I'm a coach
Find out why ICF is right for you
ICF certified coaches
Coaches with ICF certification feel a responsibility to their clients and to the coaching profession as a whole to provide the highest possible standard of quality. They strive for and meet thorough training and practice requirements that express their commitment to excellence in coaching.
Choose your path to certification
ICF offers three levels of certification: Associate, Professional and Master Certified Coach (ACC, PCC, MCC).
For more information on the requirements and process, see the frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page.
Become a certified coach
You certify with ICF Global, not with the local chapters like ICF Netherlands. On the website of ICF Global (www.coachfederation.org) there is detailed information about this. The overview below with links to the right pages is meant as a service to help you find your way.
N.B.: We have compiled this overview with care and will keep it up-to-date, but the information on the site of ICF Global is decisive. So never rely on this overview alone. Use it as a first orientation and as an aid to find the information you need on the Global website.
ICF kent drie niveaus van certificering: ACC (Associate Certified Coach), PCC (Professional Certified Coach) en MCC (Master Certified Coach). En er zijn twee mogelijke routes tot certificering: de geaccrediteerde route en de portfolio route.
De geaccrediteerde route neem je als je een ICF geaccrediteerde coachtraining hebt gevolgd. Dit kan een ACSTH of ACTP programma zijn (voor uitleg hierover zie de meest gestelde vragen onderaan deze pagina).
Bij de portfolio route kan je coachtrainingen gebruiken die niet door ICF zijn geaccrediteerd. Je moet dan zelf aantonen dat de 8 ICF kerncompetenties voor coaches in je opleiding aan bod zijn gekomen. Niet onder die naam natuurlijk, maar wel qua strekking.
ACC - Associate Certified Coach
A successfully completed ACTP programme (see question 3). This covers at least 125 hours and is also sufficient for your PCC certification. However, if you do not yet have sufficient client hours to obtain your PCC, then you can choose to obtain your ACC (first) with an ACTP. Mentor coaching and 'performance' evaluation are included in an ACTP.
Minimum of 100 hours of client coaching (same as ACC - portfolio).
At least 60 hours of coach-specific training through an ACSTH or ACTP programme (for an explanation of this, see question 3). The advantage over the portfolio route is that the certificate is sufficient - you don't need to explain how the competencies were addressed.
The other requirements are the same as for the ACC portfolio route.
Minimaal 60 uur coach-specific training. Deze hoeft niet ICF geaccrediteerd te zijn. In de aanmeldingsprocedure moet je van elk van de 8 kerncompetenties voor coaches aantonen dat en hoe die in de training aan bod is geweest.
A minimum of 100 hours of coaching clients, starting from the start of your first coaching course (of which at least 75 hours must be paid coaching, 25 hours may be pro bono). They must be at least 8 different clients and 25 of the hours must have taken place in the 18 months preceding the application.
10 Uur mentor coaching over een periode van minimaal 3 maanden. Je mentor coach coacht jou bij het (verder) ontwikkelen van de 8 coachcompetenties. Hier een link naar uitleg van mentor coaching: coachfederation.org/mentor-coaching. Your mentor coach must be ICF certified. If your mentor coach is ACC, he/she must have renewed their certification at least once (all ICF certified coaches must renew their certification every 3 years, see question 4).
The 'performance evaluation': a recording of a coaching conversation with a client that you send to ICF for evaluation. Plus a transcript of this conversation. The conversation may be in Dutch, but an English transcript is required. Or you do the conversation in English or one of the other accepted languages with a transcript in that language (see link under the ACC options).
The Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) - a multiple choice questionnaire (155 questions) that tests your knowledge of the competencies. You can take this at home on your own computer at a time that suits you
Here is the link to detailed information about these three options for ACC, including the languages in which you can submit the 'performance evaluation': coachfederation.org/icf-credential/acc-paths
PCC - Professional Certified Coach
A successfully completed ACTP program. This covers a minimum of 125 hours. Mentor coaching and 'performance' evaluation are included in an ACTP.
At least 500 hours of client coaching (same as for PCC - portfolio).
The CKA. (see PCC - portfolio).
At least 125 hours of coach-specific training through one or more ACSTH or ACTP programmes (for an explanation of this, see question 3). The advantage over the portfolio route is that the certificates are sufficient - you don't have to explain how the competencies were addressed. If you have completed a full ACTP programme, you will choose the PCC - ACTP route.
The other requirements are the same as for the PCC portfolio route.
A minimum of 125 hours of coach-specific training. This does not have to be ICF-accredited. In the application procedure, you must demonstrate for each of the 11 core competencies for coaches that and how they were addressed during the training. The coaching training you may have already completed for your ACC counts.
A minimum of 500 hours of coaching clients, starting from the start of your first coaching course (of which at least 450 hours of paid coaching). They must be at least 25 different clients and 50 of the hours must have taken place in the 18 months preceding the application.
10 Hours of mentor coaching over a period of at least 3 months (for explanation see ACC - portfolio). Your mentor coach must be PCC or MCC.
The 'performance evaluation': two recordings of coach conversations that you send to ICF for assessment. For language and transcript the same principle as with ACC portfolio. Look for accepted languages at the link below the PCC options.
The CKA (see at ACC). If you have already done this for your ACC you do not have to do it again for your PCC.
Here the link to detailed information on these three options for PCC: coachfederation.org/icfcredential/pcc-paths
MCC - Master Certified Coach
In a sense, this is always a portfolio route as there is no accredited route up to MCC.
Minimum of 200 hours of coach-specific training. You can of course use ACSTH and ACTP programmes for this. For any training hours that are not from an ICF-accredited program, you must demonstrate that and how the 11 core competencies for coaches were addressed.
10 Hours of mentor coaching over a period of at least 3 months (for explanation see ACC - portfolio). Your mentor coach must be MCC.
A minimum of 2,500 hours of coaching clients, starting from the start of your first coaching course (of which at least 2,250 hours of paid coaching). Must be at least 35 different clients.
The 'performance evaluation': two recordings of coach conversations that you send to ICF for assessment. For language and transcript the same principle as for ACC portfolio. Look for accepted languages at the link below.
A certification as PCC (now or in the past). You can't get your MCC without first being (having been) certified as a PCC.
The CKA (see at ACC). If you have done this before you do not need to do it again for your MCC. Here the link to detailed information about the MCC route: coachfederation.org/icfcredential/mcc-path And here are two links to the requirements for the ACC, PCC and MCC levels, based on which the 'performance evaluation' is assessed: coachfederation.org/msr and coachfederation.org/app/uploads/2017/12/ICFCompetenciesLevelsTable.pdf.
We have answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
ICF Netherlands takes a neutral stance and does not recommend specific coach training programs. Here is the link to the Training Program Search Service (TPSS), where you can select criteria to find a suitable course: coachingfederation.org/credentials-and-standards/find-education
Explanation of 'Program Type':
- ACSTH (Approved Coach-Specific Training Hours). These are ICF accredited programs of at least 30 hours. The content and length may vary, but in any case all ICF core competencies for coaches are covered and participants are observed during practice sessions. An ACSTH program of at least 60 hours can serve as a basis for the certification as an ACC (Associate Certified Coach). However, for your ACC, you must always send a recording of a coaching conversation with a client to the ICF for evaluation.
- ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program). Such a program is a minimum of 125 hours. It includes at least the ICF definition of coaching, the code of ethics, core competencies for coaches, observed practice sessions and mentor coaching. This makes an ACTP an integrated program that forms the basis for PCC (Professional Certified Coach) certification. The 'performance evaluation', the aptitude test for PCC, is also part of the program. After successfully completing the ACTP, you do not need to send your recordings to ICF for evaluation.
- CCE (Continuing Coach Education). These programs are designed for certified coaches who wish to renew their certification. Every three years you must be able to demonstrate that you have spent at least 40 hours on CCE to maintain your certification. See further questions 4 and 5.
In the TPSS you can select criteria such as language and country and a specific focus.
Every ICF certified coach must renew his or her certification every three years. For this you don't have to go through the same process again with a 'performance evaluation' and a number of client hours. You do have to be able to show that you keep up with your profession. In total, you must have collected 40 CCEUs. These are Continuing Coach Education Units (1 CCEU = 1 hour).
Instead of renewing your certification after three years, you can of course also get a certification of a higher level. From ACC you become PCC or from PCC you become MCC. You do not do this through the CCEU route described above, but through the appropriate certification route. As soon as you have your new certification, it is valid for another three years.
CCEUs come in two types:
- 1. Core Competencies. This is coaching training that is directly related to the ICF Core Competencies for coaches. Mentor coaching and coaching supervision also provide CCEUs in Core Competencies.
- 2. Resource Development. Training in skills that contribute to a coach's professional development (e.g. personal development, coaching tools or assessments, building a coaching practice) and do not primarily address the ICF core competencies.
Of the 40 CCEUs, at least 24 must be in Core Competencies - so a maximum of 16 may be Resource Development. If you want to renew your ACC, 10 of the hours in Core Competencies must consist of mentor coaching. And for all three levels (ACC, PCC and MCC), at least 3 of the hours in Core Competencies must be spent on coaching ethics. For this you can follow the following free online module: coachfederation.org/ethics-cce-course.
Here is a link to see what kind of training activities CCEUs can give (look at 'Accepted CCE sources for credential renewal'): coachfederation.org/icf-credential/professional-development.
Do not rely on this overview alone. Use it as an initial orientation and to help you find the information you need on Global's site. Here is the link to the ICF Global page where the requirements and process for renewing your certification are detailed: coachfederation.org/icfcredential/renew-credential.
If you want to obtain CCEUs in Core Competencies by means of an archived webinar, you will have to answer questions about it after the webinar. You do this by clicking on the Learning Checkpoint next to it after the webinar. If you have answered all the questions correctly, you can claim your CCEUs.
You will find the CCEUs you have obtained in your 'Profile Transcript'. When you are logged in, click on 'My Account' under your name and then on 'Transcript'. When you then select 'Credits Earned', you can see how many CCEUs you have earned through the Learning Portal and you can demonstrate this. Moreover, you can directly register for one or more Communities of Practice: coachfederation.org/communities-of-practice. You will then receive an email invitation when a webinar is offered.
ICF's Position Regarding CPD
As part of a self-regulating industry, ICF is committed to coaches providing consistent value to their clients. In order to maintain these professional standards, ICF’s position on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) keeps pace with industry expectations and emerging standards. Each distinct element of CPD is explored below. coachingfederation.org/credentials-and-standards/professional-development
Education: Training and Skills Enhancement
This includes a variety of learning modalities that continually build the capacity of the coach through content exposure, to benefit his or her clients and the overall knowledge base. It focuses on the development of the coach's competence with a wide range of rich opportunities for the support and development of a coach's skill set. ICF is committed to providing opportunities for coaches to consistently develop and grow professionally through training and skills enhancement.
Various components of education include:
Additional coach-specific training
Professional development events
Coaching tools training
Many education activities are eligible for Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units coaches can apply toward renewal of an ICF Credential.
Here is the link to the events calendar: coachfederation.org/calendar. Under Categories, you can select 'CCE Provider Events'. You will then be able to see all the events that are on offer worldwide (webinars, workshops, courses, etc.) and apply various selection criteria. For each event, you will see whether it is possible to obtain CCEUs and, if so, how many.
Furthermore, an effective route is through the Learning Portal: learning.coachfederation.org. Under 'Professional Development' you select 'Communities of Practice' and there you select 'Overview'. At 'LineUp' you get a list of all Communities of Practice and you can see what is offered per CoP. And if you scroll down further, you will see an overview of all archived webinars. You can still follow these and obtain CCEUs with them. Make sure you are logged in, click on the title of the webinar and on 'enroll'. After the webinar, you can claim your CCEUs.
ICF Netherlands also has a great professionalization program. Regular activities (workshops, webinars) are organized that provide CCEUs. For that, check out: Events.
Mentor coaching is a 'coaching to your coaching', designed to (further) develop your coaching competencies for the intended level of certification. Here is the more detailed explanation: coachfederation.org/mentor-coaching.
The difference with coaching supervision is that the latter does not have to deal specifically with the development of coaching competencies, but that you can bring in questions in a broader sense about yourself as a coach. See for further explanation: coachfederation.org/coaching-supervision-4.
If you want to use mentor coaching and/or coaching supervision as CCEUs for the renewal of your certification, you can count these hours as CCEUs in Core Competencies. Please note that you may use a maximum of 10 hours of each for this purpose.
Every ICF certified coach can act as a mentor coach. However, your mentor coach must have at least the same level of certification as the certification level you want to achieve or renew. An ACC coach can be a mentor coach for another (candidate) ACC coach, as long as he/she has renewed his/her certification at least once.
From your mentor coach you can expect:
- He/she has a clear process for shaping mentor coaching;
- He/she has an excellent command and ability to explain the ICF core competencies for coaches;
- He/she is well aware of all the ins and outs surrounding the certification and renewal process, so he/she can advise you on this;
ICF has a register where you can find mentor coaches. Of these coaches, you know that they offer mentor coaching explicitly and most likely have experience with it: apps.coachfederation.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?WebCode=MentorSearch.
The ICF Core Competencies were developed to support greater understanding about the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession as defined by ICF. These competencies and the ICF definition of coaching serve as the foundation of the Credential process, including the ICF Credentialing Exam. ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
The core competencies are grouped into four domains according to the domains that logically fit together based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group. The groupings and individual competencies are not weighted - they do not represent any form of hierarchy and are all core and crucial for any competent coach to demonstrate.
Find the official Dutch translation here.
For the English version and more information click this link.
For more information on the ICF core competencies, watch the video series on core competencies (2021) via this link.
Performance indicators are the indicators that an assessor listens to and determines the extent to which ICF core competencies are adequately present in a recorded coach conversation. These characteristics - which we call PCC markers - represent the desired behavior of the core competencies in a coach conversation at the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) level. These PCC markers support an honest, consistent, valid, reliable, repeatable, and defensible evaluation process of a coach conversation. The PCC markers can also support coaches, coach trainers and mentor coaches in identifying areas for growth and skill development in coaching at the PCC level; provided it is done in the context of developing the core competencies.
You'll find more information and all PCC Markers here.
Het naleven van deze ethische normen van gedrag van ICF is de eerste van de ICF kerncoachingscompetenties (ICF Kerncompetenties). Dit is “Laat Ethisch gedrag zien”: begrijpt en past consequent coaching-ethiek en normen toe.”
Meer hierover en de volledige ICF Code of Ethics here.
Professional and Liability Insurance for Members
All members of ICF Netherlands can voluntarily insure themselves for both professional liability (BAV) and corporate liability (AVB). This insurance is not mandatory but a free choice for all members of ICF Netherlands. However, we recommend considering this insurance because of its favorable premium and good policy conditions.