ICF Coach Certification
Becoming a professional coach is a wonderful and fulfilling career associated with significant rewards. If you are someone who has been searching for ICF coach certification programs to become a professional coach, then you would already be knowing that ICF coach certification programs are usually offered at a premium price. Often when money is involved, people are inclined to ask whether the investment is really worth it or not, as ICF Coach Certification cost and ICF certification costs more than other coach programs that are available. On similar lines, it is routine for interested participants to have questions like-‘is ICF certification worth it?’ ‘What is the value of becoming an ICF credentialed coach?’ What’s the return on this investment (ROI)? Is ICF Coach certification really the best, What do we get out of an ICF Certification? How is the career of ICF Certified coaches better than other coaches? Etc
When it comes to Accreditation for becoming an Executive Coach, Leadership Coach, Team Coach, and Group Coach for Coaches (these are more of B2B Corporate coaching engagements), having an ICF Coach certification will make a huge difference.
There are many coaches in the market these days, and many of them pose as Transformational Coaches, Life Coaches, and Peak Performance Coaches when they are not even properly trained and don’t even understand what coaching is, but just want to latch on to the branded words for some mileage.
Before you read further, here are some questions for you to consider towards ICF Coach Certification:
- You are a people person and like to work with people to help them grow?
- You have a genuine interest and passion to become a Life Coach, and work with people to help them achieve their dreams?
- Do you truly believe that your calling is Life Coaching?
- You want to work with Corporates as a Leadership Coach, Executive Coach, or Team Coach?
- You believe that each person has a purpose on this planet and it is all about mind, body, soul connection?
- You want to work as a Wellness Coach, and help transform people?
If the answer to any question is yes, then read further.
So, here is an article to help you answer the question-is ICF Coach certification worth it for you? Will it benefit you or not? Should you pursue it or not? How specifically will having ICF certification make a difference for you? – so on and so forth.
Further, the answer to the question-is ICF Coach certification worth it will vary from person to person. What is true for someone may not be true for you in all aspects of your life! This is why this article is written with the intent of helping you find answers that are true to your individual specific situation.
The article is structured in various segments to give you a better perspective. The first segment of this article is dedicated to some details on ICF, ICF Coach Certification, and the value of the certification. The latter half is dedicated to giving you specifics on common reasons why people enroll in ICF certification programs, and how they benefit from becoming an ICF certified coach. Use this article to decide if ICF certification is the best choice for you. And once you complete reading this article, you can check our online Coach program, if you are interested in joining the Coach Certification program offered with NLP Coaching Academy.
ICF stands for ‘International Coaching Federation’ – the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches (ICF ACC, ICF PCC, ICF MCC ~ also known as Certified Coaches)
ICF is a global and vibrant coaching community with worldwide members.
Over the years, ICF has set the gold standards in the coaching field. It stands to ensure consistency in coach training across the globe, hence Certification cost is more than other coach training programs. For this purpose, there is a defined the curriculum standards of various coach training programs. Those training programs which fall in alignment with ICF’s established curriculum standards are given approval and accreditation. By regulating standards, skills, and core competencies for coach training programs, ICF ensures that the coaches are experienced and reliable professionals who abide by a strict code of ethics. This ensures that Coach programs and Coach certification have wider acceptability when it comes to coaching as a career, and that is the reason ICF certified coaches are in demand when it comes to corporate work.
ICF has also developed a credentialing system. And at present, this Credential is the most recognized professional coaching certification globally. The ICF credential holders worldwide are more than any other certifying body, and the number is increasingly growing.
ICF coach certification reinforces the integrity of the coaching profession both nationally and internationally. There are three levels of ICF coaching certification or credentials, viz-
- ACC i.e. Associate Certified Coach,
- PCC i.e. Professional Certified Coach, and
- MCC i.e. Master Certified Coach.
It is worth calling to attention here that ICF does not conduct any coach training programs by itself. It does not offer any training for becoming a coach. It accredits training programs via ACTP path, ACSTH path, as well as Portfolio path, and offers several professional development opportunities to practiced coaches.
Is it really important to become a Certified ICF Coach?
The simple answer to this question (Modified a bit ~ Is it really important to get certified to coach?) is ‘No’. You might have heard from someone that if you want to become a successful coach you need to do ICF PCC or ICF MCC, and so on and so forth. In reality, to become a successful coach, you need to be able to coach, and successful is a relative term, and for someone, success will mean X, and for someone, it will mean Y. However, becoming a Certified ICF Coach is going to provide a lot of benefits in terms of branding, and positioning as a coach, especially if you are starting as a coach. Also, if you are a coach, and want to take your brand to next level, then it is advisable that you consider becoming a Certified Coach.
Having said that, so how to become a Life Coach or how to become a Certified Life Coach, or How to become an ICF certified Coach? Well, consider joining for a Coaching course, whether it is ICF Certified or not it does not matter. If you are only looking for an ICF Certified Coach, and are aware of why it is important to become an ICF Certified Coach, and you are sure that is what you want to become then only consider becoming an ICF Certified Coach.
Does ICF Coaching Certification really matter?
Does ICF Coach Certification really matter ~ Yes and No. No for someone who is not going to coach just as a hobby, and not work with corporate clients, and is going to rely on word of mouth to find clients. Yes, for those who are serious about Coaching and want to build corporate clientele and find clients in the Leadership and Executive Coaching space. Coaching is a very unregulated market, and what ICF brand brings on to the table is regulation, which is very important for corporate companies to figure out who has taken time to actually attend an ICF approved training program, coached people towards ICF Certified Coach requirement, have undergone mentor coaching, and has cleared an ICF exam.
Are you a candidate for the ICF Certification Program?
The answer is subjective here. If you want to build a brand as a Leadership and Executive Coach or want to find clients in organizations for Leadership Development Programs, Sales Coaching etc., then becoming an ICF Certified Coach will help. A basic ACC credential (ICF ACC Certification) will do. You don’t have to necessarily go for PCC directly, but if you want to leverage the power of ICF Certification program, then you might as well go for ICF PCC program.
How much does ICF certification cost?
By now you must be clear that ICF is the gold standard when it comes to coaching, and hence if you are wondering how much does ICF Certification cost, then the answer to that question would be, anything in the range of USD 2000 for 60 hours of ACSTH to USD 8000 for ACTP (125 hours). This is an average mean, based on available programs by different ICF Coach Training providers. Again the Certification cost will be dependent on the academy, the coach trainer, the coaching methodology etc. From Indian perspective Rs 1.5 lacs to Rs 3.5 lacs is considered a good average investment for ICF ACC (ACSTH route) and ICF PCC (ACTP route)
How long does it take to get ICF certification?
The answer is specifically for ACC as that is the entry-level ICF credential. So if you are wondering how long does it take to get ICF Certification (ACC). We have seen generally people complete the ACC within 6/7 months, and sometimes 12/16 months. Again this depends on how quickly a person is able to complete the requirements to complete the program, and get a minimum of 100 hours of coaching experience.
How to decide which ICF Coach Certification Program to attend?
- Check the methodology used in training (Any behavior-based coach program is better than any other methodology)
- Check the trainer/coach credentials (See the person facilitating the course is a top facilitator and a coach)
- Classroom-based: Attend a coaching program that is classroom-based, as online coaching programs are not that effective when compared with classroom-based programs. Depending on your comfort, requirement you take a call.
How to become an ICF Certified Coach?
- Attend an ICF approved program
- Complete the coaching log (minimum numbers of coaching required) – 100 hours of coaching log for ICF ACC level
- Complete mentor coaching (10 hours) with an ICF mentor coach
- Submit application with ICF (after validating your application, ICF will send you a link for an exam)
- Clear exam (online, multiple choice)
- If you are very clear with your path, then you can consider to join directly for ACTP (PCC level)
Once, you clear the exam you become a Certified Coach
Is ICF certification worth it?
Coaching is a very unregulated market. To become a coach, certification is not a mandatory requirement at present. Often people think that you need to do ICF ACC Certification or PCC or MCC etc to become a successful coach. Well, if truth be told, that’s not true.
The ground reality is that you need to be able to coach effectively if you want to become a successful coach. Your success as a coach will largely be based on fact whether or not your clients get the results they desire. ICF coach programs leading to an ICF Coach certification will open many doors to get started, hence, people prefer ICF certificates.
Nobody hires a coach with a fancy certificate but no reputation for delivering outcomes. Credentials definitely come in handy to get started and get going. However, in the long run, the experience of doing things matters the most. Often, the word-of-mouth buzz brings you most of the potential clients.
Whether you really need ICF credentials or not is therefore based on where you are and what your objectives are. Make an informed decision accordingly. To summarise,
You need an ICF Coach certification if:
- If you are someone who wants to work as a professional coach with corporate clients, then becoming an ICF Certified Coach will help you on your journey.
Often experienced Leadership Coaches, Executive Coaches, Business Coaches, Sales Coaches, Success Coaches, etc pursue ICF Coach certification because it enables them to find clients in organizations easily. Thus, if you want to build corporate clientele and find clients in the Leadership and Executive Coaching space, you must go for ICF Coaching credentials.
- If some of your competitors are leveraging ICF branding to get corporate clients, and you are getting nowhere fast, then maybe you need an ICF certification.
ICF brand bestows credibility to the coach and his/her coaching services. It is therefore seen as an important (often mandatory) criteria in corporate coaching.
You do not need an ICF Coach certification if:
- If you are a consultant and a mentor, then you do not need ICF credentials.
- If your nature of work in therapy, counseling, and consulting, then becoming an ICF Certified Coach is not required.
How to become an ICF PCC Coach?
Requirements to become an ICF PCC Coach. Yes, ICF PCC has more value than ICF ACC Certification, considering the difference in terms of number of training hours, and also the experience requirements in terms of Coaching. So if you are very sure that you want to get into Coaching, as a profession, and you want to up your brand as a Coach, and make yourself more eligible to get corporate assignments, then go for ICF PCC program. The ICF PCC program has more depth in terms of course coverage, more experience in terms of peer coaching, and more methodologies, and frameworks are covered. This is the Licensed Behavioural Coach program offered by NLP Coaching Academy.
- Completion of an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (125 hours) in its entirety is required (ACTP).
- Following the start of your coach-specific training, you must have 500 hours of coaching experience with at least 25 clients.
The Coach Knowledge Assessment must be completed (CKA). The ICF as an accreditation body changes the requirements periodically, as they manage that part.
Why do people enroll in ICF-certified courses?
ICF is the highest recognized body in the world known for its coaching standards. Becoming an International Coach Federation Credentialed coach is a growing necessity in the coaching industry these days. Experienced coaches often consider becoming ICF Certified Coach as of more value. Therefore, listed below are few visible benefits of becoming a credentialed Coach-
- When you earn coaching credentials from ICF, you get a professional certificate that is recognized the world over.
- Achieving credentials reassures potential clients that you are an experienced and professional coach who has trained extensively and practiced rigorously to meet the global standards of coaching. It helps to build credibility and provide you a jump start in the coaching industry, as there are many coaches who are out there, some trained and some not trained at all.
- Having an ICF-recognized credential enhances your credibility. As a result, you get an edge over your competition. This is because ICF Coaches pursue approved Coach Certification Programs to become ICF professional coaches. And these coach certification courses are globally recognized and highly acclaimed for creating highly qualified coaches.
- ICF provides a brand boost to the coach. ICF credentials are synonymous with a coach’s understanding and mastery of coaching skills, dedication to clients, and commitment to integrity.
- ICF certification provides a way for corporates to screen and filter authentic and reliable coaches, considering these days everyone and anyone can call themselves a coach.
Certified coaches with authority can be those coaches who basically to ICF Certified coaches who have undergone an International Coach Federation approved training program (bare minimum 60 hours of approved ACSTH training program), would have been mentored by an Mentor Coach, would have coached for 100 hours, and would have cleared an ICF exam. All these steps ensure that the Certified Coach (ACC level) is a trustworthy coach (from the client’s perspective) with some skills, knows about coaching (client’s perspective), and can leverage that tag to make sure that a business pitch (coach’s perspective) to a potential client has weightage. Hence, ICF Coach Certification has value, and many people prefer to go for ICF Coach credential to get started with their certification program journey.
PCC level – Intermediate Certified Coach level ~ The market value of PCC (125 hours of training and 5 times the coach experience as a requirement for Certification) is growing as more and more coaches are adopting to ICF standard of coaching, and are getting certified.
ICF Certified Coaches are the de-facto standard when it comes to corporate assignments. Most of the corporate select coaches based on a specific coach selection criterion and one of the most of the time is an ICF credentialed coach. Certified Coach tag ensures that the coaches have leverage in the market space, and, they are assured that they are not put into the same category of non-credentialed coaches, which is going on in the market and creating havoc. The market demand for a robust ICF Coach Certification program is on a high, and a good coaching course is always a welcome boon for the participants looking for a good content-rich coaching program.
There is a joke in the coaching industry in India. ‘Why not become a Life Coach?’ – Go to any coffee shop, you can see around five people (Barely 20 something old) sitting there, trying to chit chat in accented (possibly won’t even have traveled outside India) sophisticated English, browsing on their Apple machines, and sipping Cappuccino. They will be the Life Coaches, without any proper training. They would have copied the tag by watching some of the movies that have portrayed Life Coaching as being fancy, and we have New Generation Z Life Coaches, who have not even started their life properly yet thinking it is cool to be a Life Coach, as it means “Giving guidance to people”
How to become a successful coach?
This is a very important question as this gives a sort of a direction to the person who is looking forward to becoming a coach. The factors leading to success as a coach, depends on the criteria of looking at success. Some coaches just take a Certification and think they have become a successful coach, and that is because they are working in a corporate and as part of their regular job, coaching is an add on that they do, and hence, there is no problem of looking for clients, and to coach them. The situation is totally different for someone who does not have access to regular coaching clients, and they basically are entrepreneurs who are coaches, and are looking for clients to coach, and for them getting clients might be a criteria for success. So whatever is your criteria get clear about that, as that is important to establish a coach, especially if you are an entrepreneur, and you are into business of coaching.
The coaching industry in India has evolved in the last five years with more people looking forward to becoming ICF Coaches because those who are serious about being a coach want to segregate themselves from the rest. They also want to make it clear to potential corporate clients that they mean business, and can deliver as well. ICF certified coach programs are being offered online these days, and are facilitated by the best coach trainers, who would have a deep understanding of the coaching standards, coaching ethics, and guidelines, and would have a lot of experience as a Coach.
If you are looking forward to becoming a Coach, then make sure that you have a plan in place, and one of them can be to become serious about getting trained as a Coach. Considering the inflow of non-credentialed coaches in the market is going to increase in due course of time, it might be a good idea to plan this well and get a head start with your plan.
If you are looking forward to take your coach (If you are yet to become an ICF Coach) journey to next level, or are just starting in the Coaching industry, then do plan to become an Certified Coach, by attending an ICF approved coach program.
With advances in digital technology to attend any ICF Coach Certification program virtually has become very easy, affordable, and you have access to the best mentor coaches. The traditional classroom training program has now moved to digital space, and due to the pandemic, online instructor lead training programs have become a new norm. Also, due to the pandemic, the coaching industry is the need of the hour, hence the demand to become a Coach program has increased a lot, and especially the need for good coach programs.
Join the ICF certification program with NLP Coaching Academy
With rapid changes in the world, growing competition, increasing isolation, and a multitude of changes in lifestyle preferences of people, coaching has become a much-in-demand service.
People prefer to work with coaches on various things like turning around a difficult situation, achieving maximum work performance, handling business problems, making key decisions and designing strategies, prioritizing actions and projects, catching up and getting ahead of the competition, increasing sales substantially, improving profitability, improving communication, enhancing thinking skills, building personal foundation, improving self-management and organizational skills, integrating work life and family life, improving resilience, so on and so forth
Owing to this, coaching has also become a popular career choice these days. And ICF has become the de-facto source for verifying and assessing the quality of different coach training programs across platforms.
If you are someone who wants to continue to practice as a coach, consider enrolling in a coaching training course-irrespective of the fact whether you need ICF credentials or not.
If you are interested in becoming an ICF Certified Coach, and you are well aware of the reason why you should become a Certified Coach, and you are absolutely sure that this is what you want to become, then only consider becoming an ICF Certified Coach.
If you’re not sure yet, speak to someone who is a successful coach. Look for real evidence of how the person has benefited from coach training. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at +91-7506070907 and discuss the way forward towards becoming an ACC or PCC level coach.
Since obtaining quality coach training is integral to a coach’s coaching career, we have made the path to certification as simple as possible.