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6 tips on how to prepare for your ICF Credentialing Process

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Getting ready for an ICF credential can be confusing. Below are a few pointers that I hope will help get some clarity about it.

1. Visit the ICF website.

This will give you all the latest information needed related to Credentialing process. It will also help you prepare for any consultation you may have with possible mentors who will be able to answer your questions.

2. Get clarity on the reason you are considering getting credentialed.

Perhaps your employer requires it, maybe you want more credibility or it simply feels like the natural next step in your coaching journey - or maybe for completely different reasons. Everyone will have different reasons to apply for the credential, being clear on them will help you decide which level to go for or when.

3. What are the different requirements?

Requirements will vary depending on the level of credentialing you will choose to apply for and may include:

  • Training hours Specific to each level

  • Coaching Experience Specific to each level

  • Coaching Knowledge Assessment, a multi choice test based on ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics.

  • 10 hours mentoring with a credentialed coach

  • Sessions recordings and transcripts

4. Choosing the right level

ICF has 3 different levels of credential:

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

  • Master Certified Coach (MCC).

The level of accreditation choice will depend mainly on the number of hours of coaching as well as hours of training received and coaching experience.

*Each level has different requirements related to type and number of training hours, mentoring, coaching experience hours, knowledge assessment and recordings.

Please refer to the ICF website for further details about this.

**There are 3 different paths within each level: ACTP, ACSTH, PORTFOLIO depending on the type of training you have received. Please refer to the ICF website for further details.

5. Decide on the type of support you wish for

Part of the requirements for all levels is to receive 10 hours mentoring coaching with an ICF credentialed Coach. These hours can be either all on a 1-2-1 basis only or a mix of groups and 1-2-1 sessions (minimum 3 of these).

Important: mentoring sessions will need to happen over a minimum of 3 months. This means that if you start your mentoring sessions with a coach supervisor on the 1st of March the earliest you will be able to apply for any credential level will be in June.

6. How to choose a mentor:

  • Make sure your mentor is ICF credentialed, I have heard of many coaches who worked with a supervisor for months only to find out the sessions will not count towards their credential when submitting their application.

  • Have consultations with at least 3 different mentors: all mentors are encouraged by ICF to invite their possible mentees to have consultations with several mentors before making a decision. This will help you choose by seeing the different ways mentors work with their clients as well as the rapport.

  • Go onto the ICF website and check what you need according to your situation. It is your responsibility to choose the level of accreditation you want and ensure you have all you need to get ready for it.


Can I apply directly for the PCC level?

Yes as long as you meet the requirements for that level. Only MCC level requires you to have held a PCC accreditation prior to applying for MCC.

Does my supervisor need to be PCC credentialed if I am going to apply for ACC level?

For ACC level your mentor will need to be on his second round of ACC credential or higher.

Is it true that if I have a PCC mentor for my ACC process I won’t need another 10 hours of mentoring when applying for PCC?

Some coaches think that they won’t need another set of mentoring sessions if they go for an MCC or PCC supervisor for their ACC credential process. This is inaccurate. Whether you apply for a new credential or renew your current one, you will need more hours of training and more hours of mentoring.

I hope this helps but should you have any further questions or find out about my mentoring program, you are more than welcome to drop me an email or private message me, I will be more than happy to help.

Please always refer to the ICF website as there may have been some updates between the time this was written and you reading it.

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