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

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  • 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 does the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) define coaching? Is there an agreed, collective view across the three professional bodies?

    The three members of the Alliance are signatories to the Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring which has been accepted on the European Union’s dedicated website for self-regulated professions.

    The Professional Charter gives the following high-level description of coaching and mentoring, stressing that this is not intended as a definitive statement:

    “Coaching and mentoring are activities within the area of professional and personal development with focus on individuals and teams and relying on the client’s own resources to help them to see and test alternative ways for improvement of competence, decision making and enhancement of quality of life. Thus, a professional coach/mentor can be described as an expert in establishing a relationship with people in a series of conversations with the purpose of serving the clients to improve their performance or enhance their personal development or both, choosing their own goals and ways of doing it.”

    Definitions of coaching are also available on each of our respective websites.

  • Could you define credentialed/accredited?

    Credentials/accreditations are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding and practice of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the industry. Achieving credentials/accreditation signifies a coach’s commitment to integrity, an understanding and practice of coaching skills and a dedication to clients.

  • How does the International Coaching Federation (ICF) define coaching?

    ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

  • How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?

    Coaching typically begins with a personal interview (either face-to-face or by teleconference call) to assess the individual’s or business’ current opportunities and challenges, define the scope of the relationship, identify priorities for action and establish specific desired outcomes. Subsequent coaching sessions may be conducted in person or over the telephone, with each session lasting a previously established length of time. Between scheduled coaching sessions, the individual may be asked to complete specific actions that support the achievement of one’s personally prioritized goals. The coach may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles, checklists, assessments or models to support the individual’s or business’ thinking and actions. The duration of the coaching relationship varies depending on needs and preferences.

    Assessments: A variety of assessments are available to support the coaching process, depending upon the needs and circumstances of the individual or business. Assessments provide objective information that can enhance self-awareness, as well as awareness of others and their circumstances; provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies; and offer a method for evaluating progress.

    Concepts, models and principles: A variety of concepts, models and principles drawn from the behavioral sciences, management literature, spiritual traditions and/or the arts and humanities may be incorporated into the coaching conversation to increase self-awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, provide new frameworks for looking at opportunities and challenges, and energize and inspire forward actions.

    Appreciative approach: Coaching incorporates an appreciative approach, grounded in what’s right, what’s working, what’s wanted and what’s needed to get there. Using an appreciative approach, the coach models constructive communication skills and methods to enhance personal communication effectiveness. He or she incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback to elicit the most positive responses from others, and visions of success as contrasted with focusing on problems. The appreciative approach is simple to understand and employ, and its reach can be profound, opening up new possibilities and spurring action.

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