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International Coach Federation: ICF Coach Training That Gets Results

ICF Program

Today, anyone can call him or herself a board certified coach, business or executive coach, or a certified career coach and they don’t have to take any coach-specific training like the ICF program.

The road to be a master coach requires deep knowledge of and intensive practice in the core competencies that separate accredited coaches from others who simply adopt the title.

There are however, plenty of places for those of you who are just thinking about entering the professional arena of coaching, to find training. Finding the best coach certification programs isn’t as easy as it might sound. It turns out there are thousands of programs out there and they aren’t all created equal! It’s up to you to conduct your own research on how the training can help you become a better coach.


The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.


As the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches, ICF confers instant credibility upon its members. ICF is also committed to connecting member coaches with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their careers.


Today, the International Coaching Federation is specifically recognized among coaching professionals worldwide for:

  • CCE – Developing coaching core competencies
  • Establishing a professional code of ethics and standards
  • Creating an internationally recognized credentialing program
  • Setting guidelines through accreditation for coach-specific training programs
  • Providing continuous education through world-class events, Communities of Practice (CPs)and archived learning.


ICF Credentials are awarded to professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Achieving credentials through ICF signifies a coach’s commitment to:

understanding and mastery of coaching skills
a dedication to clients


The International Coaching Federation ( ICF ) offers three credentials:

  • the Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
  • the Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • the Master Certified Coach (MCC)

ICF also accredits programs that deliver coach-specific training.

ICF approved and ICF accredited training programs must complete a rigorous review process and demonstrate that their curriculum aligns with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics.

Consistent with ICF’s ethical standards and one of our core values, excellence, we support ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD).


Our philosophy of ongoing learning and reflective practice enhances our clients capacity to deliver professional coaching. The creation of a personalized CPD plan designed around your specific learning is a vital foundation toward coaching mastery. Mastery is developed through participation in various levels of advanced coach training as well as through very personalized learning based on skillful reflection about who you are and how you work.


Although coaching is a self-regulated profession, the International Coaching Federation and other special interest groups and professional associations who are coaching accreditation bodies, such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), the Association for Coaching (AC) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), are all aligning to a more uniform industry standard of which ongoing professional development is an integral facet.


As part of a self-regulating industry, the ICF program is committed to coaches providing consistent value to their clients. In order to maintain these professional standards, the International Coaching Federation has redefined its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) position to keep pace with industry expectations and emerging standards. Each distinct element of CPD is outlined below in greater detail.


Training and Skills Enhancement focuses on the development of the coach’s competence through offering a wide range of rich opportunities for the support and development of a coach’s skill set. An ICF program is committed to provide opportunities for coaches to consistently develop and grow professionally through training and skills enhancement.


Purpose of the International Coaching Federation ( ICF Program): 

Create an environment for the coach to be in the role of student and gain exposure from a variety of fields, whether it be specific to coaching or ancillary content that would improve one’s overall ability to serve their clientele in a successful manner.

Various components of this element can be categorized below:

  • Additional coach-specific training (CCE)
  • Professional development events (CCE)
  • Coaching tools training (CCE)


The following eleven core coaching competencies for an ACC, PCC and MCC were developed to support greater understanding about the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession as defined by the International Coach Federation. They will also support you in calibrating the level of alignment between the coach-specific training expected and the training you have experienced.

Finally, these competencies and the ICF definition were used as the foundation for the ICF Program – the Credentialing process examination. The ICF program defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

The Core Competencies are grouped into four clusters according to those that fit together logically based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group. The groupings and individual competencies are not weighted—they do not represent any kind of priority in that they are all core or critical for any competent coach to demonstrate.


ICF Program competencies for ACC, PCC and MCC coaches:

  1. Setting the Foundation
    1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards
    2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement
  2. Co-creating the Relationship
    3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
    4. Coaching Presence
  3. Communicating Effectively 
    5. Active Listening
    6. Powerful Questioning
    7. Direct Communication
  4. Facilitating Learning and Results
    8. Creating Awareness
    9. Designing Actions
    10. Planning and Goal Setting
    11. Managing Progress and Accountability


At XTRAcredits, we have world-leading subject matter experts who have curriculum’s designed and accredited for all your professional developments needs for CORE continuing coaching education ( CCE). Approved courses are offered on-demand, self-paced in your very own multi-million dollar communication platform, tailored to offer your continuing education credits certificates upon completion and help you advance in your career.

Before you go out and find the business coach certification program that suits you best, you need to spend some time and evaluate different executive coaching programs like the ICF program. Most of all you need to gain a deeper understanding of what you want out of this career.

Always remember to be great and be your best,

Lisa Patrick

Lisa is the founder of XTRAcredits Group Inc.  She is a savvy, innovative & swims in the ‘Blue Ocean’. She attacks every business she is involved with passion & tenacity to help support businesses & their people to achieve continuing success!  A successful entrepreneur with a proven track record building and sustaining businesses for the past decade.


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XTRAcredits is a full service boutique that provides ICF coaches their CORE continuing education.  Courses are curated by top performance leaders from across the globe. Courses are available on-demand 24/7. Professional coaches can meet their re-certification continuing coaching education needs anytime from anywhere.