“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important” – Bobby Knight.

Are you wondering what is Professional Coaching, and how coaches enable the clients to manifest their goals & objectives? How can you pursue your dream of ‘Coaching clients and Coaching them well?’ How fast can you become a Coach and how much Professional Coach Training can cost you? How can you get certified to become a Coach!

If the above-mentioned questions are concerning you, then you are in the right place to read ‘everything about professional Coaching’ in this simple and straightforward blog!

What is Coaching?

ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines Coaching as partnering with the clients to take them to a more resourceful state. Professional Coaching is often confused or is used interchangeably with Mentoring, Counselling, Consulting, and the like. But allow me to provide clarity. Professional Coaching is altogether a different game.

The interesting thing about coaching is that you have to trouble the comfortable, and comfort the troubled. – Ric Charlesworth

It is to help people/clients and support them to realize their potential. It is a thought-provoking process that helps them to find their own solutions through powerful questioning, rather than giving them the solutions. ICF Coaching lays out the framework in such a way as to evoke awareness & not mere transactional results. 

What is Not Coaching? Regal Unlimited

ICF Coaching is all about facilitating and stimulating the realization of one’s unrealized potential, not through telling or instructing, but by providing for the discovery from within. This involves unlocking the Coachees’ potential and helping them maximize their performance.

Learning about ICF generally brings up questions like:

What is ICF Coaching? and How to become an ICF Certified Coach?

Let us read on to know the answers to these questions.

What is ICF Coaching?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is an undisputed leader in the world of professional coaching. ICF coaching trains & credentials the coaches through a rigorous framework and mandates every coach to master a set of eight Coaching competencies, as part of the ICF Coaching. It ensures through its curated framework that the Coaches bring forth the finest qualities in the Coachees through the process of Coaching and takes them to move to a more resourceful state.

ICF is a leading non-profit organization in the Coaching or Coach Training Industry globally. International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the largest network of Professionally trained coaches in the world. As of today (20th May 2022) ICF has over 50,000 credentialed coaches across the globe. ICF has nurtured such a high-value network of coaches.

ICF is considered the gold standard for Coaching. It has been committed to serving for 27 years and continues to empower the Professional Coaches and Coaching-aspirants worldwide.

ICF is a global brand, recognized worldwide. Therefore, the tag of ICF adds the necessary aspects of credibility and authenticity to the credentials. ICF regards very rigorous and high standards for Coaches and the Coaching fraternity to maintain the best quality of Coaching services provided to the clients.

What is ICF Definition of Coaching?

After understanding what is ICF, it is imperative to know what is ICF’s definition of Coaching. And by the way, we believe that ICF’s definition of Coaching is the simplest yet profound. So, here is the definition of Coaching by ICF:

What is the ICF Definition of Coaching?

What Is an ICF Credential and ICF Coaching?

Any service provided must abide by the quality standards to ensure that the outcome is delightful. Coaching being a person-specific profession considers several core competencies needed to make the Coaching process valuable. To justify this, ICF Coach Training involves 8 core competencies that ICF has mandated for the aspiring Coaches to get trained before they are certified as Coaches. ICF definition of Coaching involves partnering with the Clients. Therefore, ICF coaching focuses more on building the Coaching Mindset rather than just imparting the theoretical coaching. The curriculum is set such that the methodology involves training through rigorous means of evaluations and numerous opportunities to practice and develop the skills and nuances of Coaching. Needless to say, the mentoring provided during the process makes the journey of Coaching more focused.

All of these are being ensured by the best ICF accredited coaching programs.

So, what is ICF Coaching Certification???

Many inquire about the accreditation from ICF. ICF accredits certain institutions that conform to its standards. A Coach can be certified by these approved Coach Training Institutions after completing the ICF Coach training mandates. However, ICF still retains the authority to grant credentials to a Professional Coach to maintain credibility. After a Coach has met the certification criteria under the ICF Coaching programs, they will be able to apply to ICF for Credentials and obtain those Credentials after complying with the evaluation procedures. The process involves complying with high ethical and professional standards adding to the quality of certification through the ICF accredited coach training programs.


Now that we know what is ICF Coaching & value of the ICF Certification, let us look into ‘how to become an ICF Certified Coach?’

I want to divide this section into two phases:

In Phase one; I will answer how to approach ICF Accredited Institutes. In the second phase; I will answer how to become an ICF Credentialed Coach.

So, one thing to note is that ICF on its own does not award the Certification to the aspiring coaches DIRECTLY. ICF has a mechanism through which ICF approves certain Coach Training Institutes (Regal Unlimited being one of them) in certain Geographies. And through these ICF ACCREDITED Institutes, only ICF Credential can be achieved.

To simplify, you as an aspiring coach need to find an ICF Approved Coach Training Institute. Get enrolled and complete the training from this particular Institute. And only after the ICF training is completed from this ICF Accredited Institute, you can apply for ICF Credential and get ICF-ACC Credential.

Now, assuming that you have chosen an ICF Accredited Coaching Certification program, then comes the second phase – how to become an ICF – ACC Coach?

LEVELS of ICF Coaching Credentials

There are 3 levels of Coaching Credentials that ICF offers.

i. ACC (Associate Certified Coach)

ii. PCC (Professional Certified Coach)

Iii. MCC (Master Certified Coach)

Each level differs from the other by the varying degrees of Coaching Proficiency requirements. Recently the nomenclature is being changed and the latest updates are:

*  Level 1- ICF ACC (ACSTH)

*  Level 2- ICF PCC (ACTP)

*  Level 3- ICF MCC (Portfolio)


ICF ACC involves a procedure that involves rigour and intense training to enhance the Coaching experience. To make it simple to understand, the procedure has been segmented into 5 simple steps. The aspirant Coach needs to follow these 5 steps to become an ICF Certified Coach.

How to Become an ICF Certified Coach?

Step 1: Coaching Training Hours

  • One has to undergo 60 hours of Coach Training. 60 hours includes 48 hours of Synchronous Online Coach Training and 12 hours of Asynchronous Self-learned Training, which involves assignments, book reviews, mastering coaching tools, etc. At Regal Unlimited, we provide a rigorous 48 hours of ICF Coach Training, i.e 80% of the program is synchronous learning.

Step 2: Mentor Coaching

  • In this step, the aspirants receive a minimum of 10 hours of Mentor Coaching from Professional Coaches. Herein, the 10 hours are again segregated into 7 hours + 3 hours; of which 7 hours of mentoring will be Group Mentoring ( one-to-many) and 3 hours will be One-to-One Mentoring, personalised to improve the coaching style and give feedback on the personal coaching conversations.

These two steps cover most of the theory and practical feedback on the practice of Coaching Core competencies that have been curated by ICF for an in-depth understanding of Coaching Education.

Step 3: Coaching Practice

  • This step requires 100 hours of Coaching practice. The 100 hours should be divided into 75 hours of Paid Coaching and the remaining 25 hours could be paid/unpaid.

“Good Coaching is a skill, an art perhaps, that requires a depth of understanding and plenty of practise if it is to deliver its astonishing potential.” – Sir John Whitmore (Book- Coaching for Performance)

Once the theory and the practical knowledge have been gained, it’s time to put them into practice. Unlike many professions, Coaching is Coach-specific. It gets customized from person to person. Therefore, it is imperative to learn the nuances applicable to individuals in the right context. A program that involves intensive practice sessions will assist the learner coaches in identifying their strengths and not-so-strong areas. Finally, Coaching practice ensures that the Process of Coaching gets imbibed & absorbed firmly. The stronger the process is entrenched, the more effortless the coaching conversation becomes. Here is where the muscle for Coaching Skills is built. At Regal Unlimited, we give a sharp focus on Coaching Practice, Practice & Practice.

The above three steps, when complied with, make the learner coach eligible for certification as a Coach by the ICF Approved Coach Training Institute. Thus this is the Phase 1: Getting Certification from ICF Accredited Coach Training Institute!

However, in order to obtain the Coach Credentials from ICF, two more steps must be completed.

Step 4: Submission of a Recording  & Assignments

  • The next step is to apply for the ICF credentials. This involves submission of a recording of the Coaching Practice session or the actual Coaching Conversation along with the transcript to ICF. This recording will then be evaluated by the ICF to ensure that the nuances used during the Coaching Session are as per the ICF framework or not. The objective of this recording evaluation is to ensure that the learner has practically mastered the ICF Coaching Competencies & is demonstrating the same in the coaching conversations

Step 5: Coaching Knowledge Assessment (CKA):

  • CKA is an assessment test that ICF conducts as the final step to receiving the ICF-ACC credentials. This involves an online assessment lasting 3 hours. After the evaluation of the recording, ICF sends the results of the evaluation and along with that, the link to CKA.

This assessment intends to check on the conceptual clarity of the Learner concerning the Framework curated by ICF for Coaching. Qualifying this assessment will qualify the Learner Coach for the ICF Credentials of ICF ACC.


As per the Oxford Dictionary definitions of Coach, one of the meanings (other than the one related to Coach Training) says:

– a comfortable bus for carrying passengers over long distances. That is exactly what a Coach does… Isn’t it? Being a ‘vessel’ holding the space & being a ‘Carrier’ taking the clients to a resourceful state.

Everybody focuses on the destination, but only a few realize the true worth of the journey. The journey becomes worthwhile only when the means and the company are worthy enough. Hence, it is very critical to make the right choice when we select the bus to ensure our journey is a safe, comfortable & memorable one. Having the best ICF Accredited coach training partner in this journey is a must!

The certification of a coach may be obtained from any Coach Training Program. A credible and authentic certification can only be obtained from a reputable ICF-Accredited Coach Training institute, adding value to the ICF certification.

The journey to becoming a Coach requires tremendous support and backing. Who better than a professional community of coaches to create that positive ecosystem where every aspiring coach flourishes!

If you are looking for the best ICF Accredited Coach Training & Certification programs, then your search finds fruition here!

Regal Unlimited takes pride in nurturing a vibrant community of 250+ ICF Credentialed coaches that collectively grow, learn, and celebrate. All of these coaches have gone through the best ICF-Accredited Curriculum, seamless delivery of high-quality content, and deep mentorship of experienced ICF Coaches.

What is one of the metrics that aspiring coaches must be asking the ICF Coach Training Institutions?

The metric recommended is- The credentialing rate of the Coach Training Institution- simply put, how many coaches get ICF-ACC credentialed per month/year. This metric is important because many aspiring learners join the Coach Training Program, but struggle to complete the rigorous evaluation.

Regal Unlimited’s proven track record is the best in the category of ICF Coach Certification in India, which speaks volumes about the high-quality training and mentoring it provides.

A relationship once built is cared-for for a lifetime with Regal Unlimited. Support is provided for a lifetime through mentoring, etc.

Coaching is a reflective journey. A marathon. The support and guidance from the mentors and supervision of the master coaches are essential for the success of this journey and make the experience truly magical.

Become the best ICF Coach with the best ICF Accredited program. Write to us: info@regalunlimited.com

Listen to our alumni speaking about the Regal ICF Coaching Experience they had!

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