The ICF Journey to Become a Coach

The ICF Journey to Become a Coach

The journey to becoming a coach is ideally focused on earning membership and then a credential with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).  At the Center for Coaching Certification this starts with the Certified Professional Coach (CPC) program. This program gives you 30 hours of coach training. To become a member of the ICF requires 60 hours of training so the next step is the Certified Master Coach (CMC) program for an additional 35 hours.The ICF Journey to Become a Coach

Let’s explore an analogy for this journey: completing your Certified Professional Coach program is much like saying you went to high school to become a coach.  When you complete the Certified Master Coach program, that’s much like saying you earned your two-year associate degree. When you continue and earn the ACC credential it is much like saying you received your bachelor’s degree.

Earning the ACC credential calls for having 60 hours of coach training, 100 hours of experience as a coach, working with a mentor coach, submitting a recording of yourself coaching to the ICF to be assessed as passing at the ACC level, and passing the coach knowledge assessment (CKA). When you complete everything successfully, you earn the ACC credential.

Continuing on to earn your PCC credential is much like saying you received a master’s degree.  Earning the PCC credential calls for 125 hours of training, 500 hours of experience as a coach, 10 hours of mentor coaching, two recordings of yourself coaching at the PCC level, and the exam. If you took the exam at the ACC level, you do not have to repeat it at the PCC level.

The training hours and coaching hours are cumulative moving from one credential to the next.  The exam is only taken once.  If mentor coaching is used for the ACC credential then it is repeated at the PCC level.

Think of ICF membership as the minimum gold standard for putting yourself out there professionally as a coach.  At Center for Coaching Certification, people ask: “after I complete the Certified Professional Coach program, can I start coaching?”  The answer is yes, you can technically start whether or not you’ve had any training. We do encourage you to start coaching, use what you learned in class, and continue so that if you’re putting yourself out there as a coach, you earn membership in the ICF.


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