How to Join ICF - International Coaching Federation
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How to Join ICF

When you join ICF, you’ll have access to a growing global network of like-mined professional coaches — among so many other benefits.

To maintain high standards of ethics and education for our professional coach practitioners, joining ICF starts with an application. If you’re ready to join ICF, start your application now.

More on Membership Eligibility

You are eligible for membership if you meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • You hold an ICF Credential (ACC, PCC, MCC).
  • You have completed at least 60 hours of coaching education that meets ICF standards.
  • You are enrolled in at least 60 hours of coaching education that meets ICF standards.

Don’t meet at least one of these requirements? Visit the Education Search Service (ESS) to find accredited coaching education that will qualify you for ICF membership.

More on Coaching Education for ICF Membership

  • What Qualifies?

    Acceptable coaching education to apply for ICF membership includes: 

    • Education from any organization with these four (4) distinctions: 
      • Level 1 
      • Level 2
      • ACTP 
      • ACSTH  

    The following are also acceptable forms of coaching education, but will be subject to the stipulations listed: 

    • Education from a Continuing Coach Education (CCE) provider, subject to these limitations:  
      • All hours approved in ICF Core Competencies will be accepted.  
      • A maximum of 12 hours outside of the ICF Core Competencies will be accepted.  
    • Education that has not been previously approved by ICF that: 
      • Is specifically marketed as teaching coaching skills or teaches how to apply technical skills in a coach-like manner. 
      • Teaches coaching skills in accordance with the ICF Core Competencies (e.g., university-based training, training from a non-ICF accredited organization). 

    The following are NOT acceptable forms of coaching education: 

    • Education that is marketed as teaching other skills, even if the skills can be used by a coach in some manner. 
    • Personal development courses.  
    • Education in other areas such as psychology, counseling, NLP, etc. (unless it was actually taught as coaching education and from the perspective of the ICF Core Competencies). 

    In addition, teaching coaching classes does not count as coaching education unless:  

    • The applicant created the class.  
    • The applicant also taught the class.  
    • The education otherwise meets the definition of coaching education. 

    If all three of the above apply, the class may be counted only once not each time that the same class was delivered. 

  • How are Hours Calculated?

    Of the 60 hours required, at least 48 of the hours must be:  

    • Student contact hours.
      These are clock hours spent in synchronous (real-time) interactions between faculty and students. This may include time spent in direct instruction (voice-to-voice or in-person education), real-time discussions, observation of and feedback on practice coaching sessions, and mentoring students.  
    • Coaching education developed and delivered based on the ICF Core Competencies (all 11 ICF Core Competencies must be covered).  

    Of the 60 hours required, no more than 12 of the hours may be:  

    • Homework/independent study.
      These are clock hours spent outside of real-time interaction between faculty and students (asynchronous). These may include outside reading, writing, research, journaling, and various other activities that may occur outside of the synchronous setting.

    All asynchronous hours must be part of the education program and require some method of validating that the activity was completed by the student. 

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