“What you have achieved, holds less significance than ‘how’ you have achieved it” – Regal Unlimited 

While the accomplishments are celebrated, all the achievers know that the merit was always in the journey and not only in the destination. At Regal Unlimited, we believe that all three are important, the journey, the destination,  and the company that keeps the journey exciting and memorable.

“I am a ‘so and so’ Coach.” I am sure this line sounds music to your ears because becoming a ‘coach’ demonstrates mastery of domain expertise. Coaches today are ubiquitous, still, a common query we keep hearing is ‘how can we become an ICF-Coach?’ While the process is quite simple, we find that there is a lack of authentic content around it to simplify and explain the process.

In this blog, we will chart out the path to becoming an ICF-ACC Coach. If you are an aspiring coach, leader, professional, and /or business owner who wish to become a professional ICF Coach & bring orbit shift in your professional career, then you are at the right place. 

We will be keeping this blog in the Q&A format and answer the seven most frequently asked questions by beginners, aspiring coaches. Brace yourselves for a simple, yet defining #Regal Ride

How to become a coach?

What is coaching?

Coaching is a transformation process, a framework that allows an individual to move to their full potential. Coaching aims at maximizing potential and focuses on their personal and professional growth. Improved performance is one of the collateral benefits of coaching. 

Coaching takes you from where you are to where you want to be. Coaching is meant to take the client to a more resourceful state.

ICF defines Coaching as a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires you  to maximize your potential (Credits:https://coachingfederation.org/ )

Coaching can challenge your self-limiting beliefs, put the spotlight on your strengths, expose your blind spots (and we all have them), and let you shine in the brilliance which you truly deserve.

A coach through coaching conversations, holds a mirror for the client so that they can grow, professionally and personally. A professional coach uses the framework of ICF/EMCC, not frameworks based on personal experience. 

A coach is also a cheerleader (believing in the client’s potential and cheering for him/her to accomplish it) Coaching, in our opinion, is the most customer-centric profession where the client is a true hero and at the same time have a detached-attached relationship with the client. (Did we start describing who is a ‘good coach’, well it was deliberate to outline the key essentials:) 

What is ICF? 

We repeated this word ‘ICF’ often in the first answer, here is the explanation. 

ICF stands for International Coaching Federation, an authority and gold standard in Coaching and Coach Training across the world. ICF is the largest network of professional coaches with over 40,000 members. ICF is a global brand with an exceptional market standing. ICF promotes the science, the art, and the practice of coaching. ICF invests heavily in research and curates the best practices of coaching so that the coaches can be trained to serve the clients in the best way. 

ICF Methodology trains a coach to develop the right attitude, skills, and coaching mindset. The ICF coach training competencies provide an empowering framework to coach and also enhance the credibility of the coach. It is more likely for a client to go for a coach who has an ICF credential than a non-certified/yet-to-be-credentialed one. 

Affiliation with an international brand like ICF gives the Coach an edge. ICF members also subscribe to the ICF code of ethics. ICF has designed a rigorous and relevant curriculum for the coaches with a strong focus on the Practice of Coaching as opposed to a purely theoretical approach.

Why is it necessary to be an ICF-certified coach? 

Irrespective of your knowledge, background, or professional and personal experiences, pure coaching is a different ball game. Coaching is different from mentoring, training, consulting, and therapy (more on this here).

How to become a coach?

Coaching is a process, and like every process, it must have a clearly defined framework to be followed. ICF provides us with a framework to coach. It is backed by years of research and is continuously updated to incorporate the best practices in the profession of coaching from across the globe. 

Becoming an ICF member gives the coach the confidence to use the framework, to be a part of the coaches’ network at the local chapters, and beyond.

While the process is given preference, ICF defines it as a ‘creative process’ thereby leaving room to accommodate the diverse needs of the clients. Coaching impacts lives, hence a well-validated framework ensures the highest quality of ‘Coaching’ to the clients. We consider it the best way to give the best service to the coachee and client. In the process, the coach also learns and grows. 

Your client deserves the best, and credential from ICF ensures that you are the ‘best in Coaching. 

How to become a coach?

What is the difference between certification and credentialing?

ICF does not provide the coach training directly, it has approved certain Coach Training institutes to provide the required training hours. The curriculum of which is duly approved by the ICF. Regal Unlimited is one such Coach Training Institute. 

After completing the training hours and mentoring, the Coach Training Institute  CERTIFIES the learner-coach as a professional Coach. 

But ICF Credentialing requires two more steps, it requires submitting a recording of Coaching Conversation and appearing for the online test conducted by ICF. If only the Coach is found qualified and clears the test, ICF issues the Credentials.

In a nutshell, Certification is issued by the Coach Training Institute and Credential is offered by ICF. Certification is a pre-condition for ICF Credential. More on this in question 7: steps to becoming an ICF-ACC Coach.

How to become a coach?

What are the different types of coaching? And do we need separate training? 

There are various niches in coaching. Some of the popular ones are; executive coaching, career coaching, life coaching, diet coaching, leadership coaching, and the recent emerging ones are relationship coaching, millennial coaching, etc. These coaching niches are just extensions of ICF coaching.

ICF gives you a foundational framework on “How to Coach” Once you master that, one can use it to choose any niche one prefers (based on their area of expertise) There is no need for any separate certification or training after you have earned the ICF certification. You can choose any niche and apply the ICF framework and the process. The ICF certification is Universally applicable (hence the global brand). Pure and classical coaching is just learning the art and science of coaching and applying it as it is. The cherry on the cake is that identifying the coaching niche and building a brand around it, is an integral part of the ICF curriculum at Regal Unlimited. 

Why do HR/L& D executives or Agile/Scrum professionals need ICF coaching, training, certification & credential?

Professionals in these areas of human resources or technology, agile, scrum, and others, are actually consultants, though they call themselves coaches. There is a lot of coaching happening in bits and pieces, but it is still not pure coaching. The transition from mixed coaching/consulting to pure coaching is an important shift for them. These roles are constantly in touch with the ‘people’ while other tools and techniques motivate the ‘people’ Coaching is proven to touch the core and inspire action. Coaching has become an accepted competency in HR, Agile, and Tech roles because Coaching involves tapping into human potential. Hence the keen interest to pursue ICF professional coaching. 

How can I become an ICF-certified coach? 

ICF is the gold standard in coaching and is considered to be the best coaching platform in the world. Getting ICF credentials is one of the most important tasks in your coaching Journey. To become an ICF- ACC credential coach one needs to follow the below steps.

How to become a coach?

Step 1: Coach Training Hours

It involves 60 hours of coach training which includes both synchronous (minimum 50%) and asynchronous learning.

Step 2: Mentor Coaching

ICF mandates that a minimum of 10 hours of mentoring is provided as part of the curriculum by the MCC/PCC credentials coaches.

Step 3: Coaching Practice

The learner is required to clock in at least 100 hours of coaching practice to qualify the required ICF- ACC norms.

Step 4: Submission of Recording 

It further involves the completion of assignments and coaching conversation recordings of the learner that need to be submitted for the ICF application. One Coaching conversation must be recorded and sent for evaluation to the ICF. Learner-Coach is expected to demonstrate the application of the concepts and coaching competencies in this recording. 

Step 5: Appearing for CKA 

Lastly, the ICF application and Coaching knowledge assessment (CKA) is an online test conducted by the ICF to evaluate the conceptual understanding of the ICF Framework and Coaching Competencies. Once the learner qualifies the CKA, ICF issues the ACC credential to the learner. 

The course completion certificate is issued upon the completion of Step 1,2, 3 (part of 100 hrs), and Step 4 (assignments) by the Coach Training Institute (Regal Unlimited is one such ICF Approved Coach Training institute) After applying for the ICF Membership, Step 4 and 5 can be completed. 

We know it looks like a lot of work, but believe us, we got your back!

We, at Regal Unlimited support and handhold you throughout this journey of becoming an ICF Coach. We have Master Coach Trainers who are qualified and experienced in the ICF Methodology. We have trained more than 230+ professional coaches and will be excited to manifest your dream of becoming a professional coach too. A lot of our trainers come from the corporate space, with a vision to incorporate coaching in their work, and life. Visit Regal Unlimited, or drop in a query to info@regalunlimited.com