letter blocks unravelling acronym for Level 1, 2 and ACTP coach training

What are the different levels of ICF coach training?

Making Sense of ICF Accreditation Changes

Up until 2022, ICF-accredited training providers offered two distinct pathways for aspiring coaches. The first option provided students with a fully comprehensive program through Accredited Coach Training Providers (ACTP). The second option allowed students to tailor their training experience by combining different components to meet the requirements for accreditation. This flexible approach, known as the “portfolio” pathway, enabled individuals to accumulate training hours from various Accredited Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) programs.

Feedback collected over the years indicated that prospective students were often confused by the various offerings and struggled to discern the distinctions between them. Consequently, the ICF embarked on developing a new system aimed at ensuring clarity and consistency across training programs.

Under the new system, all training providers had to resubmit their programs for evaluation. They needed to demonstrate compliance with required standards. Additionally, they had to show possession of necessary governance structures. This was to safeguard students, given the significant investment involved.

How Does ICF Accreditation Work Now?

As a result, the previous distinctions between ACTP and ACSTH are being replaced by a two-level framework. Level 1 leads to the ACC credential, while Level 2 provides a pathway to achieving the PCC credential. This restructuring aims to streamline the process and provide clearer pathways for individuals pursuing accreditation.

At the ACC level, 60 hours of coach-specific education are required. This education may be earned through one or more ICF–accredited or non-accredited programs. Your Credential application path is determined by the type of education you received.

What is the Level 1 Level 2 ACTP path?

Level 1, Level 2 and Accredited Coach Training Programs (ACTP) have built into their program the education hours, mentor coaching and performance evaluation required to earn an ICF ACC Credential. If you have completed any of these education program types, you will submit your program certificate and coaching experience hours in your credential application. Once the application review process is complete, you will then take the ICF Credentialing Exam. 

For those who have fully completed and graduated from a Level 1, Level 2 or ACTP program, the Level 1 / Level 2 / ACTP application path should be used. View Sample Application

Level 1 / Level 2 / ACTP Path Application Price 
  • ICF Member: $175 USD 
  • Non-Member: $325 USD 

Estimated Time for Review: 4 weeks 

What is the ACSTH Path for ICF Credentialing?

ACSTH programs mainly focus on providing coaching education. Mentor coaching and a recorded coaching session for performance evaluation need to be independently verified. These must also be included in the credential application. Alongside these, program certificate(s) and coaching experience hours are required. Following completion of the application review process, candidates proceed to take the ICF Credentialing Exam.

If you’ve met the coaching education requirements through ACSTH program(s) or part of an ACTP, Level 1, or Level 2 program, you should follow the ACSTH Path for your application.

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