Performance Evaluations - International Coaching Federation
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Performance Evaluations

As part of the Credentialing process, applicants must pass a Performance Evaluation in which their coaching will be assessed to the ICF Core Competences. As part of ACSTH and Portfolio Credential application paths, applicants are required to submit recording(s) and transcript(s) of coaching sessions for review by trained ICF Assessors.

NOTE: Those applying through the ACTP application path at the ACC and PCC levels completed this requirement as part of their ACTP program. 

Below you will find the requirements related to the submission of a coaching session for evaluation. The information on the preparation, the coaching session and the file guidelines are the same for all credential levels. However, the number of sessions needed for evaluation and the languages available for assessment without an English translation of the transcript vary by credential level.

NOTE: Updates to the Credential application process became effective August 2 at Noon EDT (New York). Learn more about these changes.

Performance Evaluation Information & Guidelines

  • Preparation

    To prepare for your performance evaluation, study the ICF Core Competencies and observe them in your coaching. Have your Mentor Coach provide feedback on how your coaching demonstrates each of the ICF Core Competencies and which competencies have room for improvement. The Minimum Skills Requirements provide information about what assessors are listening for when they conduct performance evaluations at each credential level. 

    Before recording a client, you must receive their written permission to use the recorded session for performance evaluation purposes.  The permission is to be kept on file and made available to ICF upon request. Submitting a recording without the permission of the client is a violation of the ICF Code of Ethics and may result in the denial of an ICF Credential and/or other disciplinary actions. 

    Record several coaching sessions and select a session(s) that demonstrates your use of a wide variety of the ICF Core Competencies. Review your selected sessions and make sure the conversation is clear, audible and that only first names have been used during the coaching session. With regards to the overall quality of the recorded file, the quality and proximity of the recording device used is typically more important than the file bit rate.  An inaudible recorded coaching session will result in lower scores for the performance evaluation and delays in the credentialing process.  

  • Coaching Session

    Please review the following guidelines regarding the recorded coaching session to be submitted for assessment. 

    • The performance evaluation must be a complete coaching session (not edited) lasting between 20 and 60 minutes. Coaching will not be scored beyond the 60-minute mark. 
    • The performance evaluation must be from an actual coaching session between you and a paid or pro bono client (not part of your coaching education). The client may not be a coach unless they are a regular client. A regular client is an individual who has come to you for coaching and for no other reason. 
  • Audio

    Please review the following guidelines for your recorded coaching session to be submitted for assessment with your Credential application.  

    • The recording must be an audio only file (no video/pictures). The following file types are acceptable: MP3, WMA, MP4 or M4A (audio) format. Other formats will not be accepted. 
    • The audio file must be in one part. Multiple files for one coaching session will not be reviewed. 
    • The audio file must be 95 megabytes (MB) or less. Use a lower bit rate to decrease file size, if needed. 
    • You must upload the actual audio file. Providing a URL to download or stream audio recordings will not be accepted. 
    • When naming your file(s), ensure that you use only letters and numbers.  Please be sure there are no special characters in your document name (? / | \ ! @ # = $ % +) in order to avoid issues when uploading your file. 
  • Transcript

    Please review the following guidelines for the recorded coaching session transcript to be submitted for assessment with your Credential application. 

    • The transcript must be a word-for-word (verbatim) record of the coaching session(s), submitted in the language in which the session is held. NOTE: If ICF does not offer a performance evaluation in your language, you will need to submit a transcript in the language spoken AND an English transcript.   
    • The Transcript must indicate who is speaking—the coach or the client—at any time in the conversation. 
    • List the coach’s statements and the client’s statements on separate lines of the transcript. 
    • Transcript must include timestamps at every change in speaker (coach and client). 
    • Transcript must be submitted as a Word document (e.g., .doc, .docx). No other file formats will be accepted. 
    • When naming your file(s), ensure that you use only letters and numbers.  Please be sure there are no special characters in your document name (ie. ? / | \ ! @ # = $ % +) in order to avoid issues when uploading your file. 
  • Procedure

    You will upload your audio recording(s) along with their accompanying written transcript(s) of actual coaching session(s) when completing the credential application. Keep a copy of the files you submit for your records. 

    When naming your files, ensure that you use only letters and numbers.  Please be sure there are no special characters in your document name (ie. ? / | \ ! @ # = $ % +) in order to avoid issues when uploading your files. 

    NOTE: The longest part of the application review process is typically for the performance evaluation section. You may monitor the status of your application from the application’s dashboard.  Once your recording(s) has been assigned to an assessor, you will receive a notice via email.  Please allow 4 – 6 weeks for the assessment to be completed, the results received and properly processed.   

    You will receive an email notifying you when your results have been received from the assessor. The email will also include directions on how to access feedback on your performance from the assessors. 

    At this point, if you are ready to take the CKA exam, you will be sent a separate email with those instructions. If you have already passed the CKA and have passed your Performance Assessment, you will receive an email awarding your credential. If you need to retake an assessment, you will receive an email regarding the retake process. 

Credential-Specific Information

  • ACC

    The ACC-ACSTH and ACC-Portfolio paths include a performance evaluation where ICF Assessors will review one recorded coaching session. You are required to pass this performance evaluation at the ACC level in order to be awarded the ACC Credential.  

    Available languages in which an ACC performance evaluation can be completed are

    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Hungarian
    • Italian
    • Polish
    • Spanish
    • Swedish 

    Transcripts need to be in the same language used in your recording. If ICF does not offer a performance evaluation in your language, you will need to submit a transcript with the language used in your recording and an English translation of the transcript. Use of an interpreter is not permitted. 

  • PCC

    ICF Assessors will review two recorded coaching sessions for those applying through the PCC-ACSTH and PCC-Portfolio application paths. You are required to pass the performance evaluations at the PCC level in order to be awarded the PCC Credential.   

    Available languages in which a PCC performance evaluation can be completed are

    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Hungarian
    • Italian (delays possible due to limited availability of assessors)
    • Polish
    • Portuguese (delays possible due to limited availability of assessors)
    • Spanish
    • Swedish

    Transcripts need to be in the same language used in your recording. If ICF does not offer a performance evaluation in your language, you will need to submit a transcript with the language used in your recording and an English translation of the transcript. Use of an interpreter is not permitted.

  • MCC

    The MCC Portfolio application path includes a performance evaluation where ICF Assessors will review two recorded coaching sessions. You are required to pass the performance evaluations at the MCC level in order to be awarded the MCC Credential. 

    Available languages in which an MCC performance evaluation can be completed are:

    • English
    • French
    • Spanish

    Transcripts need to be in the same language used in your recording. If ICF does not offer a performance evaluation in your language, you will need to submit a transcript with the language used in your recording and an English translation of the transcript. Use of an interpreter is not permitted.

More Performance Evaluation Information

  • Retake Process

    ICF offers a retake process for credential applicants who do not initially achieve a passing score on the performance evaluation. Through this process, candidates can submit a new recording and transcript without submitting a new credential application. 

    If you elect to retake the performance evaluation portion of the application, you will need to do so within six months from the date of your results letter. The fee for this process is $150 USD per recording, which covers the cost to administer the performance evaluation review with a trained assessor. 

    Additional details and instructions for the process of retaking the performance evaluation will be provided in the results email of any recording that did not receive a passing score.  

  • Support

    If you have questions about the credentialing process, please visit the FAQ page. 

    If you need support regarding the Performance Evaluation process or if you do not find the answer to your question on the FAQ page, please visit the ICF Support page. 

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