The International Coach Federation offers the only globally recognised independent credentialing (accreditation) programme, which has existed for more than a decade. Currently there are almost 7,000 credentialed coaches world wide. There is growing research evidence that clients who want coaching services prefer to hire coaches who have coaching qualifications.
Currently there are three ICF Credentials. Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC). Each credential level has a minimum requirement of training hours, of coaching experience and of mentor coaching.
As the coaching profession in Ireland is at a relatively young stage having an ICF Credential will:
– Enhance your credibility as a coach
– Demonstrate that you have achieved an internationally recognized professional standard
– Reinforce the integrity of the coaching profession nationally and internationally
Overview of ICF Credentialing Process:
Getting an ICF credential demonstrates that you have made a commitment to your professional development. It is an internationally recognised status. To keep your credential you will need to keep up to date with your knowledge and practise of coaching.
The ICF credentials help to protect and serve consumers of coaching services. This is done by measuring the competence of coaches, testing ethics and encouraging continuous development.
New membership requirements mean all ICF members must have at least 60 hours of coach specific training. In addition to this, depending on the route taken to get a credential, the coach must also have worked with a mentor coach, have extensive documented client experience, provide references and pass an exam.
The ICF offers three credentials: ACC – Associate Certified Coach. Minimum of 100 hours coaching experience. PCC – Professional Certified Coach. Minimum of 500 hours coaching experience. MCC- Master Certified Coach. Minimum of 2500 hours coaching experience.
In order to get a credential all coaches need to pass a multiple choice exam called the Coach Knowledge Assessment. Coaches who already have a credential but are applying for the next level up will also need to take the exam. But you will only be required to pass it once.
Three routes to ACC
As of 1 April 2014 there are three routes to ACC credential. All require 100 coaching hours, of which 75 must be paid and you must have worked with at least eight clients.
1. Certified graduates of Accredited Coach Specific Training Programmes (ACTP) may apply for ACC directly. You will need to provide proof that you passed the training requirements along with your coaching log. When your application is being reviewed you will be sent a link for the online Coach Knowledge Assessment.
2. If you have had 60 hours training with an ACTP or ACSTH provider you no longer need to submit a taped coaching session. When your application is being reviewed you will be sent a link for the online Coach Knowledge Assessment. You will need to have 10 hours mentor coaching.
3. Portfolio route: You will need to submit a recording of a coaching session and transcript of that recording. You are required to have 10 hours mentor coaching. When your application is being reviewed you will be sent a link for the online Coach Knowledge Assessment.
Two routes to PCC
1. ACTP graduates can apply directly once they have 500 coaching hours of which 450 must be paid and must coach with at least 25 clients. When your application is being reviewed you will be sent a link for the online Coach Knowledge Assessment unless you have already passed it.
2. Portfolio route. Other non ACTP applicants will also be required to have ten hours mentor coaching, 125 hours coach training and submit two coaching recordings and the transcripts of those recordings. When your application is being reviewed you will be sent a link for the online Coach Knowledge Assessment unless you have already passed it.
The route to MCC
You will need 200 hours coach training, 2500 hours coaching of which must be 2250 paid and must include at least 35 clients. You will need to submit two taped coaching sessions and the transcripts of those sessions and have ten hours of mentor coaching. You must have passed your PCC before applying for MCC and you also need to have passed the Coach Knowledge Assessment.
The credentialing process is detailed here: www.coachfederation.org along with templates for coaching logs, example questions for the Coach Knowledge Assessment and details about group coaching, confidentiality issues, mentor coaching etc.