ACSTH: Becoming an ICF Professional Certified Coach

If you are interested in emerging as a highly sought-after professional coach in the industry, then becoming an ICF Coach using the ACSTH pathway might just be an excellent path for you.  

Within the International Coach Federation (ICF), there are three application paths to choose from for the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential. There is the ACTP path, the ACSTH Path, the Portfolio Path, and the requirements and costs for each track does vary. It is essential for individuals who are looking to become an ICF credentialed coach to be aware of the requirements for these three PCC ICF paths and see which one works for them.

ICF ACSTH Defined 

ACSTH is the acronym for Approved Coaching Specific Training Hours.  This credentialing track is intended for third-party training providers who are interested in considering their training program accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).  The ACSTH approved programs are usually considered to be “al la carte” training programs, which may or may not offer start to finish coach training.

Why Should I Pursue an ICF Credentialing Program? 

Although obtaining a coaching certification is currently not mandatory in the coaching profession, pursuing ICF accredited programs along with the relevant skills and experience is a guaranteed way to becoming the best coach you can be for your prospective clients. Secondly, most organizations around the world recognize the value of an ICF coaching credential and will most likely seek your services.

The ACSTH pathway to obtaining an ICF credential is beneficial to prospective coaches looking to complete rigorous education from an accredited program. The program will enable them to achieve certification easier and help take their coaching skills to the next level.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 30 student contact hours is required for ACSTH program accreditation. Graduates from the program may apply for the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Credential or the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Credential using the Approved Coaching Specific Training Hours application path.

ICF Training Providers United States and International

The number of schools offering ICF accredited or approved programs have increased significantly in the last ten years.  In the United States alone, there are over 700 ICF accredited coach training organizations that offer ACSTH training.  Below is a list of some widely recognized training organizations. For a more comprehensive list, you can visit the ICF website and search the Training Program Search Service (TPSS).

  1. Australia Institute of Professional Coaches – Brisbane, Australia
  2. CDI-Africa Coaching Group – Nairobi, Kenya
  3. Center For Coaching Certification – Winter Haven, Florida
  4. Master Coach University – Jacksonville, Florida
  5. The Wellness Coach Institute – Silver Springs, Netherlands
  6. Coach Masters Academy – Singapore
  7. Erickson Coaching International – Vancouver, BC
  8. Co-Active Training Institute – San Rafael, California
  9. College of Executive Coaching – Arroyo Grande, California
  10. Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) – Shrewsbury, New Jersey
  11. Life Coaching Institute of America – San Antonio, Texas
  12. Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP – Nevada City, California 

If you are a professional coach looking to soar in this industry, obtaining the ICF certification through the ACSTH track may very well set you on the path to a rewarding and successful career.

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Margaret K. Olubiyi
Life Coach
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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