Education & Training Requirements - International Coaching Federation
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Education and Training Requirements

Applicants pursuing the ICF ACC and PCC Credentials through the Portfolio path, and all MCC applicants must successfully complete a designated number of coach-specific education or training hours for eligibility and submit robust documentation with their application. 

As you review the information below, please ensure that you click on the correct tab for your credentialing path. The text on the tab should turn from teal to gold when selected.

  • ACC Portfolio

    ACC Portfolio applicants must have completed a minimum of 60 hours of coach-specific education or training. Of the 60 hours required:

    • At least 30 of the hours must be student contact hours – clock hours spent in synchronous (real-time) interactions between faculty and students. This may include time spent in direct instruction (voice-to-voice or in-person training), real-time discussions, observation and feedback of practice coaching sessions, and mentoring students.
    • At least 48 of the hours must be coach-specific education or training developed and delivered based on the ICF Core Competencies (all ICF Core Competencies must be covered).

    The remaining hours may be:

    • Homework/Independent Study: clock hours spent outside of real-time interaction between faculty and students (asynchronous). These may include outside reading, writing, research, journaling, and various other activities that may occur outside of the synchronous setting. All asynchronous hours must be part of the education or training program and require some method of validating that the activity was completed by the student.
    • Resource Development: training in skills that contribute to a coach’s professional development (e.g., personal development, coaching tools or personality and productivity assessments, business building, or other material that falls outside the ICF Core Competencies)
  • PCC Portfolio

    PCC Portfolio applicants must have completed a minimum of 125 hours of coach-specific education or training.

    Of the 125 hours required:

    • At least 62.5 of the hours must be student contact hours – clock hours spent in synchronous (real-time) interactions between faculty and students. This may include time spent in direct instruction (voice-to-voice or in-person training), real-time discussions, observation and feedback of practice coaching sessions, and mentoring students.
    • At least 100 of the hours must be coach-specific education or training developed and delivered based on the ICF Core Competencies (all ICF Core Competencies must be covered).

    The remaining hours may be:

    • Homework/Independent Study: clock hours spent outside of real-time interaction between faculty and students (asynchronous). These may include outside reading, writing, research, journaling, and various other activities that may occur outside of the synchronous setting. All asynchronous hours must be part of the education or training program and require some method of validating that the activity was completed by the student.
    • Resource Development: training in skills that contribute to a coach’s professional development (e.g., personal development, coaching tools or personality and productivity assessments, business building, or other material that falls outside the ICF Core Competencies)
  • MCC

    MCC Portfolio applicants must have completed a minimum of 200 hours of coach-specific education or training.

    Of the 200 hours required:

    • At least 100 of the hours must be student contact hours – clock hours spent in synchronous (real-time) interactions between faculty and students. This may include time spent in direct instruction (voice-to-voice or in-person training), real-time discussions, observation and feedback of practice coaching sessions, and mentoring students.
    • At least 160 of the hours must be coach-specific education or training developed and delivered based on the ICF Core Competencies (all 11 ICF Core Competencies must be covered).

    The remaining hours may be:

    • Homework/Independent Study: clock hours spent outside of real-time interaction between faculty and students (asynchronous). These may include outside reading, writing, research, journaling, and various other activities that may occur outside of the synchronous setting. All asynchronous hours must be part of the education or training program and require some method of validating that the activity was completed by the student.
    • Resource Development: training in skills that contribute to a coach’s professional development (e.g., personal development, coaching tools or personality and productivity assessments, business building, or other material that falls outside the ICF Core Competencies)

Coach-specific Education / Training - ACC Portfolio and PCC Portfolio

  • Definition

    Education and training that is accepted as coach-specific:

    • Education or training from an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) or a program that has received the ICF Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) designation
    • Education or training from a Continuing Coach Education (CCE) Provider, ICF conference, ICF Community of Practice (CP) or ICF Chapter event
    • Education or training that has not been previously approved by ICF that is specifically marketed as teaching coaching skills or teaches how to apply technical skills in a coach-like manner and teaches coaching skills in accordance with the ICF definition of coaching, Core Competencies and Code of Ethics.

    Education or training that is not accepted as coach-specific:

    • Education or training that is marketed as teaching other skills, even though the skills can be used by a coach in some manner
    • Personal development courses
    • Education in other areas such as psychology, counseling, NLP, etc., does not count as coach-specific unless it was actually taught as coach education or training and is aligned with the ICF definition of coaching, Core Competencies and Code of Ethics

    Teaching coaching classes may not count as coach-specific education or training unless the following three requirements are met:

    • The applicant created the class
    • The applicant also taught the class
    • The course curriculum meets the definition of coach-specific education or training, including direct interaction with instructors and alignment with the ICF Core Competencies, and has been submitted to ICF for accreditation

    If all three above apply, subject to review and approval of the course curriculum, then the class may be counted only one time, not each time that the same class was delivered.

  • Documentation

    On the online credential application, you will provide:

    • The number of hours of coach-specific education or training that you completed.
    • The type of program (ACTP, ACSTH, CCE or non-accredited).
    • The name of the organization that operated the program.
    • The name of each coach education training program that you attended.

    For coach education or training programs that have been accredited by ICF as ACTP or ACSTH, you must submit proof of completion in the form of a certificate or signed letter issued by the program indicating the name of the program, dates of attendance, and total hours completed.

    For coach education or training programs that have been accredited by ICF as Continuing Coach Education (CCE) or have not been accredited by ICF:

    • You must submit proof of completion in the form of a certificate or signed letter issued by the program indicating the name of the program, dates of attendance, and total hours completed.
    • You must list the hours of content that were delivered synchronously and asynchronously. Note that 50% of all required instruction must be synchronous, allowing the opportunity for real-time interaction between instructors and students.
    • Applicants will be required to complete a Verification of Training form (a sample is available for download below) within the online application that requires evidence to show that completed education or training was comprehensive aligned with the ICF definition of coaching, Code of Ethics and Core Competencies. The education or training received should be organized in a way that encouraged the growth of the coach.
    • You must provide a concise class outline or syllabus that summarizes the names of classes/modules and the time allowed for presentation.
    • You must provide student materials. These materials may include a student or instructors’ manual, handouts, power points, or any other documentation that clearly illustrates the detailed curriculum.

    For classes that you have taught:

    • You must submit a letter that includes the course name and verifies that you created and taught the class.
    • You will be required to complete the “Verification of Training” component of the online credential application that requires evidence that the course is aligned with the ICF definition of coaching, Code of Ethics and Core Competencies.
  • Completion

    The coach-specific education or training requirement must be fulfilled prior to submitting your application.

  • Submission

    Do not send documentation to ICF Credentials and Standards by mail or email. Only documentation that has been uploaded with your online application will be accepted. ICF does not provide pre-approval for non-accredited education or training programs. All curriculum reviews and approvals are completed as part of the application process. 

Coach-specific Education or Training - MCC

  • Definition

    Education or training that is accepted as coach-specific:

    • Education or training from an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) or a program that has received the ICF Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) designation
    • Education or training from a Continuing Coach Education (CCE) Provider, ICF conference, ICF Community of Practice (CP) or ICF Chapter event
    • Education or training that has not been previously approved by ICF that is specifically marketed as teaching coaching skills or teaches how to apply technical skills in a coach-like manner, and teaches coaching skills in accordance with the ICF definition of coaching, Core Competencies and Code of Ethics (e.g., university-based training, training from a non-ICF-accredited organization)

    Education or training that is not accepted as coach-specific:

    • Education or training that is marketed as teaching other skills, even though the skills can be used by a coach in some manner
    • Personal development courses
    • Education in other areas such as psychology, counseling, NLP, etc., does not count as coach-specific education or training unless it was actually taught as coach education or training and is aligned with the ICF definition of coaching, Core Competencies and Code of Ethics

    Teaching coaching classes does not count as coach-specific education or training unless:

    • The applicant created the class
    • The applicant also taught the class
    • The education or training otherwise meets the definition of coach-specific education or training, including direct interaction with instructors and alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.

    If all three above apply, then the class may be counted only one time, not each time that the same class was delivered.

  • Documentation

    On the online credential application, you will provide:

    • The number of hours of coach-specific education or training that you completed.
    • The type of program (ACTP, ACSTH, CCE or non-accredited).
    • The name of the organization that operated the program.
    • The name of each coach education or training program that you attended.

    For coach education or training programs that have been accredited by ICF, you must submit proof of completion in the form of a certificate or signed letter issued by the program indicating the name of the program, dates of attendance, and total hours completed.

    For coach education or training programs that have not been accredited by ICF:

    • You must submit proof of completion in the form of a certificate or signed letter issued by the program indicating the name of the program, dates of attendance, and total hours completed.
    • You must list the hours of content that are delivered synchronously and asynchronously. Note that 50% of all required instruction must be synchronous, allowing the opportunity for real-time interaction between instructors and students.
    • You must provide a concise class outline or syllabus that summarizes the names of classes/modules and the time allowed for presentation.
    • You must provide student materials. These materials may include a student or instructors’ manual, handouts, power points, or any other documentation that clearly illustrates the detailed curriculum.

    For classes that you have taught:

    • You must submit a letter explaining that you created and taught the class.
    • You must submit a description of the class. The description should be detailed enough to show that the training meets the definition of coach-specific education or training above, including direct interaction with trainers and alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.

    You must submit a sample of materials that you created for the class. The sample could be a course description, PowerPoint presentation, student handbook, or another document that shows some of the content of the program.

  • Completion

    The coach-specific education or training requirement must be fulfilled prior to submitting your application.

  • Submission

    Do not send documentation to ICF Credentials and Standards by mail or email. Only documentation that has been uploaded with your online application will be accepted. ICF does not provide pre-approval for non-accredited training programs. All curriculum reviews and approvals are completed as part of the application process.

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