ICF certification training programs

What is an ICF Credential and Do I Really Need It?

ICF (International Coach Federation) is a professional organization for life coaches. Many life coaches think of ICF as the “gold standard” in coach training. If ICF has accredited a training, it says the training covers the needed core-competencies a life coach should have.

For a life coach to become an ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC), they must earn 60 ICF-approved training hours, log 100 practice hours, pass a performance review demonstration, take an intensive online test, and get 10 hours of coaching from an ICF-accredited mentor. It is quite a bit to earn all of these things. However, ICF wants to make sure that if they accredit a life coach, that coach will have the right skills and training necessary to help others.

ICF also has 3 levels of accreditation – ACC, PCC, MCC. ACC is the one you earn first. Our Life Coach Training ACC Track is designed around preparing you for the ACC level accreditation. You can earn the required 60 hours during this training. To earn the full 60 hours, you will need to attend at least 48 live sessions (included with your enrollment) and successfully complete the training.

How to obtain your ICF credential

The ICF credentialing process can be quite confusing. To make it simpler, we have developed ICF-accredited training tracks that include ALL the components you need to earn your ICF credentials.

We have three ICF training tracks:

1. Our NLP-Integrated Life Coach Training (Standard Track) includes up to 60 ICF-approved training hours, performance reviews, and the opportunity to start logging many hours. However, you will still need to get your 10 hours of ICF Mentor coaching and study for your ICF Assessment online test.

2. Our NLP-Integrated Life Coach Training (ACC Track) gives you everything you’ll need to apply for your ACC. It includes everything in our Standard Track, plus your required ICF Mentor coaching, guaranteed 100 practice hours, ICF Assessment Prep, and coaching supervision during and after your training. You will still need to apply to ICF, submit a coaching demonstration to ICF, and take their Coach Knowledge Assessment. We will help you with all of this. The ICF review process will take 14 weeks to complete.

3. Our NLP-Integrated Master Coach Training (PCC Track) includes everything in the ACC Track and also our Master Coach Training, a fast-track path to the ACC and PCC credentials, unlimited ICF Mentoring, and unlimited reciprocal coaching hours. With this program you will still need to apply for your ICF credential but will not be submitting coaching demonstrations to ICF and will take only 4 weeks to get your credential.

The big questions is…Do I really need ICF accreditation?

Technically, Life Coaching is an unregulated field. This means that anyone can call themselves, and practice, as a life coach. Because of this, no accreditation is required to practice as a life coach.

With that being said, earning an ICF credential is definitely one way to feel more legitimate as a coach and to stand apart from the multitude of people who call themselves coaches. You can know that you obtained the training, completed all the coaching practice hours, passed the test, was supervised by an ICF mentor, and were officially awarded the coach credential. The credential is proof that you have put in the hard work.

Additionally, when Life Coaching does become regulated, ICF will most likely be the organization that will be in charge of that. Many other life coach accrediting organization already recognize trainings if they are ICF accredited (such as BCC). As well, many companies require their coaches to be ICF accredited or have taken an ICF-accredited training. In fact, it is very difficult to get awarded a coaching contract without an ICF credential.

In general, if you are going to the effort and expense of taking a coach training, you might as well make sure it is ICF approved for at least 60 coach specific training hours. Whether it is your goal now or not to obtain an ICF credential, this allows you to keep your options open for the future. You don’t know where your path will lead and so it is best to be prepared with the training and accreditation that will give you the most coaching opportunities.

Read this: Explanation of the ICF credentialing Process