Message from ICF: Temporary Changes to Support ICF Credential Applicants

The International Coach Federation recently sent out an email to all ICF members to notify of temporary changes made to support coaches through this disruptive time and ensure they are not derailed from achieving their professional development goals. 

Please find below the letter from Carrie Abner, Vice President, ICF Credentials and Standards and Benita Stafford-Smith, MCC, 2020 Chair, ICF Credentials and Standards Global Board.

Highlights include: 

  • Extending Client Coaching Experience Recency Requirements for ACC and PCC Applicants
  • Increasing Eligible Number of Pro Bono Hours
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Access to a newly curated a collection of virtual resources to assist you in supporting your coaching practice as well as supporting your clients through the COVID-19 crisis.

We hope this message finds you safe and healthy. As an organization, as a profession, as individuals—we care about the many implications of the current global pandemic on all our communities, including the global community of coaches.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact how we all live and work, your contributions to our global coaching community as an ICF Credential-holder are vital. Thank you for continuing to embody high standards for our profession during these tumultuous times.

Now more than ever, our members and credential-holders are living our value of excellence. With the added pressures our coaching community is facing, we want to create a space for excellence to thrive. For many coaches who planned to renew or apply for an ICF Credential in 2020, this crisis has the potential to be enormously disruptive and derail them from achieving their goal. We don’t want this to happen.

In the weeks, months and years ahead, our world will need coaches and coaching more than ever before. We want to ensure that ICF-credentialed coaches continue to represent the highest professional standards and that they are ready to provide support when and where it’s needed.

We are committed to maintaining our high standards for credentialing and the value ICF Credentials have for those who hold them. We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to all communities, including the global community of professional coaches.

To support coaches on their professional journey while continuing to ensure the highest standards for the credentialing process, the ICF Credentials and Standards Global Board has approved three temporary measures to support coaches in 2020.

Two of these measures may impact you if you plan to level up your ICF Credential this year.

Extending Client Coaching Experience Recency Requirements for ACC and PCC Applicants

We recognize that this crisis has had an enormous impact on coaches’ businesses and, for many, led to the cancellation of scheduled coaching sessions that you’d planned to count toward your experience requirement. By temporarily extending the recency requirement for ACC and PCC applicants, we hope to enable many coaches to stay on track with their anticipated timeline to apply for an ICF Credential.

If a coach applies for their ACC or PCC by December 31, 2020, their recency requirement for experience hours will be extended from 18 to 24 months.

For ACC applicants, this means that at least 25 hours of coaching experience must have taken place within 24 months of submitting their application.

For PCC applicants, this means that at least 50 hours of coaching experience must have taken place within 24 months of submitting their application.

Increasing Eligible Number of Pro Bono Hours

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to all communities, including the global community of professional coaches. But these times are also unprecedented in terms of opportunities for coaches to be in service to their communities, and we know that coaching is now more important than ever.

If a coach applies for their ACC, PCC or MCC by December 31, 2020, they will also be eligible to count a higher proportion of pro bono coaching hours toward their experience requirements.

We are increasing the proportion of eligible pro bono coaching hours by 20%.

This means:

  • ACC applicants can count 30 hours of pro bono coaching toward their experience requirement (up from 25 hours)
  • PCC applicants can count 60 hours of pro bono coaching toward their experience requirement (up from 50 hours)
  • MCC applicants can count 300 hours of pro bono coaching toward their experience requirement (up from 250 hours)

We are also capping Continuing Coach Education requirements for coaches whose ICF Credentials expired on December 31, 2019.

ICF values ongoing professional development for credentialed coaches, which is why we require ICF-credentialed coaches to renew their credential every three years. We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic may disrupt access to Continuing Coach Education opportunities, particularly for individuals required to submit additional CCE units to renew a lapsed ICF Credential.

For coaches whose ICF Credentials expired December 31, 2019, we are capping the Continuing Coach Education requirement at 41.2 CCE units (at least 24.72 units in Core Competencies). This is the number of CCE units required to renew a credential after a one-month lapse. Coaches will still be required to complete at least three of their Core Competencies units in coaching ethics. They can obtain these hours by completing ICF’s free online course.

Upon renewal, December 31, 2022 will be the new expiration date for these coaches’ credentials. They will still be required to submit at least 40 Continuing Coach Education units (24 in Core Competencies), completed between December 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022, during their next renewal cycle.

These changes go into effect immediately.

Professional Development Opportunities

As you look ahead to renewing your ICF Credential, you may be concerned about how you will fulfill your Continuing Coach Education requirements considering the disruptions impacting the coaching and coach training communities.

We want to help ensure that you remain on track with your professional development goals. We are pleased to offer information about free and lower-cost options for earning Continuing Coach Education units:

You can earn three required hours of Continuing Coach Education in coaching ethics by completing ICF’s free online course at https://coachfederation.org/ethics-cce-course.
Our Education team has curated a collection of virtual resources to assist you in supporting your coaching practice as well as supporting your clients through the COVID-19 crisis. You can access that page in the ICF Learning Portal at http://learning.coachfederation.org/ICF-Cares.
ICF Chapters worldwide have scheduled virtual events to provide continuing professional development for coaches throughout this crisis. Many of these events yield Continuing Coach Education units. Find a listing of this quarter’s events at https://coachfederation.org/COVID-19-resources-for-coaches.
Communities of Practice (CPs) are virtual groups of coaches interested in a specific topic area. These communities are designed to provide a platform for sharing best practices, emerging trends, tools and tips among ICF Members to advance their professional development. CPs provide a virtual venue for coaches with a shared interest in a specific topic to advance their professional development; deepen their subject-matter expertise; and share best practices, emerging trends, tools and tips. Each CP is steered by volunteer leaders who help facilitate the learning and organize the conversations, ideas, and trends that emerge from the group. CPs are designed to promote active participation from their members: Sharing and discussion is always encouraged. Learn more at https://coachfederation.org/communities-of-practice.
The ICF Learning Portal is an online learning management system (LMS) where you can access live and archived virtual learning content. On the Learning Portal you can track your in-progress and completed professional development; you can also download a transcript that documents CCE units earned toward ICF Credential renewal. Visit the ICF Learning Portal at http://learning.coachfederation.org/.
You can also continue to find ICF-approved sources of Continuing Coach Education at a variety of price points by visiting the Events Calendar at https://coachfederation.org/calendar or the Training Program Search Service at https://coachfederation.org/tpss.

You can learn more about all accepted sources of Continuing Coach Education, including Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision, at https://coachfederation.org/icf-credential/professional-development.

As always, the ICF Credentials and Standards staff is here to support you in your continuing professional development. Please feel free to contact the team at support@coachfederation.org with any questions you have about these temporary changes.

Today and every day, we are thankful for the commitment ICF coaches like you demonstrate to our profession and its high standards. Thank you for all that you do!

Sincerely,

Benita Stafford-Smith, MCC

2020 Chair, ICF Credentials and Standards Global Board

Carrie Abner

Vice President, ICF Credentials and Standards