Coaching Certification and Accreditation Explained

We chose to align with the ICF over country specific bodies because Coaching is a global profession and the ICF continues to be, the most established and globally recognised peak body.   Clients want to know they are not just employing someone calling themselves a coach, but that they are in fact employing someone who has been through a rigorous training and accreditation process.  I have personally written a certification whitepaper to help unravel some of the terminology, pathways and certification options for coaches.

Download Cerification Whitepaper

International Coach Academy was the first Australian based school to be accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and has been training students since 2001

How are Certification, Credentialing & Accreditation Different?

Not all coaches need an ICF Credential but we would highly recommend that all coaches become certified.  So, what is the difference?

What is Accreditation

Accreditation indicates that a school has had their program undergo rigorous external scrutiny and quality testing by a peak body.  The curriculum is mapped across core competencies, with the faculty, assessment and learning processes all assessed.  Program accreditations at International Coach Academy include ACTP and ACTP.

What is a Credential?

With Coaching, a credential designates a recognised level of expertise in coaching, as assessed by an industry peak body such as the ICF.  This is represented by designations such as ACC, PCC or MCC.

What is Certification?

In the case of coach training, your Certification is a globally recognised statement of attainment that indicates you have been assessed by an Accredited Coach Training Provider as having the industry recognised skills and expertise required to practice as a coach.

What does this mean for you?

After completing an International Coach Academy training program you will be certified as having the skills and expertise to practice as a coach and run your own coaching business. It's then up to you if you continue on towards an ICF credential.  But, the key thing is that all our coach training programs offer ICF credential pathways and are either ACTP and ACSTH.

Podcast: Credentialing and Accreditation

In this CoachStreet Podcast Robyn Logan and Andrea Lee talk about how getting certified with an accredited program and choosing which school to enroll in, is crucial to stand out from the competition. Listen to the views of Andrea and Robyn in this enriching episode. Listen to the podcast by pressing play below.

Download Full Transcript

Coaching Accreditation Pathways

ACTP Pathway

  • Pathway for Coaching Certification
  • Pathway for ICF Credential such as ACC, PCC or MCC

FOR EMERGING COACHES who have little or no coach training and very few coach training hours, this is the most direct and cost efficient route.  It does not require you, as the coach, to make any additional submissions to the ICF or incur any additional costs.  The mentor coaching and peer coaching you will need are included in our Certified and Advanced Coach Training programs.

FOR ESTABLISHED COACHES who have coaching in some capacity and have substantial coaching hours, this is our recommended pathway because it is the quickest.  If you already have 100 coaching hours then we would recommend you skip ACC and go straight to PCC.

* This is the route for MCC credential.

ACSTH - Accredited Coach Specific Training Hours

  • Pathway for Coaching Certification
  • Pathway for ICF Credential such as ACC, PCC or MCC

We DO recommend the ACSTH programs for Coach Certification but do NOT recommend the ACSTH pathway for ACC or PCC credentials because of the extra costs you will incur by needing to add mentor coaching and performance evaluation.  You will also have limited opportunity to gain extra coaching hours.

Recommended ICA Programs

Essential Coach Program

Portfolio Pathway

  • Pathway for Coaching Certification
  • Pathway for ICF Credential such as ACC, PCC or MCC

In addition to the costs of a Mentor Coach and Peer Coach, you will also have to undertake the lengthy and rigorous process of demonstrating to the ICF that the competencies of your training map across to the ICF core competencies.  This is extremely time consuming and requires expertise in curriculum development.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ACTP? +

ACTP - Accredited Coach Training Program

This accreditede option offers start to finish coach training, including comprehensive instructions around the ICF Core Competencies, Code of Ethics, and ICF definition of coaching.

What is ACSTH? +

ACSTH: Accredited Coach Specific Training Hours

....are programs approved on an hour-by-hour basis and may or may not be a full coach training program depending on the number of student contact hours offered by the program. Students completing hours of an ACSTH must apply for an individual ICF Credential via the ACSTH path if applying for the ACC credential or the Portfolio path if applying for the PCC or MCC credential. Programs must have a minimum of 30 hours.

Do I need to be Certified to practice as a Coach? +

The short answer is no. Currently there are no national or international regulatory requirements for coaches that we know of. However there have been several countries and states that have from time to time attempted to bring in some sort of regulation similar to that required for psychologists or accountants. And it may be that someone is
In the meantime coaches are generally treated like management consultants. Inevitably it is the client or customer who chooses their criteria for hiring or firing. Normally that includes qualification and experience (or a combination of both)

Is International Coach Academy's training globally recognised? +
We get this question all the time and our answer is the same no matter what country you come from. Coaching is a global profession, and by that we mean that your clients can come from all over the world. Since most coaching is conducted over the phone there is no need to meet face to face. The only exception to this is executive or corporate coaching, where the company or the executive may require initial coaching to be face to face, (but even that can swiftly move to phone coaching once all parties see the benefit.) So for this reason, it
far more important to align yourself with an international qualification
and credential than a local one.
Why did International Coach Academy choose ICF for their program Accreditation +
ICA has been around as a school since 2001 and was the first Australian based school to be accredited by the ICF. We have been a global school since day one and made the decision to accredit with the ICF over our local Australian based system (RTO & Cert IV) and over other global alternatives (IAC, WABC) for very specific reasons:
- The ICF were, and continue to be the most established peak body in coaching worldwide. With chapters in many countries around the world they offer the most “global” service to date.

- Coaching is a global clients from any country in the world. Provided they speak the same language and can learn how to use there is no reason to service only a smaller, local market.