See what's new with COACHING WORLD

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

ICF’s Position Regarding Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

As part of a self-regulating industry, ICF is committed to coaches providing consistent value to their clients. In order to maintain these professional standards, ICF’s position on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) keeps pace with industry expectations and emerging standards. Each distinct element of CPD is explored below.

Education: Training and Skills Enhancement

This includes a variety of learning modalities that continually build the capacity of the coach through content exposure, to benefit his or her clients and the overall knowledge base. It focuses on the development of the coach’s competence with a wide range of rich opportunities for the support and development of a coach’s skill set. ICF is committed to providing opportunities for coaches to consistently develop and grow professionally through training and skills enhancement.

Various components of education include:

  • Additional coach-specific training
  • Professional development events
  • Coaching tools training

Many education activities are eligible for Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units coaches can apply toward renewal of an ICF Credential.

Accepted CCE Sources

  • ICF-approved Training

    For each activity, required supporting documentation is listed in parentheses.

    • CCE hours delivered by an ICF Chapter (certificate issued by the Chapter with the name of the event/class, date, amount and type of CCE)
    • CCE hours delivered by an approved training provider ( certificate, letter or email on letterhead issued by the provider with the name of the event/class, date, amount and type of CCE)
    • CCE hours delivered during an ICF Regional or Global conference or event (certificate or passport issued from ICF with the name of the event/conference, date, amount and type of CCE)
    • Training hours from an ICF ACSTH or ACTP program (certificate, letter or email on letterhead issued by the provider with the name of the event/class, date and amount of coach-specific training hours)
    • Special projects and activities approved in advance by ICF (dependent upon the agreement made with ICF staff when your special project or activity is approved)
  • Other Training

    For each activity, required supporting documentation is listed in parentheses.

    • Training that has not been approved in advance by ICF involving live, voice-to-voice interaction between instructors and students (certificate, letter or email on letterhead issued by the provider with the name of the event/class, date and amount of training hours completed, as well as documentation to demonstrate the course curriculum and method of delivery, including course syllabus, summary, student or instructor’s manual, and any handouts or course materials that provide a detailed description of the curriculum)
    • Serving as an instructor of ICF-approved training (letter from your supervisor on the training organization’s letterhead with the name of the course, date and amount of hours taught)*
    • Serving as a Mentor Coach and/or supervisor (letter including the client name, contact information, dates and number of hours completed)
    • Being mentored by an ICF-credentialed coach on the ICF Core Competencies (Mentor Coach’s name, email address, credential level, start and end date of mentoring, and total number of hours mentored)
    • Obtaining coaching supervision to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of your coaching skills (coaching supervisor’s name, email address, start and end date of supervision, and total number of hours of supervision)
    • Developing training curriculum that has been submitted to ICF for approval as a CCE, ACSTH or ACTP program (date the training was submitted to ICF for review)
    • Publishing writing (documentation verifying the publication date)**
    • Publishing peer-reviewed research (documentation verifying the publication date)

    *You may only claim the number of hours taught for a one-time delivery of content

    **We cannot accept time spend writing social media posts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).

  • Self-paced Courses and Other Self-study

    Self-paced courses and other self-study fall in the category of Resource Development. Renewal candidates are limited to 16 hours of self-paced courses and other self-study.

    For each activity, required supporting documentation is listed in parentheses.

    • Non-coach-specific training; i.e., training outside of ICF Core Competencies that contributes to your personal or professional development as a coach (certificate, letter or email on letterhead from the provider with the name of the event/class, date and amount of hours completed)
    • Activities unrelated to the ICF Core Competencies, including reading, writing, research and other experiences (summary information of your activities and how they contributed to your development as a coach)
    • Archived Learning (the name of the session and date completed in the self-study section of the renewal application)
    • ICF-approved training within an ACTP or ACSTH program completed as self-study (certificate, letter or email on letterhead issued by the provider with the name of the event/class, date and amount of hours completed)

Find an event or a program that suits you.

  • Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential

    Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential consists of coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative and dialogued process based on an observed or recorded coaching session to increase the coach’s capability in coaching, in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.

    Mentoring provides professional assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency and capability demanded by the desired credential level. Mentor Coaching should take place over an extended time (three-month minimum) in a cycle that allows for listening and feedback from the Mentor Coach while also allowing reflection and practice on the part of the individual being mentored.

    Mentor Coach Qualifications

    Candidates on the following credentialing paths are required to partner with a Mentor Coach who holds a valid credential at or above the level they’re applying for:

    • ACC ACSTH (Mentor Coach must be ACC, PCC or MCC)
    • ACC Portfolio (Mentor Coach must be ACC, PCC or MCC)
    • PCC ACSTH (Mentor Coach must be PCC or MCC)
    • PCC Portfolio (Mentor Coach must be PCC or MCC)
    • MCC (Mentor Coach must be MCC)

    Individual and Group Coaching

    A minimum of 3 of the 10 mentoring hours must be one-on-one coaching with the mentor. Group coaching may count for a maximum of 7 hours toward the mentoring requirement. The group being mentored may not consist of more than 10 participants.


    On the online credential application, you will list the name of each Mentor Coach, the Mentor Coach email address, the credential level of the Mentor Coach, the start and end date of each mentoring relationship, and the number of hours of coaching from each mentor. You are not required to provide documentation from your Mentor Coach, but your Mentor Coach should be able to confirm that the mentoring took place.


    The Mentor Coaching requirement must be fulfilled prior to submitting your application. For example, you must have completed a minimum of three months and 10 hours of Mentor Coaching prior to today’s date if you were to submit your application today.


    Do not send documentation to ICF Headquarters by mail or email. Only the mentoring log on the online application will be accepted.


  • Coaching Supervision

    When a coach brings his or her work to coaching supervision, the collaborative learning dialogue between coach and coaching supervisor may:

    1. Assure best practice coaching and ensure continual growth and development of the coaching practice
    2. Provide an opportunity to better understand self, the client, the client’s system and the choices made with the engagement
    3. Raise awareness of personal reactions to the client and/or the system and provide a safe place for exploring these
    4. Serve as a restorative function
    5. Coaching supervision is a recognized part of CPD and is distinct from Mentor Coaching required for an ICF Credential.
  • Research and Teaching

    Research (including evaluation) is defined as any activity that involves the collection, collation, review or evaluation of data or information for the purpose of describing, maintaining or modifying activities, practices, interventions or treatments. Research may involve the manipulation of variables or environmental factors whereas evaluation more typically involves the review of information for the purpose of providing feedback about the function, productivity or efficacy of an activity. Evaluation includes but is not limited to needs assessment, process assessment, outcome studies, impact analysis, cost-benefit analysis and meta-analysis.

    Teaching (being an instructor) is engagement in the production and delivery of content ensuring a holistic growth path that promotes the cross-fertilization of ideas and concepts where capacity truly exists.

    These activities allow for one to take an in-depth look at a particular subject area within the coaching discipline to experiment and test the efficacy of different coaching approaches.

    • Increase the knowledge base concerning the art and science of coaching
    • Contribute to the advancement of coaching theory and the establishment of best evidence-based practices
    • Disseminate coaching research to the coach practitioner
    • Establish increased credibility for coaching as a discipline through the encouragement and support of best research practices and resulting theory development in coaching practice
    • Close the gap between coaching research and the practice of coaching by combining evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence
  • Archived Learning

    ICF strives to provide continuing coach education that is relevant across various aspects of a coach’s practice from coach skills to business development. Archived learning is offered in various contexts including OnDemand sessions, and recorded in-person event sessions.

Not a member?

Sign up now to become a member and receive all of our wonderful benefits.

Learn more