How to Get ICF Coaching Certification

Your training with Coach Training EDU will prepare you for certification with the International Coach Federation (because all of their training programs are accredited with the ICF). The level of ICF certification and the route to certification that you can take will vary based on which training program(s) you complete.

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About the ICF

ICF is shorthand for the International Coach Federation. The ICF is currently the leading governing body of life coaching, and they set the standards of certification in the life coaching field. The ICF does NOT actually offer any of its own training programs, but it approves other life coach training programs and certifies graduates of those training programs. It is a nonprofit. It has chapters globally. And it holds conferences. (Our founder John Andrew Williams was a speaker at the first annual ICF Middle East conference held in Dubai.)

The ICF has three different levels of certification, which vary based on the number of hours of training you have received, number of hours you have coached, and your skill level reached. These levels of certification are:

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC)

No matter which level of certification you are interested in pursuing, the ICF requires the same 5 requirements (shown below).

ACC PCC MCC
Training Hours Needed 60 135 220
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

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.

How to Become Certified through 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.

1.0 ALC Training Program (Plus Group Mentor Coaching)

If you complete the 1.0 Academic Life Coach Training Program, you are on the path towards your Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential through the ACSTH path.

  • Training Hours. The 1.0 ALC 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 1.0 ALC 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, 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. 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 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.

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

The 1.0 ALC Training Program, 2.0 Coach Training Program, and group mentor coaching, constitutes Coach Training EDU’s 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 the ALC 1.0 Training Program 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.