Anyone can call themselves a coach. But ICF-credentialed coaches are professionals who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Additionally, they adhere to strict ethical guidelines as part of ICF’s mission to protect and serve coaching consumers.
On August 2, ICF Credentials and Standards implemented several exciting changes to the credentialing process. These changes reflect our commitment to ensure that the ICF Credentials meet the highest standards in professional certification practice, and support and elevate ICF Credential-holders.
An ICF Credential is a professional certification indicating that you have met specific standards and requirements designed to develop and refine your coaching skills. It is an indication that you are dedicated to upholding strong principles of ethical behavior in coaching. An ICF Credential shows your clients and peers that you are committed to the coaching industry and to developing yourself as a coaching professional.
Holding a credential – especially an ICF Credential – is extremely important to today’s coaching clients. The 2022 Global Consumer Awareness Study found that 85% of coaching clients say it’s important or very important that their coach holds a certification or credential. Earning an ICF Credential provides you with instant credibility and increased visibility to prospective clients.
ICF offers three credentials, corresponding with the quantity of education and experience required to earn it. The credentials are:
Associate Certified Coach (ACC) – Completed 60 hours of coach specific education and 100 hours of client coaching experience
Professional Certified Coach (PCC) – Completed 125 hours of coach specific education and 500 hours of client coaching experience
Master Certified Coach (MCC) – Hold or have held a PCC Credential, completed 200 hours of coach specific education and 2,500 hours of client coaching experience
Earning an ICF Credential is a rigorous process that provides legitimacy and credibility to Credential-holders. Each of the credentials (ACC, PCC and MCC) requires the same five key components:
Visit the How to Apply page to understand the application process. Or, if you are ready to apply for your Credential, get started with your application by completing the Credential Survey.
Explore what it takes to become a coach and get started on your journey. Get informed. Find education. Join ICF. Earn a Credential. Change the World.