This decision-tree is designed to help you to navigate the accreditation process for the International Coach Federation. But first…
You will have received some kind of certificate from your coach training provider. They have a vested interest in certifying you; the more certified coaches who come out of their training, the better their reputation. Taking that extra step towards accreditation proves to the world that you have been through a rigorous process, led by a neutral body, and that you are a serious professional.
If you are working in the corporate world, more and more organisations are demanding that their external (and internal) coaches be accredited. In time, you may find that you cannot get work in the corporate field without an accreditation.
There are various coach accrediting bodies. What differentiates the ICF is that it is the most recognised with global organisations. If you plan to work internationally, the ICF is the choice for you.
Perhaps more importantly, the ICF is the accrediting body that cares more about how you show up as a coach than it cares about what you know. The mentor coaching (observed coaching with feedback against the ICF competencies) that is part of the credentialing process makes sure that you are coaching at your edge; and the ICF will assess one or two recordings to be sure that you are coaching well. That’s very different from any of the other accrediting bodies, who don’t test your competence in the same way. To my mind, this is vital – to be able to coach well, and to keep coaching well over time.
Which accreditation pathway?
Work your way through this decision-tree to establish which level and pathway is right for you at this stage in your coaching career. The ICF website will give you the small-print and if you sign up to the “lock-in”, I will help you to navigate these paths.
ICF Accreditation Q&A
*75 hours need to be paid, 25 maximum can be pro bono; at least 25 hours must be in the 18 months leading up to accreditation; a minimum of 8 clients.
**450 hours need to be paid, 50 maximum can be pro bono; at least 50 hours must be in the 18 months leading up to accreditation; a minimum of 25 clients.
*** 2250 hours need to be paid, 250 maximum can be pro bono; a minimum of 35 clients.