Why Credentialling?

ICF Credential-holders are part of a self-regulating group of elite coaches who provide accountability to clients and the coaching profession as a whole. They pursue and complete rigorous education and practice requirements that provide unquestioned legitimacy to their commitment to excellence in coaching.

In Ireland, we promote the use of credentialled coaches as we believe, along with ICF, that this represents the gold standard in coaching internationally. The Global Coaching Survey showed over 40% of respondents expect their coach to be credentialled. Increasingly, organisations are requesting coaches to hold a credential or accreditation. We see this as one of the key factors in improving the professionalism and integrity of the coaching industry.

Do you already have your ICF Credential? Get your free Credential Badge:

Credential Types

ICF offers three credential types:

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

Credential Paths

Each credential type has a number of possible pathways. For example, both the ACC and PCC credentials can be achieved via the ACTP Path, ACSTH Path or the Portfolio Path. The MCC Path is different from the other two.

To provide a basic guideline, your first ICF Credential might be ACC, which requires you to have completed a minimum of 60 hours coach-specific training and a minimum of 100 hours of coaching experience (70 paid).

PCC Credential requires you to have completed an entire ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP), or a minimum of 125 hours coach-specific training and a minimum of 500 hours of coaching experience (440 paid).

MCC Credential requires you to have completed a minimum of 200 hours coach-specific training and a minimum of 2,500 hours of coaching experience (2,200 paid).

To find out about the various pathways for each credential type, please use the links below.

Emer Doyle

Credentialling – A Personal Account

Emer Doyle, MCC describes her journey to becoming a Master Certified Coach in this intriguing article.

Credential Renewal

If you wish to apply for a higher type of credential (going from ACC to PCC for example), this is achieved via the normal credential application process using the links above. To renew your existing credential with ICF Global, go to https://coachingfederation.org/credentials-and-standards/renew-credential

Mentor Coaching 

Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential consists of coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative and dialogued process. This is based on an observed or recorded coaching session to increase the coach’s capability in coaching, in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.

Mentoring provides professional assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency and capability demanded by the desired credential level.

Mentor Coaching should take place over an extended time (three-month minimum) in a cycle that allows for listening and feedback from the Mentor Coach while also allowing reflection and practice on the part of the individual being mentored.

10 hours of mentor coaching is required for all three credentials. Of the 10 hours, seven may be conducted in a group setting and the remaining three must be 1:1.


Your Mentor Coach must be an ACC (who has completed a full cycle of the credential through renewal), PCC or MCC in good standing.

For PCC 

Your Mentor Coach must be a PCC or MCC in good standing.

For MCC 

Your Mentor Coach must be an MCC in good standing. This cannot be the same Mentor Coaching that was applied toward a previous ICF Credential.

For more information on Mentor Coaching, please see https://coachingfederation.org/mentor-coaching