How to Become a Certified Life Coach Through the ICF: With or Without an Accredited Coach Training Program

Figuring out how to become a certified life coach takes quite a bit of research. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the most widely recognized credentialing program. There are some other agencies as well, but if you want to become a certified life coach, the ICF seems to offer the most prestige. If you want to know how to become a certified life coach with the ICF, there are 3 levels of certification to choose from.

Each level has a different set of requirements.

How to Become a Certified Life Coach – Level 1

The Associate Certified Coach credential (ACC) is the entry level ICF certification. You will need to successfully complete an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP), or complete 60 documented hours of coach-specific training. To become ICF certified at this level you will also need 10 hours of mentoring, a minimum of 100 hours of documented coaching (with a minimum of 75 hours of paid coaching). You will also need 2 reference letters, and pass the ACTP exam or the ICF’s oral exam demonstrate competency. You can get ICF certification by going through the coaches training program that best suits your needs, which may or may not be an Accredited Coach Training Program.

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How to Become a Certified Life Coach– Level 2

The ICF Professional Certified Coach credential (PCC) is the second level of IFC certification.  To become a certified life coach at this level you will need to successfully complete an Accredited Coach Training Program, or 125 hours of coach-specific training. You will also need to have completed a minimum of 750 hours of coaching, with a minimum of 675 hours of paid coaching, with at least 25 clients. Again, you will also need 2 reference letters and be able to pass either the ACTP’s exam or the ICF’s exam.

How to become a certified life coach– Level 3

The ICF Master Certified Coach credential (MCC) is for the expert coach. To become a certified life coach at this level you will need to successfully complete 200 hours of coach-specific training, with and coach a minimum of 2500 hours (2250 of which are paid), with at least of 35 clients. You will also need 3 reference letters and be able to pass the ICF exam.

If you want learn more about how to become a certified life coach, I recommend going to the ICF website to get more specific information. In general, the ICF wants to enhance the credibility of the coaching profession by providing standards. But the only way to get credentialed is to coach paying clients. So if you want to become a certified life coach, make sure the coaching programs you take prepare you for finding lots of paying coaching clients.

Colette Seymann

Accountability Coach, JTS Advisors

FREE Video Course: How to Build a High Paying Coaching Business

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