Understanding the ICF ACC requirements for aspiring coaches

Coaching has become a popular and rewarding profession for many individuals who are passionate about helping others reach their full potential. If you are considering a career in coaching, you may have come across the International Coach Federation (ICF) and its various credentialing programs. The ICF offers three levels of certification: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC). In this article, we will focus on understanding the requirements for achieving the ICF ACC credential.

What is ICF ACC?

The ICF ACC credential is the first level of certification offered by the International Coach Federation. It is designed for coaches who are beginning their coaching journey and are able to demonstrate a foundational level of coaching skill and knowledge. Becoming an ICF ACC demonstrates to clients and employers that you have met the high standards set by the ICF for professional coaching.

ICF ACC Requirements

In order to achieve the ICF ACC credential, coaches must fulfill certain requirements set by the ICF. These requirements are designed to ensure that coaches have received adequate training and have demonstrated their coaching skills. Here are the key requirements for ICF ACC:

1. Training

Coaches seeking the ICF certification ACC credential must complete a minimum of 60 hours of coach-specific training. This training should be provided by an ICF-accredited program or by a program that follows the ICF’s core competencies and code of ethics.

2. Coaching Experience

In addition to the training hours, coaches must also complete a minimum of 100 hours of coaching experience. At least 75 of these hours should be spent coaching clients, with the remaining 25 hours dedicated to mentoring, peer coaching, or coaching supervision.

3. Mentor Coaching

Coaches pursuing the ICF ACC credential are required to complete 10 hours of mentor coaching with a qualified mentor coach. Mentor coaching provides coaches with valuable feedback and guidance to enhance their coaching skills.

4. Performance Evaluation

As part of the ICF ACC requirements, coaches must submit a recording of their coaching sessions for evaluation. The ICF assessors will review the recording to ensure that the coach demonstrates the core competencies and meets the ethical guidelines set by the ICF.

5. Written Exam

Coaches seeking the ICF ACC credential must also pass a written exam that tests their knowledge of coaching core competencies and ethics. The exam is designed to assess the coach’s understanding of the fundamental principles of coaching.

6. Code of Ethics

Coaches applying for the ICF ACC credential must adhere to the ICF’s code of ethics. This code outlines the ethical responsibilities of coaches towards their clients and ensures that coaches maintain high professional standards in their practice.

Renewing the ICF ACC Credential

Once coaches have obtained the ICF ACC credential, they must renew it every three years to maintain their certification. Coaches are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing coach education and demonstrate ongoing coaching experience to qualify for renewal.


In conclusion, the ICF ACC credential is a valuable certification for coaches who are starting their coaching career. By understanding the requirements set by the ICF and actively working towards fulfilling them, aspiring coaches can demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence and ethical practice in coaching. If you are considering pursuing a career in coaching, obtaining the ICF ACC credential can be a significant step towards establishing yourself as a credible and competent coach in the industry.

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