Studying to become a Coach inevitably leads you to a number of acronyms used in the profession that can be confusing! The aim of this post is to clarify these, especially in light of the ACC, PCC and MCC Credentials that the International Coaching Federation awards. Read on to find out more.
First of all, there is a difference between completing an ICF Course of Studies and becoming Accredited.
As a starting point it is important to consider that there are a number of ICF training programmes. Some (indeed, not all!) will allow you to then apply with the ICF for accreditation. Think of your course of studies as one of the requirements towards a fuller application towards your Accreditation as an ACC, PCC or MCC Coach.
Typically the requirements for any Accreditation Level by the ICF will need you to have:
- Completed an Approved Course of Coach Training Studies.
- Undertaken at least 10 Hours of Mentoring
- Engaged in a minimum number of coaching hours (depends on the level applied for, see below for more information)
- Passed a Coach Knowledge Assessment that is usually done online once you’re ready to apply
- Passed a Performance Evaluation of a Coaching Session in line with the ICF Competency Markers
The requirements above will vary slightly depending on the Accreditation Level (ACC/PCC/MCC) however for now the above is all you need to know.
What do ACSTH/ACTP and Level 1/2/3 mean?
In essence this means that the programme of study is approved by the ICF. ACSTH and ACTP are the current type of training programmes. Levels 1, 2 or 3 are the updated versions.
ACC (Associate Certified Coach) vs PCC (Professional Certified Coach) vs MCC (Master Certified Coach). What’s different?
Which then leads us to the key question of this blog post. What’s different between the levels?
– Training Involved
What is important to know is that you would need at least 60 hours of Coach Training (e.g. our Diploma in Integrative Coach) to apply for ACC and 125 (e.g. our Advanced Diploma in Integrative Coaching) to apply for PCC. For MCC you will need 200 hours of Coach Training. So essentially the higher the level the more training hours you need to have completed.
The mentoring hours between the three levels is the same (10 hours), however if you’re applying for MCC you would have inevitable had more mentoring hours due to the time that it gets to obtain this level.
– Coaching Hours
It is the time that you spend coaching that will make the biggest difference. To become an ACC Coach you will need at least 100 hours of coaching practice. For PCC the hours go up to 500 whilst for MCC you are looking at 2,500 hours! That is primarily the reason why there are so few coaches at MCC level.
Most people follow their accreditation in a sequential order (from ACC to PCC to MCC) however there is nothing to say that you can’t apply directly for PCC for example. You will still need to show that you are coaching at that level and that’s where your training becomes invaluable.
And on a final note
Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much information! Requirements do change every so often so by the time you get there you might need to revisit this. That’s where a robust training provider (like us!) can help you.