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Professional Coach Credentialing

Coaching has turned into a $2 billion a year industry. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the largest coaching association in the world with more than 27,000 members in 120 countries. The ICF began in 1995 and has created rigorous coaching and ethical standards. It certifies individual coaches and coach training programs.

My name is Keith Webb, and I have worked with the ICF for years as a chapter board member in Singapore and Seattle, and more recently as the ICF Washington State Chapter President. The ICF's coaching standards are strict.

All of our coaching training is approved by the ICF as Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH). As an approved program, all 150 hours of our training meets the ICF's strict professional coach training standards. 

More than 150 ministry leaders we have trained have gone on to receive their ICF coach credential. You can too. 

The ICF awards a series of individual credentials: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC). Each level has training and client coaching requirements.

Earn Your Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Credential

I'll focus on the first level, the Associate Certified Coach (ACC). After completing 60 hours of our coaching training, 10 hours of mentor-coaching, and coaching 100 client hours you may apply for the ACC credential via the ACC ACSTH Path. 

The very easiest, and most robust way to an ICF ACC is through our All-In-One ICF ACC™ program in the Coaching Mastery Certificate Program. Or you build with The Coaching Workshop and 4 telephone Electives topped off with Coaching Excellence (Mentor-Coaching). What's the difference between the tracks? Coach Mastery is for those who will coach regularly and want the most in-depth training. The Coaching Workshop track is for those who want to integrate coaching skills into their leadership roles, or can't get to one of the Coaching Mastery programs. I compare them further here.

If you previously took the Core Coaching Skills Certificate Program, here is your pathway forward:

Here are all the ICF's requirements. For all the details, the definitions, exceptions, who if's, etc, read the latest requirements for the ACC application on the ICF website: www.coachfederation.org

  ACC ACSTH Application*
Coach Specific Training 60 hours. If you began our training after September 2011, then it is Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH). Use the ACC ASCTH Application.
Work with a mentor-coach Completion of 10 hours with a qualified mentor-coach. Click here for Coaching Excellence (Mentor-Coaching). Coaching Mastery All-in-One includes the necessary mentor-coaching.
Coaching Experience

Client Coaching Log documenting:
-Minimum 100 hours
-Minimum 75 paid hours (any amount, trade, or through your work role)
-Minimum 8 clients
-From Oct 1, 2016, all coaching hours must be after beginning your coaching training and 25 hours must be within 18 months of your ACC application.

Sample Log & Instructions

Performance Evaluation & Transcript Not required if all the training hours you submit to the ICF are ACSTH. 
Coach Knowledge Assessment A multiple-choice, Web-based exam on the ICF Core Competencies and Ethics.  
ICF Fees $300 for ICF Members, $500 for ICF non-members. 

* If you started CORE before September 2011, use ACC Portfolio Application. If you started training with Creative Results Management after September 2011, and you'll turn in just our training hours. All your training hours are ICF-approved as ACSTH in Core Competencies. Use the ACSTH Pathway application.

Next Steps Summary

  1. Read the ICF website carefully for their credentialing requirements, which change from time to time. The ICF offers helpful explanations the ACC application process. If you took our training after September 2011, you will use the ACSTH Pathway.
  2. Keep an accurate Client Coaching Log (example).
  3. Complete at least 60 hours of coaching training. Our certificate programs will get you there quickly. Find your graduation certificate for Coaching Mastery or CORE.
  4. Work with a mentor-coach. Coaching Excellence (Mentor-Coaching) meets this requirement and earns you 12 more coaching training hours. Coaching Mastery All-in-One includes this.
  5. Apply using the appropriate ICF ACC application.
  6. Write us and let us know when you pass!
You can download our free Guide to the ICF Credentialing Process.


Keith WebbIf you're a involved in ministry and want to multiply your impact, we can help. I developed The COACH Model® and our ICF-approved Christian coaching training to help you achieve organizational results while simultaneously developing people.

Since 2005, we led leadership development and coaching processes in more than 30 countries from over 350 organizations. In 2016 alone, we trained 2,451 leaders in coaching skills.

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