Here you can find answers to the most common questions about ICF certification
WHO OR WHAT IS THE ICF?
ICF stands for International Coach Federation and is the largest international professional association for professional coaches. Today, the association has over 32,000 members in more than 100 countries. More than 20,000 coaches have already been certified. (Sept. 2017)
Since its founding in 1995, ICF has strived for developing a high quality, constantly evolving coaching practice worldwide. ICF developed signs of "good coaching", which are observable independently of coaching approach on a partnership, leading to more development and better managed coaching process (see the coach's core competencies). All members must know and obey the Ethical Guidelines. In addition, ICF connects local and global coaches, and provides coaching-specific research results as well.
To ensure the quality, comparability and development of coaching (as a profession), ICF established a three-level certification of coaches and accreditation of coaching schools. Basis for this are the core competencies, ethical guidelines, coaching-specific education (basic and advanced) as well as the work with customers.
You can find further information on the ICF homepage at www.coachfederation.org
SHOULD I REALLY BE CERTIFIED?
If this this question comes up for you, maybe not!
It is still a personal decision if you would like to be certified.
If you see it as a good opportunity to reconsider your work and your skills as a coach, to raise yourself to international standards, to invest in your profession on the one hand, AND to have recognized certain strategic advantages for yourself on the other hand, you probably do not ask this question ...
Over the past few years, we have seen a development process that we can summarize with the professionalization of coaching: intentions, efforts, measures to make coaching more comprehensible, comparable - and better. In this context, there is an increasing tendency to be observed in revaluation of being certified.
Certification is still not a requirement for anyone to call themselves coach, or offer coaching services. Whether this would ever be the case, we have no information...
WHICH CERTIFICATION LEVELS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ICF?
There are three certification levels at ICF, differentiated by coaching experience and training: the one who can coach professionally (ACC), who conducts trusting, flexible and useful coaching conversations with customers (PCC), and finally who lets the connection and progress emerge from the unrepeatable moment together with the customer (MCC).
The steps are built on each other. Please find detailed overview here:
ACC (Associate Certified Coach) - ACSTH Path
60 hours of coaching-specific training, 10 hours of mentoring with coach, 100 hours of proven coaching experience (according to the coaching log), submission of a coaching audio recording incl. transcript and passing the Coach Knowledge Test CKA
Link to the latest information from ICF (please click on ACSTH Path)
PCC (Professional Certified Coach) - ACTP Path
125 hours of coaching-specific training, 500 hours of proven coaching experience (according to the coaching log) and passing the Coach Knowledge Test CKA
MCC (Master Certified Coach)
200 hours coaching-specific training, 10 hours mentoring with coach, 2500 hours of proven coaching experience, performance appraisal
The levels ACC and PCC can be reached in three different ways. SolutionSurfers graduates benefit from the accreditation of the coaching school and can follow the more personal path:
ACSTH at ACC level
ACTP at PCC level
I HAVE MADE THE TRAINING OF SOLUTION SURFERS - HOW CAN I CERTIFY MYSELF AT ICF
With the "Coaching PURE" certificate from SolutionSurfers you can get certified on the first level ACC via the ACSTH Path of ICF. While submission, you will need additionally:
100 proven coaching hours experience as a coach. Of these, at least 75% must be paid hours, with at least 8 different clients. Only those hours are recognized, which have taken place after the beginning of the PUR. At least 25 hours must have taken place during the last 18 months prior to the application.
3 mentor-coaching hours with a coach from SolutionSurfers or another ICF coach can be recognized by the ICF (at least PCC certified)
One coaching audio recording incl. transcript (as requirement)
Passing the Coach Knowledge Test (CKA) with at least 70% (sample questions)
For signing up to the ACC (ACSTH) route, you can directly approach the ICF.
HOW CAN I REACH PCC CERTIFICATION?
With all three training courses offered by SolutionSurfers: PUR, PLUS and PRO, you can be certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) at the ICF following the simplest route (ACTP). While submission, you will need additionally:
500 coaching hours experience as a coach. At least 450 hours of these must be paid, with at least 25 different clients. Only those hours will be recognized that have taken place after beginning of the PUR. At least 50 hours must have taken place during the last 18 months prior to the application.
Passing the Coach Knowledge Test (CKA) with at least 70%. (You can find sample questions here.)
For signing up to the PCC (ACTP) route, you can directly approach the ICF.
I AM ALREADY ACC (OR PCC). HOW DO I RENEW MY CERTIFICATION AT ICF?
ICF aims to maintain the high standards of professional trainers worldwide, therefore requires ICF Certification to be renewed every three years.
HOW WILL I NEED TO PROOF MY COACHING HOURS?
ICF requires a simple list with the following information:
- Name of the customer / coachee,
- Contact information (e-mail / phone),
- Beginning / end of coaching (period)
- Paid hours
- Unpaid hours
In terms of data protection, customers should firstly ask whether they can be mentioned by name on this list which will be forwarded later to the ICF with all contact details. If this is not the case, simply enter the initials/monogram and no contact details (examples can be found in the PDF "Instructions for ICF Client Coaching Log). However, the ICF must be able to contact at least some of your coachees (random sampling).
I NEED MENTOR COACHING HOURS. WHERE CAN I FIND A MENTORCOACH?
The mentor coaching hours for an ICF certification consist of coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative, and conversational process designed to enhance the coaching skills of the coach in accordance with ICF core competencies.
Please contact us to find a mentor coach in your area.
WHAT ARE THE COACHING CORE COMPETENCIES OF ICF?
The 11 coaching core competences have been developed by ICF members (experienced coaches) from different countries, as result of a long work.
They are valid across various coaching models and try to capture what makes one a professional coach.
Here you can find the original core competencies in English.
CHANGES IN THE CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ACC ACSTH PATH FROM MID-JULY 2018 AND MCC ACTP PATH ON MARCH 2019
The ICF Global Board passed in spring 2018, new certification requirements for the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and the Master Certified Coach (MCC).
Now a coaching audio recording including transcript has to be submitted for the ACC registration via the ACSTH route.
Since 28th February 2019 (12 Noon, New York), coaches must have the PCC certification completed before they can enroll the registration process at ICF for MCC.
ICF Core Competencies 2021
The ICF Core Competencies were developed to support greater understanding about the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession as defined by ICF. These competencies and the ICF definition of coaching were used as the foundation for the development of the ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA). The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
The Core Competencies are grouped into four domains according to those that fit together logically based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group. The groupings and individual competencies are not weighted – they do not represent any kind of hierarchy and are all core and critical for any competent coach to demonstrate.
Overview SolutionSurfers, status September 2019
However, as this information may be changed from time to time, up-to-dateness, accuracy and completeness cannot be fully guaranteed. The information of the official ICF homepage is always superordinate: www.coachfederation.org