The Gold Standard in Coaching | ICF - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • As a Credentialed Member, how do I edit my CCF profile listing?

    To edit your profile listing, log in to as an ICF Member. After you log in, click Edit Profile and then click on “My CCF Listing.” Use the fields to add or edit profile information. Click “SAVE” at the bottom of the page. Make sure your profile is as complete and accurate as possible.

  • Can Coaching Supervision or Mentor Coaching be counted toward client coaching hours for ICF credentialing?

    No. Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching are distinct activities from coaching. Therefore, Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours may not be used toward the client coaching experience hours required for ICF credentialing.

    Up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours (receiving or delivering), however, may be used to meet the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • Can Coaching Supervision take the place of Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential?

    Not at this time. Given Coaching Supervision’s broader focus to include supporting the coach and sharing wisdom as compared to Mentor Coaching’s focus on a coach’s skill in the ICF Core Competencies, only Mentor Coaching is accepted to meet the Mentor Coaching requirements for an ICF Credential.

  • Can I affiliate with more than one International Coach Federation (ICF) Chapter?

    When you join ICF or renew your ICF Membership, you can only select one ICF Chapter to affiliate with. If you wish to join or affiliate with additional ICF Chapters, please contact them directly.

  • Can I be a Mentor Coach?

    To be a Mentor Coach for credentialing, you must hold a credential at or above the credential level your clients seek. For example, if you are a PCC, you may be a Mentor Coach for ACC and PCC applicants. If you are an ACC, you may only deliver Mentor Coaching to ACC candidates.

  • Can I count group coaching hours toward my experience requirement?

    Yes. If you are coaching a group you will document that session in your Client Coaching Log by giving ICF one name and email address from one person in the group and providing ICF with the number of people in the group (group coaching can be done with only 15 members or less). You cannot multiply hours times participants in the group. If you coach 15 people for 1 hour, you can only count that as one hour of coaching, not 15 hours.

  • Can I earn Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE) with self-study?

    Any course taken as self-study is considered Resource Development CCE.

  • Can I list my ICF Credential as "Pending" once I've submitted the application?

    No. You may only reference an ICF Credential in your marketing information, website or materials after it has been officially granted by the ICF. Because submission of an application does not guarantee that you will be granted an ICF Credential, referencing an ICF Credential prior to official receipt is misleading and potentially unethical. Making a false claim is a breach of the ICF Code of Ethics.

  • Can I provide a direct link to my Credentialed Coach Finder (CCF) profile listing?

    The link to your CCF profile listing is not password protected. Therefore you will be able to use it to send via email, share via social media or embed it as a link on a website. Make sure you copy the entire URL in your link.

  • Can I submit a recording in my own language?

    The International Coaching Federation accepts a number of languages for the performance evaluation of a Credentialing application, which are listed for each credentialing level here. If a language is not listed, you may submit recordings in that language for review along with a transcript with the language used in your recording and an English translation of the transcript. You are not permitted to use an interpreter.

  • Can I submit training that is not International Coach Federation (ICF) Accredited as Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    You may submit training that has not been accredited in advance by the ICF involving live, voice-to-voice interaction between instructors and students as CCE, but there is no guarantee that it will be accepted as CCE.

  • Can prospective consumers compare coach Credentialed Coach Finder (CCF) profile listings?

    Once you enter search criteria, you may select up to 5 coaches to compare them using the check boxes on the right side of the results and the “Compare” button at the top right of the results. The CCF listing for those coaches is displayed side-by-side onscreen for comparison.

  • Can two Associate Certified Coaches (ACCs) mentor each other for credential renewal?

    Yes, you can serve as another ACC’s mentor for 10 hours, and they in turn can mentor you for another 10 hours.

  • Can we integrate the search tool in our International Coaching Federation (ICF) Chapter’s website?

    You may link directly to CCF from your ICF Chapter’s website. The link should be created so that it opens in a new tab or window. CCF’s URL is:

  • Could you define credentialed/accredited?

    Credentials/accreditations are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding and practice of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the industry. Achieving credentials/accreditation signifies a coach’s commitment to integrity, an understanding and practice of coaching skills and a dedication to clients.

  • Do I have to apply for the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) before I apply for the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) or Master Certified Coach (MCC)?

    Candidates can apply for either the ACC or PCC Credential as long as they meet all requirements for the level of Credentialing for which they wish to apply. For the MCC Credential, however, candidates must hold or have held a PCC as a pre-requisite for MCC eligibility. This is to best support candidate success in their pursuit of the MCC Credential.

  • Do I have to attend an ICF-accredited program?

    The best way to ensure that you meet the requirements for an ICF Credential is to complete ICF-accredited coach-specific training. Non-accredited programs that meet ICF’s definition of coach-specific training are also accepted toward the training requirements for an ICF Credential once ICF has reviewed the course curriculum.

  • Do I have to complete an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching each time I renew my Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Credential?

    Yes, all ACC-credentialed coaches are required to complete an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching in the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal. This requirement is intended to promote your continued growth as a coach and help move you to the next credential level.

  • Do I have to get an ICF Credential?

    If you are serious about developing your coaching business, an ICF Credential is the best way to set yourself apart by demonstrating your knowledge, skill and commitment to high ethical and professional standards. However, because coaching is not regulated by any country or state, you are not required to get training or credentials.

  • Do I have to have an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Credential to be a member?

    Coaches do not need to hold an ICF Credential to be members, although ICF Credentials are recommended and provide additional benefits.

  • Do I have to take the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) to renew my credential?

    No, the CKA is only required for new individual credential applications.

  • Does Coaching Supervision count toward Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for credential renewal?

    Yes. A coach may submit up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (receiving or delivering) toward the Core Competency Continuing Coach Education requirements for credential renewal.

  • Does Coaching Supervision count toward Resource Development Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for renewal?

    No. Credentialed coaches may submit up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) for Core Competency credits toward the 40 Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units required for credential renewal.

  • Does the Credentialed Coach Finder (CCF) cost anything?

    CCF is free for consumers of coaching to use to find ICF-credentialed coach members.

  • For the purposes of logging experience hours, how does the International Coaching Federation (ICF) define the start of coach-specific training?

    Applicants for the ACC and PCC Credentials may only count coaching experience hours taking place after the start of their coach-specific training. Beginning July 31, 2018, at 12 Noon (New York), MCC applicants will be subject to the same requirement.

    The following qualifies as coach-specific training:

    • Any ICF-accredited program with at least 30 hours
    • Any CCE program with at least 30 hours (at least 80 percent in Core Competencies)
    • A non-approved program with at least 30 hours (at least 80 percent in Core Competencies). Please note that all non-approved training is subject to review and approval as part of the credentialing application process.

    Please note that ACC and PCC applicants who completed their coach-specific training via a CCE program or non-approved program must apply via the Portfolio path.

  • How can I find out if the training I completed is International Coaching Federation (ICF) Accredited?

    The organization where you completed your training can provide that information. You may also use our Training Program Search Service (TPSS), and search by the training organization’s name. If the training organization has an accredited program, it will be listed in our TPSS.

  • How can I find out when my credential is due for renewal?

    Your credential expiration date may be found on your ICF Credential certificate provided when your credential was awarded or renewed. ICF Members may access their credential information by logging into the Members section of our website, and clicking on “Edit Profile,” then “Edit Contact Info.”

  • How can I renew a lapsed credential?

    If your credential was due for renewal less than one (1) year ago, you may still be eligible to renew by submitting additional 1.2 CCE units for each month your credential has lapsed.

  • How can the success of the coaching process be measured?

    Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways: external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success. Ideally, both are incorporated.

    Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship, increased income/revenue, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback that is obtained from a sample of the individual’s constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, boss, the manager him/herself), personal and/or business performance data (e.g., productivity, efficiency measures). The external measures selected should be things the individual is already measuring and has some ability to directly influence.

    Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process, changes in the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking that create more effective actions, and shifts in one’s emotional state that inspire confidence.

  • How can you determine if professional coaching is right for you?

    To determine whether you or your company could benefit from coaching, start by summarizing what you would expect to accomplish in coaching. When an individual or business has a fairly clear idea of the desired outcome, a coaching partnership can be a useful tool for developing a strategy for how to achieve that outcome with greater ease.

    Since coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives are valued. Also, ask yourself whether you or your business is ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way to grow and develop.

  • How do Credentialed Members purchase the Enhanced Listing?

    Credentialed Members may purchase the Enhanced Listing directly from the page used to edit your CCF listing. Log in to as an ICF Member. After you log in, click “Edit Profile” and then click “My CCF Listing.” Scroll down to “Upgrade to an Enhanced Listing” and click “Upgrade Now!” You will then be directed to the shopping cart where you may purchase the Enhanced Listing.

  • How do Credentialed Members respond to a request for proposal (RFP)?

    If you are included in an RFP, you will be sent an email with a link to the RFP. You can enter and send your response to the issuer via the link. You may send up to one follow-up message per RFP after your initial response.

  • How do I file a formal complaint against an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Coach or International Coaching Federation (ICF) approved coach training program?

    To file a formal complaint, you will want to begin on this page. Here, you can access a complaint information packet, a sample Ethical Conduct Review (ECR) form, and the formal complaint form itself. Questions about the process may be directed to


  • How do I find a training program for coaches with my background or in my specialty?

    You can use the “Coaching Specialty” search filter on the Training Program Search Service. For recommendations, you may join a Community of Practice in your specialty or find coaches in your specialty through Credentialed Coach Finder.

  • How do I find information on training program length and costs?

    Once you identify a training program on the Training Program Search Service (TPSS) that you are interested in, please reach out directly to the training program provider for more details about their program.

  • How do I get my credentials through ICF?

    You would need to submit an application to ICF for approval. The requirements for each level of credential can be found at the following links.




  • How do prospective consumers select geographic location?

    You may select geographic location(s) under the demographics section.

  • How do the search filters work?

    Selecting the criteria listed on the left side of CCF generally narrows the search results for the consumer because the results display coaches that meet all criteria. Exceptions are ICF Credential level and Standard Rate. When multiple criteria in those filters are selected, it widens the search results.

  • How do you ensure a compatible partnership?

    Overall, be prepared to design the coaching partnership with the coach. For example, think of a strong partnership that you currently have in your work or life. Look at how you built that relationship and what is important to you about partnership. You will want to build those same things into a coaching relationship. Here are a few other tips:

    Interview more than one coach to determine “what feels right” in terms of the chemistry. Coaches are accustomed to being interviewed, and an introductory conversation of this type is usually free of charge.

    Look for stylistic similarities and differences between the coach and you and how these might support your growth as an individual or the growth of your team.

    Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach’s specialty or the coach’s preferred way of working with an individual or team.

    Talk with the coach about what to do if you ever feel things are not going well; make some agreements up front on how to handle questions or problems.

    Remember that coaching is a partnership, so be assertive about talking with the coach about any concerns.

  • How does a coach who is a member of just one organization become informed or involved in the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA)?

    The GCMA is not set up as an entity that collects fees, nor is it a membership body that coaches, mentors, organizations or institutions can “join.” But rather, it is an alliance of global, professional coaching and mentoring bodies, currently made up of the Association for Coaching (AC), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), and the ICF.

    To illustrate, think of what the airlines’ alliances do (e.g., Star Alliance). You may join as a member any of the specific airline (e.g. United, Thai, Lufthansa), and by those airlines being a part of the alliance, then this gives greater benefits to their respective members and having a greater joined up approach.

  • How does the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) define coaching? Is there an agreed, collective view across the three professional bodies?

    The three members of the Alliance are signatories to the Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring which has been accepted on the European Union’s dedicated website for self-regulated professions.

    The Professional Charter gives the following high-level description of coaching and mentoring, stressing that this is not intended as a definitive statement:

    “Coaching and mentoring are activities within the area of professional and personal development with focus on individuals and teams and relying on the client’s own resources to help them to see and test alternative ways for improvement of competence, decision making and enhancement of quality of life. Thus, a professional coach/mentor can be described as an expert in establishing a relationship with people in a series of conversations with the purpose of serving the clients to improve their performance or enhance their personal development or both, choosing their own goals and ways of doing it.”

    Definitions of coaching are also available on each of our respective websites.

  • How does the International Coaching Federation (ICF) define coaching?

    ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

  • How has coaching grown?

    ICF, the world’s largest coaching organization, remains successful in its core purpose: to advance the coaching profession. According to the ICF 2016 Global Coaching Study, it is estimated that there are approximately 53,300 professional coach practitioners worldwide (bringing cumulative annual revenue $2.3 billion) as compared to 2,100 professional coaches in 1999.

    The same report found that more coaches reported an increase rather than a decrease in fees, hours, clients and revenues over the previous study. Overall, trend indicators point to a growing profession, also evidenced by ICF adding 2,000 new members a year.

  • How is a request for proposal (RFP) sent?

    CCF will send an anonymous message to (only) those coaches who meet the search criteria and have been selected to receive it.

  • How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?

    Coaching typically begins with a personal interview (either face-to-face or by teleconference call) to assess the individual’s or business’ current opportunities and challenges, define the scope of the relationship, identify priorities for action and establish specific desired outcomes. Subsequent coaching sessions may be conducted in person or over the telephone, with each session lasting a previously established length of time. Between scheduled coaching sessions, the individual may be asked to complete specific actions that support the achievement of one’s personally prioritized goals. The coach may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles, checklists, assessments or models to support the individual’s or business’ thinking and actions. The duration of the coaching relationship varies depending on needs and preferences.

    Assessments: A variety of assessments are available to support the coaching process, depending upon the needs and circumstances of the individual or business. Assessments provide objective information that can enhance self-awareness, as well as awareness of others and their circumstances; provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies; and offer a method for evaluating progress.

    Concepts, models and principles: A variety of concepts, models and principles drawn from the behavioral sciences, management literature, spiritual traditions and/or the arts and humanities may be incorporated into the coaching conversation to increase self-awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, provide new frameworks for looking at opportunities and challenges, and energize and inspire forward actions.

    Appreciative approach: Coaching incorporates an appreciative approach, grounded in what’s right, what’s working, what’s wanted and what’s needed to get there. Using an appreciative approach, the coach models constructive communication skills and methods to enhance personal communication effectiveness. He or she incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback to elicit the most positive responses from others, and visions of success as contrasted with focusing on problems. The appreciative approach is simple to understand and employ, and its reach can be profound, opening up new possibilities and spurring action.

  • How is coaching distinct from other service professions?

    Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.

    Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.

    Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.

    Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.

    Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.

    Sports Coaching: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.

  • How long does a coach work with an individual?

    The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the individual’s or team’s needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, three to six months of working may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams prefer to work, the frequency of coaching meetings and financial resources available to support coaching.

  • How long will a request for proposal (RFP) be active?

    RFPs will remain active until 11:59 pm (New York) on the last day of the month following the date the RFP was created, unless it has been flagged for early expiration and ICF staff expire it. For example, an RFP created in November will remain active until 11:59 pm (New York) on December 31.

  • How long will it take for my credentialing application to be reviewed?

    The estimated timeline for review of a credentialing application depends on which application you are submitting. Estimated timelines are as follows:

    ACC ACTP or PCC ACTP: 4 weeks

    ACC ACSTH, ACC Portfolio or PCC ACSTH: 14 weeks

    PCC Portfolio or MCC: 18 weeks

  • How many coaches can be included in a request for proposal (RFP)?

    We have limited the number of coaches that can be included in an RFP to 75. Consumers will not be able to send an RFP until their search criteria have reduced the results to below 75.

  • How many hours of giving Coaching Supervision can I count toward ICF Credential renewal?

    ICF-credentialed coaches may count up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) as Core Competency credits toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • How many hours of group Coaching Supervision can I count toward ICF Credential renewal?

    ICF-credentialed coaches may count up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) as Core Competency credits toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal. Coaching Supervision does not have to be delivered in a certain format (e.g., group or individual) in order to be accepted for CCE units for credential renewal.

  • How many self-study Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units are eligible?

    You may submit up to 16 hours/units of self-study Resource Development CCE.

  • How will Credentialed Members know when they have been sent a request for proposal (RFP)?

    You will receive an automatically generated email with a link to view the RFP you have received. Make sure that the email address in your member profile is current.

  • How will prospective consumers know a request for proposal (RFP) has been sent?

    ICF will send an automatically generated email to the address listed confirming the RFP has been sent.

  • How will prospective consumers receive responses to request for proposals (RFPs)?

    Responses from individual coaches will be sent via email to the address you listed when you issued the RFP. Selected coaches may send up to one follow-up message per RFP after their initial response.

  • How will the GCMA ensure it takes a global perspective?

    At this stage, the GCMA is listening to these diverse views and needs, and establishing what it makes sense to best do, together, for the benefit of the industry as a whole. Some of the current areas of discussion include running joint global research initiatives, as well as investigating each of the respective professional body’s accreditation and credentialing systems, etc.

    We have already agreed joint values that underpin our professional bodies’ cooperation, such as courage, collaboration, integrity, respect and trust.

  • How will the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) behave, and work together?

    When the GCMA formed, it agreed to the following Guiding Principles:

    To use a coach approach in its interactions

    Honor and welcome all perspectives

    Always consider what is in the interest of the profession first

    Be member and market driven in our thinking and progressive in our actions

    Engage in dialogue before decision

    Synthesize, clarify and communicate

    Remember the GCMA is an alliance of professional bodies, not a body in itself

  • I renewed my membership. Do I still have to renew my credential?

    ICF Membership renewal and ICF Credential renewal are completely separate processes and fees. Membership is renewed annually and is due for renewal March 31 of each year. ICF Credentials are renewed every three years. Your exact credential expiration date may be found on your ICF Credential certificate.

  • If I coach as part of my job, can I count those hours as paid?

    Yes, you can, as long as coaching is in your job description and you are not coaching employees whom you supervise or who report directly to you. This is considered internal coaching.

  • If I complete more than the required Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for credential renewal, can I use the excess hours for a future credential renewal?

    You may only submit CCE units completed within the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal.

  • If I write an article on the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Core Competencies, does this count towards Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE) hours when I renew my credential?

    Yes. Published writing pertaining to the ICF Core Competencies can be submitted for consideration as Core Competency credits toward a credential-holder’s renewal. To submit published writing toward a credential renewal, you will submit a summary of the published writing and how it relates to the ICF Core Competencies; a link to the published writing, where it can be viewed or purchased; and the number of hours required to research, prepare and write the piece.

  • Is Coaching Supervision a requirement for ICF Credentials?

    Coaching Supervision is not a requirement for an initial ICF Credential at this time. A credentialed coach may use up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (receiving or delivering) to meet the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • Is the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) reaching out to other bodies as well?

    The intention, over time, is to invite other global professional coaching bodies to be a part of the GCMA as we do recognize the importance of having other representatives, and different viewpoints. This would be looked at, after a bedding-in phase with the three organizations involved, and clear criteria will be set around how this can occur to best support the aims and scope of the GCMA.

  • Is the time a Mentor Coach takes to listen to a recording (e.g., 20 minutes of a recorded coaching session) counted toward the 10 hours of Mentor Coaching?

    Only the time spent in interactive dialogue and delivery of feedback with the Mentor Coaching client may count toward the 10 hours of Mentor Coaching required for a credential. Time spent listening to a recording and preparing for a Mentor Coaching session may not be counted toward the 10-hour requirement.

  • Is there proof coaching works?

    Yes! The ICF Global Coaching Client Study shows most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance and an improvement in wellness. Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment. The median suggests that a client who achieved financial benefit from coaching can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent.

    According to the same report, the vast majority of companies (86 percent) say they at least made their investment back. In fact, almost one-fifth (19 percent) saw a ROI of 50 times their investment, while another 28 percent saw a ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment. Nearly all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study, a stunning 99 percent of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall coaching experience. For more details, go to the ICF Research Portal, as well as press releases about ICF’s return-on-investment research.

  • My credential is due for renewal but I want to apply for a higher credential. Which application should I purchase?

    It is not possible to upgrade to a higher credential via the credential renewal application. If you wish to pursue a higher credential, you will need to submit that individual credential application.

  • My credential was due for renewal more than one (1) year ago; can I still renew?

    If your credential was due for renewal more than one (1) year ago, you are no longer eligible to renew. You will need to begin the credential process again by submitting a new individual credential application.

  • My International Coaching Federation (ICF) Membership expired last year. Will I pay $245 USD to renew my membership?

    If your ICF Membership expired in a different year than when you wish to renew, your membership fee will be prorated monthly. Learn more about pricing here.

  • What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?

    An individual or team might choose to work with a coach for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

    Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
    A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
    A desire to accelerate results
    A lack of clarity with choices to be made
    Success has started to become problematic
    Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
    Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them

  • What are the credential renewal requirements?

    Participation in at least 40 hours of Continuing Coach Education (CCE), or 40 Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units, completed in the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal, with at least 24 hours/units in Core Competencies. Beginning in 2016, ICF Credential-holders will be required to demonstrate completion of at least three (3) Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units in the area of coaching ethics to be eligible for renewal of their ICF Credentials. This requirement applies to all coaches whose ICF Credentials are expire on or after December 31, 2016. For ACC renewals, an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching is also required.

  • What are the human resources (HR) buyers’ views of the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA)?

    As the GCMA is newly formed, it has not gone out to market to get a formal pulse on how it is being perceived, nor what the HR buyers’ hopes or expectations are from it. However from the initial discussions so far, based on input from the three bodies, the feedback has been very positive that such an alliance has been born.

  • What are the requirements to be a Coaching Supervisor and where can I find a good one?

    ICF does not currently have requirements for Coaching Supervisor qualifications, nor do we currently offer a directory of Coaching Supervisors. One way to find Coaching Supervisors, however is to search for “supervisor” in the Name/Keyword field on the ICF Credentialed Coach Finder.

  • What documents need to be submitted for Mentor Coaching hours?

    In the online credential application, you will be asked to list the name of each Mentor Coach, their email address, their ICF Credential, the start and end date of each mentoring relationship, and the number of hours of Mentor Coaching with each mentor. You are not required to provide documentation from your mentor coach, but your Mentor Coach must be able to confirm that the Mentor Coaching took place.

  • What does coaching ask of an individual?

    To be successful, coaching asks certain things, all of which begin with intention. Additionally, clients should:

    Focus on one’s self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one’s success.

    Observe the behaviors and communications of others.

    Listen to one’s intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.

    Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one’s goals in a superior way.

    Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style.

    Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.

    Show compassion for one’s self while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.

    Commit to not take one’s self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.

    Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.

    Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self examination without fear.

  • What factors should be considered when looking at the financial investment in coaching?

    Working with a coach requires both a personal commitment of time and energy as well as a financial commitment. Fees charged vary by specialty and by the level of experience of the coach. Individuals should consider both the desired benefits as well as the anticipated length of time to be spent in coaching. Since the coaching relationship is predicated on clear communication, any financial concerns or questions should be voiced in initial conversations before the agreement is made. ICF Credentialed Coach Finder allows you to search for a coach based on a number of qualifications, including fee range.

  • What happens if I let my International Coaching Federation (ICF) Membership or Credential expire?

    Your profile will be removed from CCF and reinstated when you renew your ICF Credential or Membership. If you purchased the Enhanced Listing, it will still be enabled when you renew provided it has not been longer than 1 year since purchase.

  • What happens when the Enhanced Listing subscription expires?

    Credentialed Members who purchased and Enhanced Listing will be emailed a reminder to renew and offered a 90-day grace period. When the grace period expires, the CCF profile listing will revert back to a basic listing.

  • What has caused the tremendous growth in the coaching industry?

    Coaching has grown significantly for many reasons, among them:

    • Rapid changes are taking place in the external business environment.
    • Downsizing, restructuring, mergers and other organizational changes have radically altered the “traditional employment contract.” Companies can no longer achieve results using traditional management approaches.
    • With the growing shortage of talented employees in certain industries, companies must commit to investing in individuals’ development.
    • The disparity between what managers were trained to do and what their jobs now require of them is widening due to increasing demands for competitive results.
    • People are wrestling with job insecurity and increased workplace pressures to perform at higher levels than ever before.
    • Companies must develop inclusive, collaborative work environments to achieve strategic business goals and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.
    • Individuals who have experienced the excellent results of coaching are talking to more people about it.
    • People today are more open to the idea of being in charge of their own lives. Coaching helps them do just that.

    In short, coaching helps individuals and companies focus on what matters most in life and business, and so the industry continues to grow

  • What if I submit training that is not ICF Accredited and it is not accepted?

    Your credential renewal application will remain “in process” to allow you time to complete CCE that meets our credential renewal requirements.

  • What if my coaching specialty is not listed as an option in the Credentialed Coach Finder (CCF)?

    You may list other information, including niche specialties, in the “About Me” field in the Enhanced Listing.

  • What information is included in a request for proposal (RFP)?

    The RFP will include the criteria that were used to narrow down the pool of prospective coaches as well as the number of coaches who will be sent the RFP. It will also include any additional information that the issuer includes to describe what s/he is looking for.

  • What is an example of self-study Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    Listening to an Archived Virtual Education session or a recording of an ICF Event are examples of self-study CCE.

  • What is Continuing Coach Education (CCE)/What are Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units?

    Continuing Coach Education (CCE) is defined as an activity that promotes your continued growth as a coach. CCE is divided into two categories: Core Competencies and Resource Development. Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units are earned upon completing Continuing Coach Education.

  • What is Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    Advanced coach training, published writing, or research directly related to ICF Core Competencies.

  • What is professional coaching?

    ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

    • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
    • Encourage client self-discovery
    • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
    • Hold the client responsible and accountable
    • This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.
  • What is Resource Development Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    Training, writing, research, or self-study outside of the ICF Core Competencies that contributes to the professional development of a coach.

  • What is the "stream view" and why is it unique?

    The ICF Research Portal links and displays research in a “stream view” that allows the researcher to view references and citations both backward and forward in time. When researchers begin work in a specific area they are generally confronted with two problems. First, they need to find at least one research paper or book on the topic in order get into the flow of that “stream” of research. Secondly, until now, it has been cumbersome to move forward and backward in time in a stream of research so that one may quickly gather secondary research. The stream review helps address these challenges.

  • What is the difference between Accrediting and Credentialing?

    At ICF, coaching training programs are Accredited while individuals are Credentialed. ICF’s Accreditation service for coach-training schools defines curriculum standards to ensure consistency in coach-training programs and consistency among coaching professionals. ICF Credentials are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated mastery of the coaching competencies.

  • What is the Enhanced Listing for Credentialed Members?

    The Enhanced Listing is a nonrefundable $150 USD/year subscription that adds the following extra fields to your CCF listing:

    Headline (200 characters)
    About Me (2000 characters)
    Links to your online videos (Limit 3)
    Links to files (e.g, brochures, C.V., flyers)
    Links to your social media profiles

  • What is the fee for an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Credential renewal?

    The credential renewal fee is $175 USD for ICF Members and $275 USD for non-members.

  • What is the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA)?

    The purpose of Global Coaching Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) is to professionalize the industry in the field of coaching and mentoring and express a shared view of the practice of professional coaching.
    The core objectives are:

    To be the collective voice of professional bodies that clarifies, educates and strengthens awareness about our common ground for effective practice
    To facilitate exchange and distribute information for all industry stakeholders about shared good practice
    To focus attention on the wider impact of coaching and mentoring on society

  • What is the most cost effective way to get Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units?

    Membership with ICF Global provides a wealth of cost-effective ways to get CCE units. ICF Members receive discounts on a variety of offerings, including conferences and events (both local and global), ICF Credentialing applications, research findings, and other special offers. Members have access to member-only content on, including free ICF Virtual Education and Archived Learning that can be completed for CCE units.

  • What is the value of credentialing/accreditation?

    We believe that obtaining a credential/accreditation is an investment that demonstrates and distinguishes professional practice. It is similar to gaining a degree or a professional designation and differentiates a credentialed/accredited coach from anybody who may call themselves a coach. The value of such a designation therefore is quite significant.

  • What is the value of joining the International Coaching Federation (ICF)?

    ICF Members receive a multitude of benefits, starting with access to educational research, networking opportunities, and globally recognized credentialing and accreditation services. All of ICF’s endeavors are focused on coaching — from informing the public on how coaching works to conducting industry research. ICF builds, supports, and preserves the integrity of the coaching profession through standards and programs. Membership is not only an investment into a coach’s future, but also an investment into the future of coaching.

  • What kind of document should I submit for renewal to prove my Coaching Supervision hours (receiving & delivering)?

    To claim Coaching Supervision hours toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal, a candidate will simply provide the coach supervisor’s name and email address, the total number of hours of supervision provided, and the start and end date of the supervision.

  • What request for proposals (RFP) will Credentialed Members be able to view?

    You will be able to view only the RFPs that were sent to you specifically.

  • What types of coaches join the International Coaching Federation (ICF)?

    ICF Members specialize in a variety of coaching areas, including Executive Coaching, Life Coaching, Leadership Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Career Coaching and other skilled coaching fields.

  • What year was the International Coaching Federation (ICF) formed?

    The Association was formed in 1995. Local ICF Chapters started to form shortly thereafter and continue to open today.

  • What's the role of mentoring in this organization, beyond coaching?

    The formation of the GCMA was in direct response to our membership asking for clarification about the confusion being created in the mentoring and coaching industry relating to professional practice. EMCC is keen therefore to represent its total membership where both mentors and coaches work within a framework of generic professional standards. See also the Professional Charter for Mentoring and Coaching.

  • When can I apply for my credentials through the International Coaching Federation (ICF)?

    You may submit your credential application once you have met all the requirements of the credential for which you are applying.

  • Where can I find training?

    CCE Accredited Providers, ICF Chapter and Community of Practice events are found in the ICF Event Calendar.

    Individual courses within an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP), a CCE Program, or Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) are found using the Training Program Search Service.

    ICF Conferences and Events.

    Virtual Education Sessions found in Archived Learning.

  • Where can I get my credential logo?

    ICF Credential-holders have a specific logo they may use. For an ICF Credential logo, please email ICF logos may only be used by those who obtain prior permission from ICF Headquarters. Without prior authorization, use of an ICF logo, or any other version or likeness of the logo, is in violation of the ICF’s logo usage guidelines and trademark law.

  • Which training program do I need to take to be a Mentor Coach?

    At this time, there is no specific training requirement for a coach to provide mentor coaching. Mentor coaches must have an ICF credential in good standing and may only provide mentor coaching to coaches at the same level of credentialing or lower. For instance, a PCC credentialed mentor coach may only offer mentor coaching services to those pursuing or holding an ACC or PCC. Further, ACC-credentialed coaches must complete a full cycle of their credential through renewal to be eligible to serve as a mentor coach.

  • Who is in charge of the International Coaching Federation (ICF)?

    ICF is a nonprofit membership organization led by a member-elected Board of Directors that oversees the organization’s affairs. Paid staff members follow the leadership’s direction and carry out its day-to-day work.

  • Who started the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and why?

    The late Thomas Leonard, a professional coach, founded ICF to create a professional coaching community. The organization was initially geared toward North America but now has members in more than 100 countries.

  • Why aren't ICF Credential-holders required to be ICF Members?

    The ICF Credential stands independent from ICF Membership. This is an important provision of compliance with globally accepted standards for bodies operating individual certification programs. The value of an ICF Credential as an industry-wide marker of an individual’s commitment to ongoing professional development and outstanding professional practice is distinct from the benefits of ICF Membership (e.g., networking and leadership-development opportunities, discounted event attendance, access to archived virtual learning). Although ICF Credential-holders are not required to be ICF Members, they are bound by the ICF Code of Ethics and are required to meet stringent renewal criteria every three years.

  • Why can’t I find a program in my area?

    There are more than 1,000 ICF-accredited programs. Less than half are in the United States and Canada, and most of those are in big cities or near the coasts. If you can’t find a program near you, many are offered via distance or blended learning formats.

  • Why should Credentialed Members purchase the Enhanced Listing?

    The Enhanced Listing will allow you to showcase additional information about yourself and your coaching practice which will give you more visibility to prospective clients. The Enhanced Listing fields are primarily searched when the potential client is using the keyword field of CCF. If you have a unique coaching specialty or relevant qualifications that are not communicated by the available search filters, you may want to consider purchasing the Enhanced Listing.

  • Why was the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) established?

    The thinking behind the GCMA is that having some of the leading professional coaching and mentoring bodies, working together in a more collaborative way, will help in professionalizing coaching even further as the industry continues to grow and evolve on a global scale. There was also a “pull” from some coaches and buyers, indicating that the major coaching bodies needed to align and work more closely together in order to bring further clarity and understanding to what we do and what is considered as good practice.

  • Will the Credentialed Coach Finder (CCF) be available in other languages?

    CCF will only be available in English.

  • Will the GCMA become one “super body?”

    As mentioned, the GCMA is not a professional body, nor does it have a desire to be set up as an organization in its own right. It serves as an alliance made up of professional bodies. There are no plans to merge and become one, but we do continue to strive to find ways to work together that best serve the emerging profession of coaching and mentoring.

  • Within the partnership, what does the coach do? The individual?

    The coach:

    Provides objective assessment and observations that foster the individual’s or team’s self-awareness and awareness of others

    Listens closely to fully understand the individual’s or team’s circumstances

    Acts as a sounding board in exploring possibilities and implementing thoughtful planning and decision making

    Champions opportunities and potential, encouraging stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations

    Fosters shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives

    Challenges blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the creation of alternative scenarios

    Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the coaching profession’s code of ethics


    The individual:

    Creates the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals

    Uses assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others

    Envisions personal and/or organizational success

    Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions

    Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives

    Takes courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations

    Engages big-picture thinking and problem-solving skills

    Takes the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach and engages in effective forward actions

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