First, what is ICF? ICF (International Coaching 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 means the training covers the needed core-competencies a life coach should have.
The International Coaching Federation credential levels:
ACC, PCC, and MCC
How to obtain your credential:
The ICF credentialing process can be somewhat confusing. To make it simpler we have developed ICF coach certification tracks that include ALL the requirements you’ll need to apply for your ICF credentials.
We offer three International Coaching Federation approved training tracks:
1. Our NLP-Integrated Life Coach Certification Track (Level 1) provides:
- 60 coach credit hours
- Performance reviews
- 100 coach practice hours
- 10 hours of ACC level coach mentoring.
- It meets all the requirements to apply for your ACC credential via the ACSTH/Level 1 path.
2. Our Master Coach Certification Track (Level 2) provides:
- 125 coach credit hours
- Unlimited PCC Mentoring
- Unlimited practice hours
- Performance reviews.
- It meets the requirements to apply for your ACC and PCC credentials via the ACTP/Level 2 path.
3. Our Mental Health Coach Track (Level 2 + CEE’s) provides:
- Everything in the Master Track above
- Mental Health Coach Training
- 40 additional CCE’s for renewal and/or towards the MCC credential
Do I really need an ICF credential?
Technically, life coaching is an unregulated field. This means that anyone can call themselves, and practice as a life coach. No credentials are required to practice as a life coach.
However, earning a credential is definitely one way to feel more legitimate as a coach. You’ll stand apart from the multitude of people who call themselves coaches. There are many requirements to earn an International Coaching Federation credential. The ICF credential is proof that you have put in the hard work.
When and if Life Coaching becomes regulated, International Coaching Federation will be the organization monitoring it. Many other life coach accrediting organization already recognize ICF accredited trainings, such as the Education and Credentialing Board. Many companies require their coaches to be ICF credentialed. It is very difficult to obtain a corporate coaching position without an International Coaching Federation credential.
If you are going to put the effort and expense of taking a coach training make sure it is ICF approved for at least 60 coach specific training hours. Whether it is your goal to obtain an International Coaching Federation credential or not, 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.