Coaching credentials such as the ICF’s ACC and PCC, and the Center for Credentialing & Education’s BCC have requirements for both coach training and coaching experience. This post explores the requirements for what counts as coaching experience, especially in light of the recent changes made by the ICF.
While it is probably obvious, all hours that you submit should be coaching hours – not therapy, consulting, mentoring, but coaching hours, working with individuals, groups, or organizations. You’re not healing issues from the past, offering advice, but rather a strength-based approach that focuses primarily on where your client is now and where they would like to go in the future. Additionally, for all credentials, an hour is 60 minutes and sessions less than a full hour should be proportional. One hour of group coaching should be counted as one hour, not based on the number of participants.
Board Certified Coach (BCC)
Requires 30 hours of coaching experience, obtained since receiving the applicable undergraduate or graduate degree you are applying to your BCC. Those hours must be verified – for ILCT students I will work with you to do that once you’ve completed your coach training. There is no requirement in terms of whether the coaching was paid or pro-bono.
ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
Requires 100 hours of coaching experience, 75% of which must be paid.
Beginning October 1, 2016, at 12 a.m. (New York), all ACC applicants will be required to complete 100 hours of client-coaching experience following the start of their coach-specific training. Furthermore, at least 25 of these hours must occur within the 18 months prior to submitting the application for the credential. ACC applicants will still be required to have a minimum of eight (8) clients and 75 paid client-coaching experience hours. Before that date, all coaching you have done will count.
You will be required to submit the names, contact information (phone or email), and number of hours, whether paid or pro-bono hours, using a form like the one available in your ILCT library. Ensure that you have obtained your client’s consent to provide their name and contact information before submitting to the ICF.
ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
Currently, PCC applicants can demonstrate their coaching experience in one of two ways:
Effective October 1, all PCC applicants will be required to demonstrate their coaching experience according to option b (500 hours following the start of coach-specific training).
What Constitutes Coaching Experience?
Recently the ICF also made changes to the hours which can count towards your credential, bringing it more in line with the BCC, especially in relation to peer coaching. Coaching which you do within the class sessions do not count towards any credential – they are part of the requirements for completing the course. While peer coaching is also a course requirement in many of our classes, ICF (as well as BCC) now allows you to count the time when you are coaching (not being coached or sharing observations) as pro-bono hours towards a credential. If you and a classmate, or other coach decide to coach each other outside of the course requirements, that is considered to be barter or paid coaching hours since you are each providing a service to each other.
Hope this helps. If not, please don’t hesitate to give me a call to discuss.
Ellen Neiley Ritter, Ph.D., BCC
Dean of Students, ILCT
888.267.1206 x 101
Direct Dial 330.974.1244