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Upcoming Changes to ICF Credentialing Requirements

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 25/05/2018

Obtaining your coach certification with the ICF (International Coach Federation) shows potential clients your commitment to the coaching profession and builds your industry-wide credibility. Are you considering getting accredited with the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a professional coach? If so, there are some important upcoming changes for you to note. 

Beginning July 31, 2018, the ICF will change the requirements for attaining an Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential.   

What will change?

  • Coaches applying for their initial credential (Associate Certified Coach or Professional Certified Coach credential) via the Portfolio path will be required to demonstrate that they completed a comprehensive training program that includes the ICF definition of coaching, Code of Ethics and Core Competencies, and is organized in a scope and sequence that encourages the growth of the coach. This means that coaches will no longer be able to submit a random compilation of non-approved training hours and/or Continuing Coach Education units in fulfillment of their initial training requirements. We believe it should be easy for current and prospective coaches to find and choose the appropriate type of training for their stage of professional development, and this change is a further step in reframing Continuing Coach Education as the first choice for advanced training for already-credentialed coaches.

Changes to ACC Credential Requirements

  • Associate Certified Coaches will need to complete at least one full cycle of their credential (through renewal) before they serve as a Mentor Coach. Mentor Coaches play an important role in new and experienced coaches’ development. By continuing to advance high standards for Mentor Coaches, we’re ensuring that they’re ready to support other coaches on their professional journeys.
  • Coaches applying for the Associate Certified Coach credential via the ACSTH path will once again be required to submit a recording and transcript of a live coaching session. The performance evaluation is currently a requirement for Professional Certified Coach candidates on the ACSTH path, so this change will ensure greater consistency across credential levels.

Changes to MCC Credential Requirements

  • Master Certified Coach applicants will be required to complete all their 2,500 hours of client coaching experience after the start of coach-specific training. Previously, ICF revised Associate and Professional Certified Coach policies to require that all coaching experience hours be completed after the start of coach-specific training. This change positively impacted credential-holders and the profession by ensuring that every hour of experience was delivered in the context of coach-specific training aligned with ICF’s high standards. We expect a similarly positive impact from this change.

For further information about these upcoming changes, visit the ICF website.    


If you have immediate questions about how the upcoming policy changes will impact you, please contact ICF’s Credentialing Services team at