Evolution of Accreditation - International Coaching Federation
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Evolution of the ICF Accreditation

Since the founding of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in 1995, accreditation has been vital to the success and credibility of the coaching industry. How a coach is educated in coaching concepts and practice matters, especially in the pursuit of an ICF credential, which is the industry gold standard for professional coaches across the globe. 

And although it is the nature of coaching to change and transform, there has never been such a comprehensive effort to better align accreditation in coaching education with the changes of our evolving profession. Until now.

We are innovating our current global accreditation model to set the highest standards for coach-specific education in the world. Our new structure will enable coaches to find a clearer path to quality education that prepares them for the nuance, complexity and sophistication of today’s coaching consumer.
– Luke Davis, vice president of ICF Coaching Education

The coaching industry has exploded in recent years. In 2020, the ICF Coach Training Board of Directors approved the creation of a global task force to evaluate and improve the current ICF educational accreditation process. This incredible and diverse group assessed and reimagined not only the philosophy of accreditation, but also the structure, policies and procedures to align with current leading practices across the world.

Their vital work has brought us to this pivotal point today.

Over the next 18 months, ICF accredited organizations and institutions, and those interested in pursuing ICF organizational accreditation, will partake in a series of both structural and standards updates. Through the collaboration of stakeholders and staff, we will strengthen the coaching profession through the use of validated coaching competencies, a common code of ethics, and fair, reliable assessments.


3 New and Notable Changes

  • 1. A New Name

    1. A New Name

    Introducing ICF Coaching Education.

  • 2. An Updated Accreditation Structure

    2. An Updated Accreditation Structure

    An updated accreditation structure will replace both ACTP and ACSTH with levels tied to ICF Credentialing pathways.

  • 3. A New Way of Accrediting

    3. A New Way of Accrediting

    A new way of accrediting that accredits an entire organization rather than only a specific curriculum or program.

1. A New Name

From this time forward, ICF Coach Training is ICF Coaching Education. As the world has become more complex and the coaching profession more evolved, today’s coaches need more comprehensive education in order to thrive.

2. An Updated Accreditation Structure

An updated accreditation structure will replace both ACTP and ACSTH with levels tied to ICF Credentialing pathways.

  • Level 1 Accreditation (formerly ACSTH) is for organizations that offer at least 60 contact learning hours, and it is designated as a pathway to the ACC credential. 
  • Level 2 Accreditation (formerly ACTP) is for organizations that offer at least 125 contact learning hours, and it is designated as a pathway to the PCC credential. 
  • Level 3 Accreditation, a brand-new offering, is for organizations that offer at least 75 advanced contact learning hours, and it is designated as a pathway to the MCC credential. 

Continuing Coach Education (CCE) will remain, but it will only serve as continuing education and professional development for the renewal of a credential — not as initial coach training or education. 

3. A New Way of Accrediting

A new way of accrediting that accredits an entire organization rather than only a specific curriculum or program. Accrediting whole organizations is a leading global practice. This sends a strong message of credibility and congruence for your organization, and our profession, that enables all of us to live the gold standard for which we are all proud. 


Our Team is Ready to Collaborate

In the coming months, we’ll provide opportunities for you to learn more, as questions and get the support needed to successfully implement these changes. Below is an overview of what to look forward to.

Live Q&A Webinars

Join us for Live Q&A webinars to get answers to your questions. Follow the links below to register for the session(s) you’d like to attend.

Thursday, December 2, 2021
9:00 a.m. EST (New York) | Register Here
6:00 p.m. EST (New York) | Register Here

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
9:00 a.m. EST (New York) | Register Here
6:00 p.m. EST (New York) | Register Here

Individualized Transformation Planning

The ICF Coaching Education team will partner with you to create an individualized plan that will identify all updates needed to meet the updated standards and requirements by December 31, 2022. These planning meetings will begin at the start of the 2022 calendar year.

An Exclusive Global Knowledge Community

As a benefit exclusively for the ICF Coaching Education community of accredited providers, we’ve created the ICF Coaching Education Global Knowledge Community. Here, you’ll be able to engage, collaborate and network with your global colleagues in a safe, virtual environment that encourages and fosters growth and thought leadership.

Specialized Accreditation Software

The ICF Staff is already in the process of developing a software portal for simpler, faster management of accreditation and all its moving parts.

Refreshed Search Service

Formerly the Training Program Search Service (TPSS), we’re working on an updated and refreshed Education Search Service with tons of new features to raise your market visibility to prospective students.


Key Dates for Accreditation’s Evolution

December 2, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EST (New York) and 6:00 p.m. EST (New York) – Live Q&A Webinars. More details and registration links forthcoming.

January 7, 2022 at 12:00 Noon EST (New York) – Final deadline to submit accreditation applications under the current model (ACSTH, ACTP, CCE*)

January 10, 2022 at 12 Noon EST (New York) – The updated accreditation structure will take effect and replace the current model. At this point, programs and organizations will no longer be able to apply for the ACSTH, ACTP or legacy CCE* accreditation.

January 19, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. EST (New York) and 6:00 p.m. EST (New York) – Live Q&A Webinars. More details and registration links forthcoming.

February – December, 2022 – Collaboration with the ICF Coaching Education Team to create individualized transition plans to ensure your accreditation aligns with new standards and requirements.

December 31, 2022 – Deadline to meet new accreditation standards and requirements.

*Please note that with the updated accreditation model, the requirements for CCE accreditation have changed as well. January 7 reflects the deadline to apply according to the current requirements. Visit the CCE Accreditation page for more information.

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