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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

Certification 101

Level 1: Certification & Requirements

Level 1 is our foundational coaching course. In this course you will be taught the fundammentals of coaching in the ICF Coaching Model and be given the tools and techniques to begin your business as a life coach. Level 1 is essential and must be taken before attending Level 2. Requirements

  • No Prerequisites
  • Earn 32.8 Accredited Coach-Specific Training Hours towards your ICF Credential
  • Become a Certified Life Coach / Certified Professional Life Coach (CLC/CPC)
    • Earn your Paper Certificate & Digital Badge
    • Never Expires
    • Recognized World Wide
When you complete Level 1, you can and are expected to start Life Coaching and charging for your services.

What is the ICF?

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

Level 2: Certification & Requirements


  • 30 ICF Accredited Training Hours
  • Completion of Level 1 and 10 Hours of Coaching (minimum)
  • Earn 33 Accredited Coach-Specific Training Hours towards your ICF Credential
  • Become a Master Certified Life Coach / Master Certified Professional Life Coach (MCLC/MCPC)
    • Earn your Paper Certificate & Digital Badge
    • Never Expires
    • Recognized World Wide
When you complete Level 2, you can and are expected to continue life coaching, be prepared to earn your ACC with the ICF, and raise your coaching rates.

What is an ICF Accredited Program? ACSTH Program?

ICF accredits programs (CLCI) that deliver coach-specific training. 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. Certified Life Coach Institute provides Accredited Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH). This gives students more freedom when choosing training and options to attend different programs as they earn their ACC, MCC, and PCC.

What is an ICF Credentialed Coach

ICF continues to offer the only globally recognized, independent credentialing program for coach practitioners. 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 integrity, understanding, mastery of coaching skills, and dedication to clients. Coaches are accredited through ICF in 3 levels

  1. Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
  2. Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  3. Master Certified Coach (MCC)
CLCI's Level 1 & 2 courses provide coaches with 65.8 training hours and the foundation they need in order to achieve credentials with the ICF. To earn your ACC you need:
  • At Least 60 hours of coach-specific training through ACSTH Certification. (Our Levels 1 & 2 classes provide you with 65.8 hours total)
  • 10 hours of Mentor Coaching over a minimum of three months to be documented on your online application. Your Mentor Coach must be an ACC who has completed a full cycle of the credential through renewal, PCC or MCC in good standing. ( CLCI provides access to Mentor Coaches)
  • A minimum of 100 hours (70 paid*) of coaching experience with at least eight clients following the start of your coach-specific training. At least 25 of these hours must occur within the 24 months** prior to submitting the application for the credential.
  • Performance evaluation (audio recording and written transcript of a coach session to be uploaded with your application).
  • Completion of the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA).

What is the difference between certification and credentialing?

Certification means the coach has training. Credential means the coach has training, experience, and expertise. ICF does not issue certifications. ICF accredits school who issue certifications. ICF issues credentials. Being certified by an ICF accredited school however, is the first step towards working towards your ICF credential.

Why do I need a certification?

Coaching in the ICF Coaching Model means that you have a very specific skillset. One that ICF has laid out in detail. Certification ensures that you are trained within the ICF Coaching Model and practice coaching using the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics. Furthermore, In order to gain your credential from ICF the first step is to be certified by an ICF accredited school. Certification comes after 30 hours of training. After completing 30 hours of training from an ICF accredited institution you have aquired enough training and are encouraged to start coaching and coach in the ICF coaching model you are taught in your training. Once you have been certified you can begin logging coaching hours that will count towards your credential. Only hours aquired after certification count towards your minimum required coaching hours in the eyes of ICF. This makes certification the first step on the way to being credentialed.