The Road to Becoming a Master Certified Coach (MCC)

Being a Master Certified Coach (MCC) is an honor few people earn. People who are certified as MCCs are not coaches who just train or teach and hand out certificates to those they deem ready. They are not just those with the best self-developed training programs or techniques. This guide will give you an inside look into what it takes to become an MCC.

What is a Master Certified Coach (MCC)?

An MCC is a coach who has completed the highest level of certification in the Coaching profession. A master-certified coach is a highly-skilled, professional coach with advanced coaching skills from an accredited institute. Many coaching certifications are available, but only one goes beyond basic training to qualify as “master certification” accredited by the International Coaching Federation. 

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What Does a Master Coach Do?

The ICF Master Certified Coach designation is the world’s highest level of professional coaching accreditation. A master coach has completed intensive training and has demonstrated proficiency in all aspects of the coaching profession, including advanced skills, knowledge, and experience through extensive testing, peer review, and personal reflection. They are committed to continuing their education throughout their career by regularly attending seminars, conferences, and other events to learn more about their field and network with other coaches.

Master coaches are independent practitioners who may work with individuals or groups seeking help in achieving personal growth or development goals through coaching methods appropriate for each client’s situation. Companies may also employ them as organizational consultants who work with management teams on issues such as leadership development and performance improvement.

How is a Master Coach Different from an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and Professional Certified Coach (PCC)?

The ACC is a first-level coach, and the PCC is a second-level coach who has completed more training and experience requirements. Both are training to be professional coaches, but the PCC has the additional designation of a professional coach.

The ACC is considered an entry-level certification and intended for those new to coaching or with little experience. It requires just 60+ hours of coaching education, 100+ hours of coaching experience, and 10 hours of mentor coaching to become certified. On the other hand, the PCC requires 125+ hours of coaching education, 500+ hours of coaching experience, and 10 hours of mentor coaching to become certified.

Master coaches are fully certified and have completed the highest level of training in the coaching field. To become a master coach, you must first be a PCC. Once you’ve achieved the PCC certifications, you can apply to become a master coach.

How Do I Become an ICF Master Certified Coach?

The coaching community recognizes the ICF MCC designation as one of the highest levels of professional certification available for coaches today.

To become an ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC), all candidates must complete 200+ hours of coaching education, 2,500+ hours of coaching experience (with at least 35 clients), and 10 hours of coaching with a mentor who is an MCC in good standing 

The candidate will need to submit a performance evaluation that includes two audio recordings and written transcripts of coaching sessions. Master coaches must also pass an exam that tests their knowledge in all areas of coaching, including ethics and legal issues.


Hopefully this article has answered some of your questions about the MCC accreditation and encourages you to apply for the MCC credential. As for a career, there aren’t many that are both as flexible and rewarding as coaching. More than that, it’s something that can be immensely fulfilling for those who give it a try. I wish you the best of luck in your journey!

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