Getting Your ICF Credential Via The ACTP, ACSTH or CCE Path

You are an aspiring life coach and thinking about getting an ICF Credential! Check out below the three different available paths.

About The Coaching Federation

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) was established in 1995 and has grown to become the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches and the leading voice for the global coaching community.  It is the most widely known oversight in the field of coaching. Through its six unique family units, which make up the whole organization, the ICF has continued to lead the global advancement of the coaching profession.

Earning an ICF credential takes commitment, hard work, and integrity. According to the ICF, its credential holders pursue and complete rigorous education and practice requirements that provide unquestioned legitimacy to their commitment to excellence in coaching. To be an ICF holder, you must be ready to pursue one of the following certifications: The Associate Certified Coach, The Professional Certified Coach, or The Master Certified Coach. When you choose any of these paths to begin, depending on if you are eligible, you have the option of receiving coach-specific training via the following routes:

  • Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP)
  • Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH)
  • Continuing Coach Education (CCE)
ICF Certification VIDEO

(NOTE: If you’ve been asking questions about ICF Certification lately, then you need to watch this video. In the video, I’ll explain how to best get and use this ‘ultimate credibility advantage’. Click HERE now to watch the video.)

Three ICF Credential Accredited Training Paths: ACTP, ACSTH & CCE

To figure out what is the right path for you to take to obtain your ICF credential, you, first of all, have to understand the difference between the three. According to the ICF, the ACTP is a start to finish coach-training program that includes a minimum of 125 hours of coach-specific training, including comprehensive instruction around the ICF Core Competencies, Code of Ethics, and the ICF’s definition of coaching.

The ACSTH programs, on the other hand, are accredited on an hour-by-hour basis and may or may not be a complete coach training program depending on the number of student contact hours. These programs are also considered “al la carte” training programs, which may or may not offer start to finish coach training programs. A minimum of thirty student contact hours is required for ACSTH program accreditation. Graduates from an ACSTH program may apply for the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Credential or the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Credential using the ACSTH application path to meet the credentialing application requirements.

Finally, there is the CCE path, which the ICF accredits. Earning an ICF credential via CCE is intended to be advanced training for professional coach practitioners wishing to obtain new learning or renew their credentials. A CCE program may include advanced coach training that relates to or expands upon the ICF Core Competencies and/or training in skills that contribute to the professional development of a coach. 

The ICF does not offer coach training to become a coach, but they provide a directory on their website that lists various accredited/approved providers that offer ACTP, ACSTH, and CCE programs around the globe. Now that you know the difference between the three programs, you should be able to decide which path to take to earn your ICF credential.

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

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