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Credentialing Updates

ICF Celebrates 1,000th Master Certified Coach

Lyne Desormeaux, Psy.D., of New York, New York, USA, became ICF’s 1,000th MCC on November 15, 2018. Lyne is a longtime ICF Member and credential-holder. She joined the Association in September 2004, and earned her ICF Professional Certified Coach credential the following March.

This milestone came less than one month after the passing of an ICF leader who played an integral role in advancing ICF’s credentialing program globally. ICF Global Past President Kay Cannon, MCC (USA), passed away on October 29, 2018, following a seven-month battle with glioblastoma. To celebrate Cannon’s legacy and honor her commitment to coach credentialing, ICF awarded Desormeaux with a one-time $575 USD scholarship to apply toward her continuing professional development.

This marked the second milestone for ICF’s credentialing program in 2018. In August, Germany’s Alexandra Claes became ICF’s 25,000thcredential-holder when she earned the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation.

ICF Updates Template to Document Portfolio Path Training

ICF has made several improvements to the training verification form for ACC and PCC candidates on the Portfolio path.

These changes address feedback we’ve received from coaches since the initial form was released in August 2018. They will help ensure clear and efficient application experience for coaches who pursue an ACC or PCC on the Portfolio path.

Coaches who apply for the ACC or PCC Credential via the Portfolio path are required to demonstrate that they completed a comprehensive training program that includes the ICF definition of coaching, Code of Ethics and Core Competencies, and is organized in a scope and sequence that encourages the growth of the coach.

You can download a sample of the updated form below.

Webinar Recording and Slide Deck Now Available

On May 24, 2018, ICF Assistant Executive Director George Rogers and Assistant Director of Credentialing and Accreditation Carrie Abner presented a webinar on 2018 changes to the ICF Credentialing program and processes.

Updated Processes to Enhance Data Security

It is ICF’s policy to set the standard in the coaching world, which translates to us serving our Members, Credential-holders, accredited programs and the coaching profession to the best of our ability. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is committed to protecting the privacy of all personal data that we encounter.

The forthcoming European Union General Data Privacy Regulation provides an opportunity for us to enhance our data privacy practices to benefit not only coaches who live and work in the EU, but every member of the ICF Global community. To this end, we are updating our credentialing application process to ensure compliance with GDPR and alignment with best practices for promoting data security.

Beginning May 24, 2018, at 12 Noon (New York), coaches will be required to complete an attestation of coaching experience included in the ICF Credential application. This will replace the submission of a coaching log and is intended to help protect the privacy of coaching clients.

To ensure the integrity of this updated process, ICF will conduct periodic audits to verify applicants’ coaching experience. This means that coaches should continue to obtain and document clients’ consent to store their information, have a policy on how that information will be protected and maintained, and have a system in place for tracking relevant data. (ICF will continue to provide a downloadable coaching log template on our website.) If an audit reveals that a coach has provided inaccurate or fraudulent information regarding their coaching experience, they may be subject to denial and/or revocation of their ICF Credential and may be prohibited from reapplying for an ICF Credential for up to five (5) years.

Also beginning May 24, initial and renewal credentialing applications will be amended to include additional fields asking applicants to consent to ICF collecting, storing and using the personal information you provide.

Finally, beginning this month, we are changing our data retention timeline for ICF Credential application materials. We will only retain your application materials for six (6) months after your application has been processed. At that time, all your application materials will be deleted from our systems.

Coaches with questions about the impact of GDPR on credentialing can contact the ICF Credentialing Services team at


Upcoming Credentialing and Accreditation Policy Changes Announced

During the final quarter of 2017, the ICF Global Board of Directors approved a series of Credentialing and Accreditation policy changes that, once implemented, will promote continued excellence in the coaching profession and make it easier for individuals to navigate the process of becoming a coach and earning an ICF Credential.

First, the ICF Global Board and staff have agreed to change when and how Credentialing and Accreditation policy changes are communicated. Beginning in 2018, ICF is moving to an annual announcement schedule for Credentialing and Accreditation policy changes. All upcoming policy changes will be announced in February of each year.

The following changes will be implemented over the next 13 months:

Effective Immediately

The following changes impact individuals whose ICF Credentials expire on or after December 31, 2018.

  • The 10 hours of Mentor Coaching required of Associate Certified Coach renewal applicants can now be applied toward the 40 hours of Continuing Coach Education required for Associate Certified Coach renewal. This means that Associate Certified Coach renewal applicants will be required to complete:
    • 10 hours of Mentor Coaching
    • At least 30 hours of Continuing Coach Education (with at least 11 hours in Core Competencies and at least 3 hours in coaching ethics)
  • No more than 10 hours of Mentor Coaching (delivering and/or receiving) may be counted toward Continuing Coach Education requirements.
  • No more than 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (delivering and/or receiving) may be counted toward Continuing Coach Education requirements.

As part of a self-regulating industry, ICF is committed to helping coaches provide consistent value to their clients. To ensure excellence among ICF Credential-holders, we encourage them to participate in a wide array of continuing professional development activities. These changes help encourage that diversity.

Effective July 31, 2018, at 12 Noon (New York)

  • Coaches applying for their initial credential (Associate Certified Coach or Professional Certified Coach credential) via the Portfolio path will be required to demonstrate that they completed a comprehensive training program that includes the ICF definition of coaching, Code of Ethics and Core Competencies, and is organized in a scope and sequence that encourages the growth of the coach. This means that coaches will no longer be able to submit a random compilation of non-approved training hours and/or Continuing Coach Education units in fulfillment of their initial training requirements. We believe it should be easy for current and prospective coaches to find and choose the appropriate type of training for their stage of professional development, and this change is a further step in reframing Continuing Coach Education as the first choice for advanced training for already-credentialed coaches.
  • Master Certified Coach applicants will be required to complete all their 2,500 hours of client coaching experience after the start of coach-specific training. Previously, ICF revised Associate and Professional Certified Coach policies to require that all coaching experience hours be completed after the start of coach-specific training. This change positively impacted credential-holders and the profession by ensuring that every hour of experience was delivered in the context of coach-specific training aligned with ICF’s high standards. We expect a similarly positive impact from this change.
  • Coaches applying for the Associate Certified Coach credential via the ACSTH path will once again be required to submit a recording and transcript of a live coaching session. The performance evaluation is currently a requirement for Professional Certified Coach candidates on the ACSTH path, so this change will ensure greater consistency across credential levels.
  • Associate Certified Coaches will need to complete at least one full cycle of their credential (through renewal) before they serve as a Mentor Coach. Mentor Coaches play an important role in new and experienced coaches’ development. By continuing to advance high standards for Mentor Coaches, we’re ensuring that they’re ready to support other coaches on their professional journeys.

Effective February 28, 2019, at 12 Noon (New York)

  • Coaches will be required to hold a Professional Certified Coach credential before they can apply for the Master Certified Coach credential. Applying for a Master Certified Coach credential requires a significant investment of time and money. We want to increase the likelihood of success. Data from ICF’s Credentialing department shows that Master Certified Coach candidates who hold a Professional Certified Coach credential are more successful in the application process than candidates with no prior ICF Credential. Clearly, earning the Professional Certified Coach designation is an important step in a coach’s journey, and this policy change will encourage that.

Additional News

When it comes to enhancing performance, meaningful feedback matters. This is why we are redesigning the feedback report for Master Certified Coach candidates to increase clarity around assessment measures and provide concrete recommendations for next steps and further professional development.

If you have immediate questions about how the upcoming policy changes will impact you, please contact ICF’s Credentialing Services team at

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