ICF credentialing

An Explanation of the ICF Credentialing Process

The ICF credentialing process can be a bit complicated to understand, so we are going to break it down for you. If at any point your brain just can’t take it anymore, give us a call and we’ll explain as simply as possible 🙂

Here we go… There are two main considerations in regards to your coach training and ICF credential – the ICF Credential Level and the ICF Application Path. We will cover each below:

The 3 ICF Credential Levels

  1. ACC (Associate Certified Coach)
  2. PCC (Professional Certified Coach)
  3. MCC (Master Certified Coach)

A person can obtain these credentials by meeting the requirements for each credential level. Here are the requirements:

Requirements:ACCPCCMCC
Training Hours60125200
Mentor Hours101010
Coach Practice Hours1005002500

Most people start working towards their ACC credential first, however, you can skip the ACC if you meet the requirements for the PCC. We’ll cover that later.


The ICF Application Paths

Once you have met these requirements, you would then choose a path to apply for your credential on the ICF website. The application path choices are ACTP, ACSTH, or Portfolio.

The path you choose to apply through is determined by the training program’s designation:

  • If the training program is an ACTP training, it will offer 125 ICF training hours which will include the 10 mentor hours. (This is the simplest option but usually the most expensive)
  • If the training program is an ACSTH training, it will offer at least 30 ICF training hours, and you will additionally need your 10 mentor hours. The training center may or may not offer these.
  • If the training program provides only CCE’s (Continuing Coach Education), you would choose the Portfolio path since it will take a variety of trainings to equal the full number of required training hours for your desired credential, such as 30 from one center and 30 from another center.

The application path you choose will determine what additional steps you need to take with your ICF application. Beyond the training hours, mentor hours, and coach practice hours, when you apply for your credential you will also need to jump through a few more hoops.

This table shows the additional steps you’ll take when you apply for your credential on the ICF website. For these purposes, I will only show the requirements for the ACC.

ICF Application Tasks:ACTP Path
(PCC Track)
ACSTH Path
(ACC Track)
Portfolio Path
(Standard Track)
Upload Certificate(s) with training hoursYesYesYes
Substantiate Training meets ICF standardsNoNoYes
Verify Mentor HoursNoYesYes
Attest to Coach Practice HoursYesYesYes
Submit Coaching Demo
Recording & Transcript
NoYesYes
Take Online CKA TestYesYesYes
Evaluation Time to Receive Credential4 Weeks14 Weeks14 Weeks
Application Price$300$500$600

Note: If you are enrolled in an ACTP training, it provides up to 125 coach training hours. This allows you to either apply for the ACC credential once you have completed at least 100 coaching practice hours or skip the ACC credential and apply directly for the PCC credential once you have 500 coach practice hours completed.


Which Training Track is Right for You?

We provide Life Coach Certification Tracks to easily earn your ACC and PCC credential, either through the ACTP path or the ACSTH path below. You will also earn up to four professional coaching certifications along the way. You can read more about that here.

ICF credential training tracks

Our most popular training is our ACTP PCC Track (blue) because it provides everything, including the practice hours, to obtain your ACC and PCC credentials. It also includes 4 certifications, including a Master Coach certification.This is the most efficient program if your goal is to earn your ACC and/or PCC credential. Plus, it includes unlimited Mentoring Clinics and Coaching Supervision.

Standard Track: Choose this track if you’re uninterested in an ICF credential at this time. Add on the ICF Mentor Coaching to apply for your ACC.

ACC Track: Choose this track to earn your ACC credential from ICF. (Apply for your credential using the ACSTH Path). Add on the Master Coach Training to apply for your PCC.

PCC Track: Choose this track to earn your ACC & PCC credentials in one complete training. (Apply for your credential using the ACTP Path – simplest and quickest!)

Confused?

No worries! Most people are super confused when it comes to the ICF credentialing process. In fact, we have a weekly live session just to assist our students with the process and make sure they are on the right track.

Schedule a call or Chat us using the chat icon below and we can answer all your questions!

Hope Bundrant
Visit Us