Why You Need an ICF Master Coaching Certificate

An ICF Master Coaching Certificate will help elevate your coaching career.  Regardless of if you are a fresh/beginner coach or a seasoned coach, striving to obtain an ICF credentialed certificate will open doors for you that you least expected. 

About The ICF Master Certified Coaching Credential

The Master certified coach credential is the highest credential currently offered by the International Coach Federation and it identifies an individual as an expert coach.  To seek this certification means that you have attained a certain level of coaching skills and training. It also means that you already hold a PCC credential (or have completed at least 125 hours of coach-specific training) and desire to take your coaching skills to the highest level and gain proficiency in coaching.  

(NOTE: If you’ve been asking questions about ICF Certification lately, then you need to attend this webinar, called “ICF Credentialing & Coach Certification”. During the webinar, I’ll cover how you can gain an ICF Credential in a matter of months. Click HERE now to attend the webinar.)

The Credentialing Path – Master Coaching Certificate

According to the ICF, its exclusive group of professional coaches provides accountability to clients and the coaching profession as a whole. “They pursue and complete rigorous education and practice requirements that provide unquestioned legitimacy to their commitment to excellence in coaching.” If you are looking to become part of this elite group of professional coaches, then obtaining an ICF master coaching certificate is the way to go.

The International Coach Federation currently offers three credentials:

  • The Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
  • The Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • The Master Certified Coach (MCC)

You might wonder if it’s mandatory to complete the ACC and PCC credentials before you can achieve the master coaching certificate.  According to the ICF, not necessarily.  You can apply for any level credential as long as all requirements for the level you have chosen have been met. Although most applicants start with the ACC because they do not have the number of coaching hours to go straight to the PCC level, it is not required to do so if you meet all the requirements.


  • Complete Application
  • 200 hours of coach-specific training. –  To find an ICF accredited training provider for your coach specific training, you can access the Training Program Search Service directory (TPSS) by clicking on this link https://coachingfederation.org/credentials-and-standards/find-a-training-program
  • 10 hours of Mentor Coaching over a minimum of three months. Your Mentor Coach must be an MCC in good standing. This cannot be the same Mentor Coaching that was applied toward a previous ICF Credential application.
  • A minimum of 2,500 hours (2,200 paid*) of coaching experience with at least 35 clients, following the start of your coach-specific training.
  • Performance evaluation (two audio recordings and written transcripts of coaching sessions).
  • Currently holds (or previously held) a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Credential.
  • Complete the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) unless previously passed when applying for ACC or PCC.
  • For ICF members: $575 USD and for non-members, the cost is $775 USD
  • Estimated Timeline for Review: Eighteen weeks

Now if you have received your coach training through a non-ICF approved training provider, it is possible that your training may be accepted by ICF. It will probably depend on a number of factors. For this type of situation, here is their response

The best way to ensure that you meet the requirements for an ICF Credential is to complete ICF-accredited coach-specific training. Non-accredited programs that meet ICF’s definition of coach-specific training are also accepted toward the training requirements for an ICF Credential once ICF has reviewed the course curriculum.”

An ICF Coaching credential is the best way to distinguish yourself from other coaches in the industry.  With a coaching credential from ICF, you are demonstrating your skills, expertise, and commitment to your coaching clients.  This is why you need an ICF master coach certificate to help you become the master coach, the expert coach you were meant to be. 

To learn more about how to generate an endless wave of high paying coaching clients, get your FREE Instant Access to our “Life Coaching Business Blueprint” video toolkit when you go HERE.

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

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

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