ICF Certification Requirements Made Simple

Are you trying to become an ICF certified coach and are wondering what the ICF certification requirements are? If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. This article will look at some of the requirements you need to be an ICF certified coach.

What are the basic ICF certification requirements?

The ICF accreditation process is rigorous and requires extensive training and experience to pass. However, some basic requirements must be met if you are interested in becoming an ICF-certified coach. Here are the three basic ICF certification requirements:

  1. Coach Training – Complete certain hours of coach education approved by an ICF-approved coach training school as part of your application process. This will include online learning and real-world experience with a mentor or coach.
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  1. Coaching Knowledge Assessment – Complete a personal coaching assessment to measure your understanding of the knowledge and skills necessary in the practice of coaching. This assessment allows you to identify your strengths and areas where improvement is needed based on your results. This ICF certification requirement helps determine whether or not you are ready to become an ICF certified life coach.
  1. Mentoring – Each ICF certification level requires you to complete certain hours of mentoring under the supervision of a mentor. Your mentor becomes your coach and should be able to answer any questions you have.

The Three ICF Certification Levels

The three ICF certification levels are Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC). Here are the requirements for each level:


ACC is a foundational level of certification. It provides the foundation of knowledge needed to practice coaching but does not require additional training or experience. To earn an ACC credential, applicants must do the following:

  • 60 hours of coaching training
  • 10 hours of mentoring 
  • 100 hours of coaching experience


PCC is a mid-level credential that requires applicants to fulfill the following requirements:

  • 125 hours of coaching training
  • 10 hours of mentoring 
  • 500 hours of coaching experience


MCC is considered the highest level of certification offered by the ICF because it requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to create positive change in others’ lives through coaching over an extended period of time. To qualify for this credential, applicants must do the following:

  • 200 hours of coaching training 
  • 10 hours of mentoring 
  • 2500 hours of coaching experience

How the ICF Certification Fit into Your Life Coaching Business

There are many benefits to becoming an ICF-certified coach. Most importantly, you will have a greater ability to grow your coaching business, which means more clients and more income. You’ll also be able to practice your coaching skills at the highest level, resulting in greater client satisfaction. You’ll also be able to work with some of the world’s leading experts on coaching, who will help you improve your skills through ongoing support.

As an ICF-certified coach, you’ll receive access to the following:

  • A network of fellow coaches committed to helping each other grow their businesses through collaboration and education.
  • Free access to professional development resources like webinars and e-books that are written by world-class coaches who have been there and done that in their coaching businesses.
  • Access to a community where you can learn from others in the field and share your knowledge with them.

Becoming an ICF certified coach will benefit your career, so be sure to give it some thought if getting certified makes sense for you.

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