Acreditation is the formal ICF recognition that the program complies with ICF's rules and regulations.
The training programs have two different levels of accreditation:
The distinction between these two levels is basead essentially on the number of training hours, mentorship hours and the number of live coaching sessions with documented feeback and certification exams.
The acreditation process is diferent wether the student has completed an Level 1 or an Level 2 training. For more information, please, visit ICF's website
What is a Coaching Certificate?
The certificate is the document that each student receives from the entity that delivers the ICF-accredited program, in our case, the Activision Coaching Institute. InsightOut is the representative company in Portugal and the other PALOP countries.
The certificate can be Level 1 or Level 2 and is awarded to the student if the criteria defined for the certification process are met, which are communicated at the beginning of the training program.
What is a Coaching Credential?
The credential is the ICF's recognition that a specific person meets the requirements for practicing the profession of Coach according to the ICF benchmark.
ICF has 3 credential levels:
ACC (Associated Certified Coach)
PCC (Professional Certified Coach)
MCC (Master Certified Coach).
What are the ICF's 3 credentials?
The ICF offers three credentials, which correspond to the amount of education and experience required to obtain them. The credentials are:
Associate Certified Coach (ACC) - Completed 60 hours of coach-specific training and 100 hours of client coaching experience.
Professional Certified Coach (PCC) - Completed 125 hours of specific coach training and 500 hours of client coaching experience
Master Certified Coach (MCC) - Completed 200 hours of specific coach training and 2,500 hours of client experience
What are the requirements for an ACC acreditation?
You must have a Level 1 certificate or 60 hours of specific training. Have 100 hours' experience (at least 75% paid with 8 different clients); take the CKA (Coach Knowledge Assessment) test on the ICF's international website and 10 hours of mentoring, 3 hours of which must be one-to-one.
What are the requirements for a PCC accreditation?
You must have a Level 2 certificate, more than 125 hours at 175 of specific training. Have 500 hours (minimum 500 paid hours and 25 different clients) of experience, take the CKA (Coach Knowledge Assessment) test on the ICF's international website and 10 hours of mentoring, 3 hours of which must be one-to-one.
If you apply for your Level 1 accreditation or portfolio, you will have to submit to the ICF a recording of 2 coaching sessions (min.30 minutes) with a transcript for the jury's evaluation.
What are the requirements for a MCC accreditation?
You must have Level 2 training, more than 200 hours of specific training. Have experience of 2,500 hours (minimum 2,250 paid hours and 35 different clients); take the CKA (Coach Knowledge Assessment) test on the ICF's international website if you haven't taken it before with the ACC or PCC credential, 10 hours of mentoring, including 3 hours on a one-to-one basis.
You must submit to the ICF a recording of 2 coaching sessions (min.30 minutes) with a transcript for the jury's assessment.
It is mandatory to have the PCC credential to apply for the MCC.
What are accreditated programs?
Level 1 certificates make it possible to apply for the ACC credential if the other requirements are met.
Level 1 programs must have a minimum of 30 face-to-face hours, the remaining hours can be through individual or group work, coaching practice and reading pedagogical materials.
Participants must have 5 live coaching observations, 3 of which with documented feedback.
Level 2 certificates allow you to apply for the PCC and MCC credentials if you meet the other requirements.
Level 2 programs must have a minimum of 125 face-to-face hours, the remaining hours can be through individual or group work, coaching practice and reading pedagogical materials. The program includes 10 hours of mentoring, at least 3 of which must be individual mentoring.
Students must have 6 live coaching observations, 4 of which with documented feedback.
Continuing Coach Education is complementary and advanced training, recognized by the ICF, which allows for the ongoing development of coaches.
CCE's are considered supplementary and continuing education for those who wish to acquire new learning, professional development and/or for those who are renewing their ICF Credential.
Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units are obtained after completing Continuing Coach Education. CCE units are awarded in two categories:
Core Competencies: Supplementary and ongoing training for coaches that relates directly to or expands on the ICF Core Competencies.
Resource Development: Education in competencies that contribute to a coach's professional development (e.g. personal development, coaching tools or assessments, business building or other material that falls outside the ICF Competencies).
Coaches have to present a minimum of 40 CCEs to renew their credentials:
Belonging to an organization that is committed to promoting quality and professionalism in coaching, both locally and internationally
Have the opportunity to build a network of contacts with coaching professionals who are guided by criteria of rigor, ethics and quality in the exercise of their activity
Access information (e.g. studies on coaching) and training (e.g. conferences, webinars)
Enjoy discounts for some events and ICF accreditation
What are the benefits of having an ICF credential?
Credibility in the development of the coaching activity. Having a credential is the best way to demonstrate knowledge, skills and commitment to high standards of professionalism and ethics.
Having a credential - especially an ICF Credential - is extremely important for today's coaching clients. The Global Consumer Awareness Study"22 found that 85% of coaching clients say it is important or very important that their coach has a certification or credential.
Obtaining an ICF Credential gives you instant credibility and greater visibility with potential clients.
What is the difference between being an ICF member and having a credential?
Being a member means in practical terms subscribing to the ICF's code of ethics and benchmarks.
Being accredited means that the ICF recognizes that the coach has completed rigorous training, has the requisite knowledge and experience and is guided by high standards of quality in the practice of coaching.
May I count the coaching hours done while in training for my credentiation process?
The hours carried out as part of the internship can be counted towards the accreditation process. The time spent in observed live coaching sessions (whether carried out as part of the training or in the working group) are exercises and not coaching processes and therefore should not be counted.
May I count the coaching hours conducted before doing the Level 2?
The hours taken can be counted if they are taken after starting a specific Level 1 coaching course.
The coaching sessions I conduct while I'm taking the Level 2 training may be counted for my credentiation program?
Yes, the hours of coaching processes carried out while attending the Level 1 or Level 2 program can be counted.
When should I start charging for my work as a coach?
This is a personal decision, the ICF does not comment on this.
Talk to your school and ask for a recommendation.
How should I announce myself to the market after completing the Level 1 program? And Level 2?
Coach with Level 1 or Level 2 certificate from [name of training organization], ICF accredited program
Note: Certificates are issued by the training providers. The ICF does not issue certificates, it awards credentials to coaches and accreditations to programs/courses.
Can I say I'm a coach after I finish the Level 1 program? Or the Level 2?
The word Coach cannot be appropriated.
Therefore, anyone can use the word Coach, what they can't do is say or induce third parties that they have a relationship with the ICF, when they don't (by relationship I mean being a member of the ICF, having an ICF credential or training accredited by the ICF).
As a coach, is it mandatory to be supervised?
The ICF advises coaches to do supervision but there is no mandatory requirement.
What is the difference between mentorship and supervision?
Mentoring is a coaching and feedback process based on collaboration, appreciation and dialog, through observing or listening to recordings of coaching sessions, with the aim of developing the coach's capabilities in line with the ICF Core Competencies.
Supervision is a collaborative learning practice to continuously develop the coach's skills through reflective dialog about successes and failures and access to new perspectives and approaches about situations, clients and oneself as a professional coach.