Top Tips For Credentialing with the ICF

Posted by Ross Nichols on Friday, April 3, 2015 Under: Mentor coach

For the Associate Certified Coach (ACC)™ credential with the International Coach Federation (ICF), there are 3 options:
1.  Complete an accredited coach training programme (the ACTP path)
2.  Attend 60 + accredited coach specific training hours (the ACSTH Path)
3.  Attend 60+ non-accredited coach specific training hours (the Portfolio Path)

I took option 2, the ACSTH path.  For the ACSTH path, you require:

·         60 + accredited coach specific training hours (ACSTH).  I achieved this by completing the Animas Diploma in Personal Transformation Coaching (DPTC), evidenced by uploading my Diploma certificate when applying for the ACC credential.

·         10 hrs of coach mentoring by a mentor coach, min of 3 hours as 1:1, up to 7 in a group.  Animas offer an excellent programme of mentoring for ICF credentialing purposes.  Evidence: upload your coach mentor’s details.  Another way to find your mentor coach is to look on the ICF registry of mentor coaches.

·         100 hrs of coaching logged with a minimum of 75 hours paid and the remainder pro bono.  Evidence: upload your coaching log including names and contact details, plus confirming consent from all those included on your log.

·         To be a member of the International Coach Federation.

·         To pass the ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment.  This is an on-line multiple choice exam based on the ICF definition of coaching, the ICF pledge of ethics and the ICF core competencies.  Sample questions are available on the ICF website.  The test must be taken in one sitting; the time allowed is 3 hours and the pass mark is 70%.

Here are my top tips for earning your ACC credential via the ACSTH path, most of which apply to the Portfolio path as well.

1   1.  Start your coaching log as soon as you start coaching.  Get into the habit of logging each coaching session as soon as you’ve completed it – it’s much harder to fill it in retrospectively!  A good way of gaining consent from clients to be included in your log is to build this into your terms and conditions/coaching agreement.  Template coaching logs are available on the ICF website under credentialing.  Template coaching agreements are also on the Animas Learning Zone.

2.      2.  Finding paying clients is difficult when you are starting out so join ICF early as a student coach – be sure to select the option that you are taking part in Accredited Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) of 60 hours or more, which is what the ICF recognises the Animas Diploma as (123 hours to be precise).  You can then take part in the ICF reciprocal coaching programme, which is accepted as PAID coaching hours because there is an exchange of value. 

3.      3.  Another good way to find clients is simply…. to ask people!  I made an announcement at one of my yoga groups that I was doing a coaching diploma and wanted some practice clients.  Two people responded and one was so pleased she insisted on paying me, which became 5 paid hours on my log.  Keep an eye out on the Animas FB lounge too – there are frequent offers of practice clients, occasionally paying clients too.  Fellow Animites make great practice clients and every training weekend and supervised online coaching session is an opportunity to connect.  I know of Animites who put the word out on their own FB pages and had lots of responses.  The most innovative method I’ve heard of was from Animite Antonia Clewes, who sat in a coffee shop with a sign up offering free coaching, which worked J  Use your creativity to find your own clients.

4.      4.  Skype is really useful for coaching sessions.  Through the help function, you can download a free Skype MP3 recorder, which saves every session to your PC and makes it easy to share recordings as email attachments.  Downloading a free Skype MPD recorder is surprisingly easy to do so for non-techies, have no fear!  If you want a simple guide, I’ve posted one as a discussion on the Animas Learning Zone under ‘Training’.  Recording your sessions allows you to identify your best work to submit to Animas for your Diploma assessment and to share selected recordings with your mentor coach.  I gained extremely useful feedback on my coaching skills from my mentor coach this way.  After a while, I was able to critique my own recordings, which really helped me to iron out some of those rookie errors and start to develop my own coaching style.

5.      5.  Manage your own motivation, mind-set and behaviour.  Check in with yourself that you really do want to be credentialed as it is quite a commitment.  If you do want this, you know how to set it as a SMARTER goal!  Be open to how you might achieve your goal, especially your 100 hours of logged coaching, and keep on coaching whenever you can.  Above all, embrace this opportunity to learn a new and valuable skill as you will gain so much more: membership of a new community, increased self-awareness, increased sense of purpose and fulfilment, and new friends, so enjoy the journey!

6.      6.  You can progress rapidly from training to accreditation if you want to and are motivated.  If you embrace the tips above, before you know it you will achieve your 100 hrs, by which time you will be ready for the coach knowledge assessment.  I began the Animas Diploma training in early August 2014, gained my Diploma in February 2015, and earned my ACC credential in early April 2015, a total of 8 months almost to the day.

If you’d like to know more about the ICF credentialing process, do get in touch and I’d be pleased to share what I’ve learned.  Best of luck!

Ross Nichols ACC

In : Mentor coach 

Tags: coaching credentialing "mentor coaching" "associate certified coach"