification

ICF Certification is an excellent step in further establishing yourself as a coach. Coach Training EDU offers three ICF accredited coach training programs (ACTPs), which makes getting your ICF credential a breeze.

Life-coaching-background-1

About the ICF

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing standards for life coaching. Founded in 1995, the ICF is the oldest and most established credentialing program for life coaching. It has over 20,000 members. There is probably an ICF chapter near you that meets monthly. And the Association hosts regional and international conferences.

The ICF is an association dedicated to life coaching but doesn’t actually offer any life coaching services or provide any life coach training. The primary function of the ICF is to establish standards for life coaching and credential individuals as certified life coaches. The ICF also approves and certifies life coach training programs to offer approved and certified life coach training.

3 Levels of Life Coach Certification

The ICF offers 3 levels of life coach certification to individuals. The first level is the Associate Certified Coach, also known as an ACC. The PCC, or Professional Certified Coach, is the second level of ICF certification. And the ever mighty MCC, which stands for Master Certified Coach, is the ICF’s highest level.

Each of these levels requires the same four requirements but differ in the number of training hours, coaching hours, and credentialed level of your mentor coach. The chart below attempts to make sense of this alphabet soup and different levels of being a certified life coach.

The ICF also has various paths that coaches can take towards certification; the portfolio path, the ACSTH path, or the ACTP path. The path that you use to gain certification varies based on the type of training program you complete.

ACC PCC MCC
Training Hours Needed 60 125 220
Coach-Client Overviews 3 6 6
Mentor Hours Needed 10 with ACC or higher 10 with PCC or MCC 10 with an MCC
Logged Life Coaching Hours 100 500 2500
Coach Knowledge Assessment Yes Yes Yes

How to Become a Certified Coach With the ICF

It can be a little overwhelming to look at the ICF’s various requirements and paths for certification. We want to make it simple for you. Below is a breakdown of the route and requirements for certification that you would take, based on which training program(s) you have completed with Coach Training EDU.

Any 1.0 Level Training Program (Plus Group Mentor Coaching)

If you complete the any of Coach Training EDU’s 1.0 level training programs, you are on the path towards your Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential through the ACSTH path.

  • Training Hours. All of Coach Training EDU’s 1.0 level training programs are officially 62.5 hours of training within an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). Alone, they do NOT make up a complete ACTP, but the hours do count towards certification with the ICF.
  • Coach-Client Overviews. As part of your 1.0 training, you will complete 4 coach-client overviews. This is enough to meet the requirements for the ACC credential with the ICF.
  • Mentor Hours. Your 4 coach-client overviews, completed as part of your training, count as 3.5 hours of mentor coaching. You will need an additional 6.5 hours in order to meet requirements for the ACC. Those can be completed in Coach Training EDU’s group mentor coaching option.
  • Logged Coaching Hours. Part of your training will require you to work with a practice client for 10 coaching hours. These hours are the start of your coaching log. Getting the additional 90 hours for your ACC will simply take time.
  • Coach Knowledge Assessment. Your training will prepare you to easily pass the ICF’s assessment.

2.0 Coach Training Program (Plus Group Mentor Coaching)

If you complete the 2.0 Coach Training Program, you are on the path towards your ACC (or PCC, depending on your previous training) credential through the ACSTH path.

  • Training Hours. The 2.0 Coach Training Program is officially 62.5 hours of training within an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). Alone, it is NOT a complete ACTP, but the hours do count towards certification with the ICF.
  • Coach-Client Overviews. As part of your 2.0 training, you will complete 4 coach-client overviews. This is enough to meet the requirements for the ACC credential with the ICF. If you are pursuing your PCC credential, the additional overviews can be completed within Coach Training EDU’s group mentor coaching.
  • Mentor Hours. Your 4 coach-client overviews, completed as part of your training, count as 3.5 hours of mentor coaching. You will need an additional 6.5 hours in order to meet requirements for the ACC or PCC, and those can be completed in Coach Training EDU’s group mentor coaching option.
  • Logged Coaching Hours. Part of your training will require you to work with a practice client for 10 coaching hours. These hours are the start of your coaching log or can be added to a log you already have. Getting the additional hours for either ACC or PCC certification will simply take time.
  • Coach Knowledge Assessment. Your training will prepare you to easily pass the ICF’s assessment.

Any 1.0 Level Training Program + 2.0 Coach Training Program (Plus Group Mentor Coaching)

Any of Coach Training EDU’s 1.0 level training programs, the 2.0 Coach Training Program, and group mentor coaching, constitute a full Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). By completing all three of these components, you will have enough training hours to achieve either your ACC or PCC through the ACTP path.

  • Training Hours. Upon the completion of the 1.0 and 2.0 levels courses, you will have achieved 125 hours of coach training. This is enough training hours for the ACC or PCC levels of certification with the ICF.
  • Coach-Client Overviews. As part of your 1.0 ALC training, you will complete 4 coach-client overviews, and as part of your 2.0 training, you will complete another 4. This is more than the 3 or 6 overviews necessary for either level (ACC or PCC) of ICF certification.
  • Mentor Hours. Your 8 coach-client overviews, completed as part of your training programs, count as 7 hours of mentor coaching. You will need an additional 3 hours in order to meet requirements for either the ACC or PCC, and those can be completed in Coach Training EDU’s group mentor coaching option.
  • Logged Coaching Hours. Both your 1.0 level training and the 2.0 Coach Training Program will require you to work with a practice client for 10 hours. These hours are the start of your coaching log. Getting the additional 80 hours for your ACC or  480 hours for your PCC will simply take time.
  • Coach Knowledge Assessment. Your training will prepare you to easily pass the ICF’s assessment.

Next Steps to Apply to the ICF

Once you have completed your coach training and additional mentor coaching, the next steps are logging your remaining coaching hours.

If you have completed all of the requirements for one of Coach Training EDU’s ACTPs (meaning you completed a 1.0 level program, the 2.0 Coach Training Program, and additional mentor coaching), you can easily apply for certification using the ACTP path.

If you have completed a single training program with Coach Training EDU (meaning you only completed a 1.0 level program or the 2.0 Coach Training Program), you can use the ACSTH path to apply for certification.

The timetable from clicking the apply button on the ICF to getting your credential has been about two weeks for our graduates who have taken the ACTP path and approximately one month for those going the ACSTH route. This can vary, and the ICF does tend to get backed up with applications, especially around the first of the year.

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