ICF Coach Credentialing

For over a decade, the International Coach Federation has been leading the development of professional coaching. More than 15,000 coaches have participated in one of ICF’s three credentials, gaining coaching expertise and professional fulfillment. With an ICF Credential, coaches demonstrate not only knowledge and skill, but also a commitment to high professional standards and a strong code of ethics.

Anyone serious about building or maintaining a coaching business should pursue an ICF Credential and become part of this well-respected group that has chosen to regulate itself and provide accountability to clients and the coaching profession as a whole.

All ICF Credential-holders complete rigorous education and practice requirements, providing testimony to their commitment to excellence in coaching.

The mission of the ICF Credentialing program is to:

  • Protect and serve consumers of coaching services
  • Measure and certify competence of individuals
  • Inspire pursuit of continuous development

Research Proves the Advantages of Holding a Credential

ICF research has revealed several reasons coaches benefit from becoming a credential-holder. According to the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study, credentialed coaches reported a higher-than-average income worldwide compared to non-credentialed-coaches, with the exception of the Middle East and Africa. According to the2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, clients who worked with an ICF Credential-holder were more likely to be satisfied with their coaching experience and recommend coaching to others. In the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, 84 percent of adult consumers who had experienced a coaching relationship reported that it was important for coaches to hold a credential.

“Being a credentialed coach is how I say to the world, ‘I am a professional coach.’” —Julia Mattern, PCC

Watch and read stories from ICF Credential-holders here.

Become an ICF Credential-holder

The ICF offers three credentials:

Start by choosing the ICF Credential that best fits your coach-specific training and your coaching experience:

Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

Master Certified Coach (MCC)

For the practiced coach For the proven coach

For the expert coach

Training Hours Completed 60+ 125+


Experience Required 100+



Download a PDF comparison chart to discover which ICF Credential and application path is right for you!

New Credentialing Video Tutorials Available!

There are new videos available at Coachfederation.org regarding credentialing. Topics include: tips for choosing a coach training program; the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA); how to determine which ACC application path to follow; how to determine which PCC application path to follow; and how to update your Credential Coach Finder (CCF) listing.

You can view these video tutorials by visiting

Most videos have subtitles available in French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.