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Coaching Experience Requirement Clarifications

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.

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)

The BCC requires at least 30 hours of coaching experience, obtained since receiving the applicable undergraduate or graduate degree which qualifies you for the 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)

ACC applicants are 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.

ICF no longer requires applicants to submit the names, contact information (phone or email) of your clients when you apply, but you should still maintain that list using a form like the one available in your ILCT library, in case you are audited.

ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

PCC applicants are required to demonstrate 500 hours (450 paid) of coaching experience with at least 25 clients following the start of their coach-specific training. At least 50 of these hours must occur within the 18 months prior to submitting the application for the credential. Again, you are no longer required to submit names and contact information but should maintain that list.cific 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 bartered 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