The Gold Standard in Coaching | ICF - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can Coaching Supervision or Mentor Coaching be counted toward client coaching hours for ICF credentialing?

    No. Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching are distinct activities from coaching. Therefore, Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours may not be used toward the client coaching experience hours required for ICF credentialing.

    Up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours (receiving or delivering), however, may be used to meet the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • Can Coaching Supervision take the place of Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential?

    Not at this time. Given Coaching Supervision’s broader focus to include supporting the coach and sharing wisdom as compared to Mentor Coaching’s focus on a coach’s skill in the ICF Core Competencies, only Mentor Coaching is accepted to meet the Mentor Coaching requirements for an ICF Credential.

  • Can I be a Mentor Coach?

    To be a Mentor Coach for credentialing, you must hold a credential at or above the credential level your clients seek. For example, if you are a PCC, you may be a Mentor Coach for ACC and PCC applicants. If you are an ACC, you may only deliver Mentor Coaching to ACC candidates.

  • Can I count group coaching hours toward my experience requirement?

    Yes. If you are coaching a group you will document that session in your Client Coaching Log by giving ICF one name and email address from one person in the group and providing ICF with the number of people in the group (group coaching can be done with only 15 members or less). You cannot multiply hours times participants in the group. If you coach 15 people for 1 hour, you can only count that as one hour of coaching, not 15 hours.

  • Can I earn Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE) with self-study?

    Any course taken as self-study is considered Resource Development CCE.

  • Can I list my ICF Credential as "Pending" once I've submitted the application?

    No. You may only reference an ICF Credential in your marketing information, website or materials after it has been officially granted by the ICF. Because submission of an application does not guarantee that you will be granted an ICF Credential, referencing an ICF Credential prior to official receipt is misleading and potentially unethical. Making a false claim is a breach of the ICF Code of Ethics.

  • Can I submit a recording in my own language?

    The International Coaching Federation accepts a number of languages for the performance evaluation of a Credentialing application, which are listed for each credentialing level here. If a language is not listed, you may submit recordings in that language for review along with a transcript with the language used in your recording and an English translation of the transcript. You are not permitted to use an interpreter.

  • Can I submit training that is not International Coach Federation (ICF) Accredited as Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    You may submit training that has not been accredited in advance by the ICF involving live, voice-to-voice interaction between instructors and students as CCE, but there is no guarantee that it will be accepted as CCE.

  • Can two Associate Certified Coaches (ACCs) mentor each other for credential renewal?

    Yes, you can serve as another ACC’s mentor for 10 hours, and they in turn can mentor you for another 10 hours.

  • Do I have to apply for the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) before I apply for the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) or Master Certified Coach (MCC)?

    Candidates can apply for either the ACC or PCC Credential as long as they meet all requirements for the level of Credentialing for which they wish to apply. For the MCC Credential, however, candidates must hold or have held a PCC as a pre-requisite for MCC eligibility. This is to best support candidate success in their pursuit of the MCC Credential.

  • Do I have to attend an ICF-accredited program?

    The best way to ensure that you meet the requirements for an ICF Credential is to complete ICF-accredited coach-specific training. Non-accredited programs that meet ICF’s definition of coach-specific training are also accepted toward the training requirements for an ICF Credential once ICF has reviewed the course curriculum.

  • Do I have to complete an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching each time I renew my Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Credential?

    Yes, all ACC-credentialed coaches are required to complete an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching in the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal. This requirement is intended to promote your continued growth as a coach and help move you to the next credential level.

  • Do I have to get an ICF Credential?

    If you are serious about developing your coaching business, an ICF Credential is the best way to set yourself apart by demonstrating your knowledge, skill and commitment to high ethical and professional standards. However, because coaching is not regulated by any country or state, you are not required to get training or credentials.

  • Do I have to take the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) to renew my credential?

    No, the CKA is only required for new individual credential applications.

  • Does Coaching Supervision count toward Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for credential renewal?

    Yes. A coach may submit up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (receiving or delivering) toward the Core Competency Continuing Coach Education requirements for credential renewal.

  • Does Coaching Supervision count toward Resource Development Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for renewal?

    No. Credentialed coaches may submit up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) for Core Competency credits toward the 40 Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units required for credential renewal.

  • For the purposes of logging experience hours, how does the International Coaching Federation (ICF) define the start of coach-specific training?

    Applicants for the ACC and PCC Credentials may only count coaching experience hours taking place after the start of their coach-specific training. Beginning July 31, 2018, at 12 Noon (New York), MCC applicants will be subject to the same requirement.

    The following qualifies as coach-specific training:

    • Any ICF-accredited program with at least 30 hours
    • Any CCE program with at least 30 hours (at least 80 percent in Core Competencies)
    • A non-approved program with at least 30 hours (at least 80 percent in Core Competencies). Please note that all non-approved training is subject to review and approval as part of the credentialing application process.

    Please note that ACC and PCC applicants who completed their coach-specific training via a CCE program or non-approved program must apply via the Portfolio path.

  • How can I find out if the training I completed is International Coaching Federation (ICF) Accredited?

    The organization where you completed your training can provide that information. You may also use our Training Program Search Service (TPSS), and search by the training organization’s name. If the training organization has an accredited program, it will be listed in our TPSS.

  • How can I find out when my credential is due for renewal?

    Your credential expiration date may be found on your ICF Credential certificate provided when your credential was awarded or renewed. ICF Members may access their credential information by logging into the Members section of our website, and clicking on “Edit Profile,” then “Edit Contact Info.”

  • How can I renew a lapsed credential?

    If your credential was due for renewal less than one (1) year ago, you may still be eligible to renew by submitting additional 1.2 CCE units for each month your credential has lapsed.

  • How do I find a training program for coaches with my background or in my specialty?

    You can use the “Coaching Specialty” search filter on the Training Program Search Service. For recommendations, you may join a Community of Practice in your specialty or find coaches in your specialty through Credentialed Coach Finder.

  • How do I find information on training program length and costs?

    Once you identify a training program on the Training Program Search Service (TPSS) that you are interested in, please reach out directly to the training program provider for more details about their program.

  • How do I get my credentials through ICF?

    You would need to submit an application to ICF for approval. The requirements for each level of credential can be found at the following links.

    ACC

    PCC

    MCC

  • How long will it take for my credentialing application to be reviewed?

    The estimated timeline for review of a credentialing application depends on which application you are submitting. Estimated timelines are as follows:

    ACC ACTP or PCC ACTP: 4 weeks

    ACC ACSTH, ACC Portfolio or PCC ACSTH: 14 weeks

    PCC Portfolio or MCC: 18 weeks

  • How many hours of giving Coaching Supervision can I count toward ICF Credential renewal?

    ICF-credentialed coaches may count up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) as Core Competency credits toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • How many hours of group Coaching Supervision can I count toward ICF Credential renewal?

    ICF-credentialed coaches may count up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) as Core Competency credits toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal. Coaching Supervision does not have to be delivered in a certain format (e.g., group or individual) in order to be accepted for CCE units for credential renewal.

  • How many self-study Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units are eligible?

    You may submit up to 16 hours/units of self-study Resource Development CCE.

  • I renewed my membership. Do I still have to renew my credential?

    ICF Membership renewal and ICF Credential renewal are completely separate processes and fees. Membership is renewed annually and is due for renewal March 31 of each year. ICF Credentials are renewed every three years. Your exact credential expiration date may be found on your ICF Credential certificate.

  • If I coach as part of my job, can I count those hours as paid?

    Yes, you can, as long as coaching is in your job description and you are not coaching employees whom you supervise or who report directly to you. This is considered internal coaching.

  • If I complete more than the required Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for credential renewal, can I use the excess hours for a future credential renewal?

    You may only submit CCE units completed within the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal.

  • If I write an article on the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Core Competencies, does this count towards Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE) hours when I renew my credential?

    Yes. Published writing pertaining to the ICF Core Competencies can be submitted for consideration as Core Competency credits toward a credential-holder’s renewal. To submit published writing toward a credential renewal, you will submit a summary of the published writing and how it relates to the ICF Core Competencies; a link to the published writing, where it can be viewed or purchased; and the number of hours required to research, prepare and write the piece.

  • Is Coaching Supervision a requirement for ICF Credentials?

    Coaching Supervision is not a requirement for an initial ICF Credential at this time. A credentialed coach may use up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (receiving or delivering) to meet the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • Is the time a Mentor Coach takes to listen to a recording (e.g., 20 minutes of a recorded coaching session) counted toward the 10 hours of Mentor Coaching?

    Only the time spent in interactive dialogue and delivery of feedback with the Mentor Coaching client may count toward the 10 hours of Mentor Coaching required for a credential. Time spent listening to a recording and preparing for a Mentor Coaching session may not be counted toward the 10-hour requirement.

  • My credential is due for renewal but I want to apply for a higher credential. Which application should I purchase?

    It is not possible to upgrade to a higher credential via the credential renewal application. If you wish to pursue a higher credential, you will need to submit that individual credential application.

  • My credential was due for renewal more than one (1) year ago; can I still renew?

    If your credential was due for renewal more than one (1) year ago, you are no longer eligible to renew. You will need to begin the credential process again by submitting a new individual credential application.

  • What are the credential renewal requirements?

    Participation in at least 40 hours of Continuing Coach Education (CCE), or 40 Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units, completed in the three years since the initial award of your credential or since your last credential renewal, with at least 24 hours/units in Core Competencies. Beginning in 2016, ICF Credential-holders will be required to demonstrate completion of at least three (3) Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units in the area of coaching ethics to be eligible for renewal of their ICF Credentials. This requirement applies to all coaches whose ICF Credentials are expire on or after December 31, 2016. For ACC renewals, an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching is also required.

  • What documents need to be submitted for Mentor Coaching hours?

    In the online credential application, you will be asked to list the name of each Mentor Coach, their email address, their ICF Credential, the start and end date of each mentoring relationship, and the number of hours of Mentor Coaching with each mentor. You are not required to provide documentation from your mentor coach, but your Mentor Coach must be able to confirm that the Mentor Coaching took place.

  • What if I submit training that is not ICF Accredited and it is not accepted?

    Your credential renewal application will remain “in process” to allow you time to complete CCE that meets our credential renewal requirements.

  • What is an example of self-study Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    Listening to an Archived Virtual Education session or a recording of an ICF Event are examples of self-study CCE.

  • What is Continuing Coach Education (CCE)/What are Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units?

    Continuing Coach Education (CCE) is defined as an activity that promotes your continued growth as a coach. CCE is divided into two categories: Core Competencies and Resource Development. Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units are earned upon completing Continuing Coach Education.

  • What is Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    Advanced coach training, published writing, or research directly related to ICF Core Competencies.

  • What is Resource Development Continuing Coach Education (CCE)?

    Training, writing, research, or self-study outside of the ICF Core Competencies that contributes to the professional development of a coach.

  • What is the fee for an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Credential renewal?

    The credential renewal fee is $175 USD for ICF Members and $275 USD for non-members.

  • What is the most cost effective way to get Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units?

    Membership with ICF Global provides a wealth of cost-effective ways to get CCE units. ICF Members receive discounts on a variety of offerings, including conferences and events (both local and global), ICF Credentialing applications, research findings, and other special offers. Members have access to member-only content on Coachfederation.org, including free ICF Virtual Education and Archived Learning that can be completed for CCE units.

  • What kind of document should I submit for renewal to prove my Coaching Supervision hours (receiving & delivering)?

    To claim Coaching Supervision hours toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal, a candidate will simply provide the coach supervisor’s name and email address, the total number of hours of supervision provided, and the start and end date of the supervision.

  • When can I apply for my credentials through the International Coaching Federation (ICF)?

    You may submit your credential application once you have met all the requirements of the credential for which you are applying.

  • Where can I find training?

    CCE Accredited Providers, ICF Chapter and Community of Practice events are found in the ICF Event Calendar.

    Individual courses within an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP), a CCE Program, or Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) are found using the Training Program Search Service.

    ICF Conferences and Events.

    Virtual Education Sessions found in Archived Learning.

  • Where can I get my credential logo?

    ICF Credential-holders have a specific logo they may use. For an ICF Credential logo, please email support@coachingfederation.org. ICF logos may only be used by those who obtain prior permission from ICF Headquarters. Without prior authorization, use of an ICF logo, or any other version or likeness of the logo, is in violation of the ICF’s logo usage guidelines and trademark law.

  • Which training program do I need to take to be a Mentor Coach?

    At this time, there is no specific training requirement for a coach to provide mentor coaching. Mentor coaches must have an ICF credential in good standing and may only provide mentor coaching to coaches at the same level of credentialing or lower. For instance, a PCC credentialed mentor coach may only offer mentor coaching services to those pursuing or holding an ACC or PCC. Further, ACC-credentialed coaches must complete a full cycle of their credential through renewal to be eligible to serve as a mentor coach.

  • Why aren't ICF Credential-holders required to be ICF Members?

    The ICF Credential stands independent from ICF Membership. This is an important provision of compliance with globally accepted standards for bodies operating individual certification programs. The value of an ICF Credential as an industry-wide marker of an individual’s commitment to ongoing professional development and outstanding professional practice is distinct from the benefits of ICF Membership (e.g., networking and leadership-development opportunities, discounted event attendance, access to archived virtual learning). Although ICF Credential-holders are not required to be ICF Members, they are bound by the ICF Code of Ethics and are required to meet stringent renewal criteria every three years.

  • Why can’t I find a program in my area?

    There are more than 1,000 ICF-accredited programs. Less than half are in the United States and Canada, and most of those are in big cities or near the coasts. If you can’t find a program near you, many are offered via distance or blended learning formats.

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