By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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I get asked this question a lot when I speak to clients and professionals looking to work with us. Everyone likes to have a certificate or letters after their name to show off their skills but it’s a lot of work. Is it worth it? Here I’ve tried to explain the coaching certification process in as simple terms as possible, and to advise you as objectively as possible on the options and benefits of a coaching credential.

Which coaching certification is best?

The Association for Coaching (AC), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the International Coach Federation (ICF) all offer professional coaching accreditation. Our co-founder Sir John Whitmore was instrumental in the early stages of creation of the EMCC and ICF and a proud AC Global Ambassador. There are some helpful charts to compare AC, EMCC and ICF certification requirements for different certification levels.

Our coach training is recognized by all three bodies. Our Coach Certification Pathway is aligned with ICF certification because the ICF is the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches. It is an independent body, awarding globally recognized coaching credentials and accrediting coaching training programmes.

What does ICF certification involve?

Here are some of the most common queries I get asked about the coaching certification requirements for Associate Certified Coach (ACC), the first level of ICF certification. My answers relate to the ACC ACSTH Path and ACC Portfolio Path.

What are the requirements for ACC certification?

60 hours of Coach Training
100 hours of Coaching Experience
10 hours of Mentor Coaching
1 Performance Evaluation
1 Coach Knowledge Assessment

What counts as coach-specific training?

The training must be based on the 11 ICF Core Competencies. You need at least 48 hours of live training (in-person or online) and can add up to 12 hours of course homework and assignments.

What can I count as coaching experience?

You need at least 8 coachees. Count all the coaching you do after you have started your training. At least 75 of the 100 hours need to be paid sessions (any form of compensation). If you coach at work as a part of your job role, those hours count as paid hours. You cannot count any hours coaching your direct reports.

What is mentor coaching?

You are mentored by an ICF certified coach on your coaching skills, over a minimum period of three months. At least 3 of the 10 hours need to be in one-one sessions.

What does the performance evaluation involve?

An ICF Assessor will review a recording of one of your client coaching sessions, 20–60 minutes long. You need to send the ICF your audio file with a written transcript.

What is the coach knowledge assessment (CKA)?

The CKA is an online multiple-choice test that you are invited to complete if your performance evaluation is successful.

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When you have completed all the elements (before the CKA), you are ready to apply to the ICF. It is an online application. Et voila! Once you pass the CKA, you are a professionally certified coach.

Do I need a coaching credential?

So, it’s a rigorous process and you still want to know, is it worth doing? Below is a table that summarizes what I would generally say, according to different individual experience and interests. I don’t try to convince people either way as it’s always up to them.

The individualThe adviceRecommended training
Someone looking for a change of career and thinking about becoming an executive coach Definitely worth getting ICF ACC certification to give you the professional credentials most coachees will be looking for. Most organizations will only hire certified coaches Coach Certification Pathway, in person or online
-includes Mentor Coaching package
A manager wanting to enhance their leadership style with coaching skills What’s most important here is developing strong, practical coaching skills that you can apply in the work place. An official coaching certification isn’t necessary, although many still like the formal recognition Leadership Pathway
-includes six 1-hour one-one coaching sessions and ROI Evaluation Report
A manager who has some coaching knowledge and wants to go to the next level It very much depends on your personal situation and how you are looking to use your skills. Coaching certification isn’t necessary but may be desirable for your career development. How you improve your leadership through coaching is what will matter most Coaching for Performance Level 1

Coaching for Performance Level 2
An internal coach, HR professional or a manager who has coaching as part of their job descriptionDefinitely worth getting ICF ACC certification. You may also wish to go further with ICF PCC certificationCoach Certification Pathway

Coaching for Performance Level 3

What next?

If you’d like to discuss which coaching certification or training options are best for you or your managers, we’re always available to help. Call one of our global offices or email

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Coaching Certification

Coaching for Performance, Coach Certification Pathway

Prepare for certification on our ICF ACSTH approved programme combining Levels 1 and 2 of our gold standard executive coach training

The author Laura Franklin is Public Programme Coordinator at Performance Consultants International.

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L'articolo SHOULD I BOTHER WITH COACHING CERTIFICATION? sembra essere il primo su Performance Consultants.

By: Laura Franklin
Posted: August 1, 2019, 10:55 pm

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