Certification and Accreditation Options

Choosing a Coaching Certification

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

Deciding which coaching certification you need if any can be bamboozling.  Not all coaches need a coaching credential, but we highly recommend they complete a certification with an accredited school.  We have set out to explain the difference between coach credentialing, certification and accreditation and provided resources to help you decide which study option is best for you and your plans for coaching.


Who is the ICF?

The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with more than 25,000 members and 12,000 credentialed coaches in more than 100 countries worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.


Why did ICA 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 www.timeanddate.com there is no reason to service only a smaller, local market.

Robyn Logan (CEO and Founder)

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 recognized 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.

Robyn Logan (CEO and Founder) International Coach Academy

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 ACSTH.


What is a Credential?

With coaching, a credential designates a recognized 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,  certification is a globally recognized statement of attainment that indicates you have been assessed by an Accredited Coach Training Provider as having the industry recognized skills and expertise required to practice as a coach.


Coach Street Podcast: Certification vs Accreditation

In this 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.


What are the Different Program Accreditations?

An ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program) is considered to be an “all inclusive” training option for someone wanting to become a coach.  With a minimum of 125 student contact hours, our certified and advanced programs includes core curriculum,  Mentor Coaching, Observed Coaching, Niche Development labs and peer coaching.  Students who graduate from an ACTP can apply via the ACTP track for ACC or PCC credentials.  View ACTP Study Options

ACSTH (Accredited Coach Specific Training) at ICA is for someone starting out on their coach training journey or wanting to add coach skills to an existing skillset.  The curriculum has been accredited by the International Coach Federation and is aligned with the core competencies of coaching.  At ICA the ACSTH program (Vocational) has been packed so that it directly suits the needs of those who want to become a coach or add coaching to their existing career, with the option to apply for the credential of ACC via the direct ACSTH track.  View ACSTH Study Options

Continuing Coach Education (CCE) is ICF accredited professional development for coaches.  This training can be used towards the renewal of an ACC, PCC or MCC credential. View CCE Study Options


Heather Skomp<br/>Life Coach, UNITED STATES

When I got to meet in person two of my ICA student and friends – one from Germany, and one from Vancouver, We met up in Washington state for a weekend and had the best time ever! The friends I have met in ICA are worth their weight in gold.

Heather Skomp
Life Coach, UNITED STATES

Do I Need To Be Certified To Practice Coaching?

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 successful.
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)


Can I Coach While I Study?

Yes you can start coaching whilst studying to become a Professional Coach. At International Coach Academy we offer peer coaching where you would firstly get to experience what it is like to be coached and be the client. You can then start coaching your peers and applying the skills and techniques learned in the classes.  When you feel confident enough you can start coaching people outside the ICA community. We suggest coaching clients within your network to start off with and work your way up.


Do I Have to Register With Anyone To Practice Coaching?

The coaching industry is a voluntary self regulated industry.  Coaches should adhere to the the The International Coach Federation code of ethics but there is no legal requirement to do so and no legal requirement to register as a coach.  You can become a member of the ICF by paying an annual fee and once you have met the coach training, supervision and coaching hours set out by the ICF, you can apply for the designation of "Certified Professional Coach".