The first step on the journey to becoming a coach is the Certified Professional Coach program. From there, you move into the Certified Master Coach program. People often ask how much time between these two classes. The options include the a-la-carte approach or an all-in-one credential cohort. Some people take the Certified Professional Coach class and immediately move into the Certified Master Coach class. We do that in the Cohorts offered for earning a credential. There are others that have gaps in between the classes. It is what makes sense for your time and budget as well as your objectives or goals as a coach.
When you have completed the Certified Professional Coach and Certified Master Coach programs, you qualify for membership in the ICF and are able to join. Beyond ICF membership, you choose: do you want the ACC path or the PCC path?
If you’re going for the ACC credential, the next step is building up your experience. When you’re close to about half the hours required, you also begin the Mentor Coaching. Mentor Coaching must extend beyond three months. The Mentor Coaching program we offer is intentionally designed to meet all the ICF requirements and to support you effectively as you move toward a credential. During mentor coaching, we are supporting you while you record yourself coaching and reviewing those recordings. The goal is that both you and the mentor coach are confident your recording is going to pass assessment with the ICF. When you have the training, experience, mentor coaching, and recording complete, you’ll submit to the ICF. Before they invite you to take the CKA exam, ICF will verify your training. They may or may not audit you on your coaching experience. Be sure you have a coaching log and if they ask for it, you submit it, and they’ll contact your clients and verify. If they don’t audit you just have the log because you’re attesting to having a log. ICF will verify the mentor coaching hours as well. The recording you submit will be assessed and must pass at the ACC level. When that is completed, ICF will invite you to take the exam. Successfully completing the noted requirements is how you earn the ACC credential.
Alternatively, you may decide to focus on to the PCC credential. As a note, some people complete the Professional Coach and the Master Coach programs, and then continue to the PCC credential. (The ACC credential is not required to earn the PCC credential.) You have a choice.
To earn the PCC credential, the ICF requires 125 hours of training, 500 hours of experience as a coach, mentor coaching, two recordings of yourself coaching at the PCC level, and passing the CKA exam. In addition to the Certified Professional Coach and the Certified Master Coach, there are two additional training programs to complete the required training hours, the Certified Coach Specialist program and the Coaching Experience class. These programs are offered in the ACC to PCC Cohort and are part of the PCC Cohort.
If you did mentor coaching to earn your ACC credential, you are required to repeat the mentor coaching for your PCC credential. If you simply go from the Certified Professional Coach to the Certified Master Coach to the ACC to PCC cohort, the mentor coaching will cover the ICF requirement. The Mentor Coaching is included in the PCC Cohort. During mentor coaching, you are working on having two recordings of yourself coaching, as required for the PCC credential. When you complete the training, experience, mentor coaching, and have the recordings, you will submit all of these to ICF. They will do their verifications. If you haven’t already taken the CKA exam, you’ll be invited to take it then. This is how you earn your PCC credential.
A note: be sure you obtain client permission and begin logging your coaching experience after the first day of your coach training because ICF will only accept hours that were completed after you started your coach training.
When you are on this journey for becoming a coach, enjoy the process. It’s such an amazing learning opportunity and it truly supports you being the best possible coach you can be.