Are you willing to consider coaching as your career add-on? Inclined to become a coach? Feeling stuck in deciding whether to go for a Coach Certification or not? Is your mind filled with lots of questions?

Relax… We got you covered.

Introduction to International Coaching Federation (ICF)

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is a not-for-profit organization, committed to promoting the science, art, and practice of professional coaching. It is considered the gold standard in coaching. With its world’s largest network of Professionally trained Coaches, ICF is a leading organization in the Coaching and Coach Training (now ‘coaching education’) domain

What Is The Best Definition Of Coaching?

1. One of the best definitions of Coaching is that is given by ICF. ICF defines Coaching as-

Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

What makes it the best?

  • ICF coaching is partnering between two adults or a team. 
  • It is a process, but not constrained as it is thought-provoking and creative. It operates at the confluence of science and art, and more. 
  • It inspires the client – the inspiration, the awareness, and the actions are deeply personal for the client. Hence higher probability of staying with action.
  • All focussed on maximizing potential, both personal and professional. 

2. Another popular definition of coaching is, “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” – Sir John Whitmore (Author, Coaching for Performance, one of the most popular books on coaching)

3. We also consider pure and classical coaching as an opportunity for the client to move from the current state to a more resourceful state. 

‘Coaching is transformational. There is no transactional coaching. And the transformation happens between the sessions. Hence coaching is most client-centric too.’ 

Some Facts and Figures on ICF Coaching:

ICF has dedicated over 27 years towards

➤ Coaching Profession’s advancement

➤ Creating a network of 50000+ trained Coaches spread across the globe

➤ Establishing a structured approach to coaching by setting higher standards & ethics

➤ Providing independent certifications and strengthening the coaching community globally

In India, as of September 2022, we have over 703 ICF Professional Coaches with active ICF credentials. Out of these, the following are the figures for ICF Coaches:    

➤ ICF ACC Credentials: 261

➤ ICF PCC Credentials: 394

➤ ICF MCC Credentials: 48

We have 6 ICF Chapters in India (Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, and Pune)

Recently, Regal Unlimited Community has reached 300+. This number represents the total number of Coaches we have trained in the ICF methodology. Small in number, big on impact. 

You can also be a part of the 300+ Regal Coaches Community by signing up with us for ICF coach training.

Some ICF Coaching FAQs You Need to Know in 2022

FAQ 1. What is ICF Coaching Definition and What Does ICF Coaching Stand For?

ICF Coaching refers to the structured and well-curated approach to the practice of coaching. It stands for the highest standards, its focus on ethical aspects, and the global acceptability of the ICF Coaching Credentials.
Earning an ICF Credential degree involves rigor and thorough processes of Performance Evaluation and examination of the Coaching Knowledge ensuring the higher quality of the ICF Coaching. In one word, ICF Coaching is the GOLD standard in coaching globally. An undisputed leader with credible brand acceptance across the globe.


FAQ 2. Do You Need ICF to Be a Life Coach?

You don’t need ICF for becoming a Life Coach but you need ICF for becoming a good Life Coach and to give the best to your client. 

ICF adds the credibility aspect which the ICF brand attaches to the tag of Life Coach. Moreover, ICF Coaching brings a structured approach to the Coaching skill which makes the Life Coach give the best to his/her/their client, as he/she/they touch the client(s)’s lives.

The above-mentioned aspects are backed by first-of-its-kind research, which was done to understand the Coaching Landscape prevalent in India. It provides input for many similar doubts that arise in the minds of aspiring coaches.

ICF provides a rock-solid foundation for Coaching (through its framework of competencies) Once the coach has mastered that – any other niche like Executive Coaching, Life Coaching, Wellness Coaching, etc can be practiced. No separate certification is required.


FAQ 3. How Is Coaching Delivered?

Coaching is delivered 1-to-1, either through online platforms or face-to-face meetups. 

The pandemic as well as global connectivity have enabled the elimination of most of the issues regarding the logistics involved. Nowadays, most of the Coaching is done over online meeting platforms. However, wherever logistics are feasible for a personal meeting, offline sessions are also being opted for as Coaching Sessions.


FAQ 4. How Do ICF Coaches Serve Their Clients?

ICF has curated a framework considering today’s requirements in terms of Coaching, which not just ensures that the Coaching is provided in a structured manner, but also ensures that it is done keeping in mind the aspects like ethics, client’s best interests, etc.

To become an ICF Coach – they have to go through almost 4 months of rigorous training, 10 hours of mentoring, and at least 100 hours of prior practice, and only after assignments and online evaluation, do they get ICF Credentialed.

Therefore, these credentials ensure that the coaches are well-equipped to serve the clients in the best way possible. There are no shortcuts in the ICF Credential journey and that’s what makes it a very high-quality coach certification. Clients get the best coaching – thanks to the rigorous ICF  credentialing process!


FAQ 5. What Is Coaching Not?

  • Coaching is not Mentoring, as mentoring works in an advisory mode. It involves guidance from the mentor, who is a subject matter expert to the mentee, who is relatively less experienced.
  • Coaching is not consulting, as consulting is giving solutions to the issue at hand. It is very ‘problem-specific.’
  • Coaching is not training, as training is imparting a skill with pre-prepared content.
  • Coaching is not Therapy, as therapy/counseling involves correcting, confronting, and instructing a change in the attitude and behaviour of the client, to improve the performance that is below the set standards.


What Is ICF Coaching Not


FAQ 6. Why Might Someone Want ICF Coaching?

ICF is considered the industry gold standard in the field of coaching. Its worldwide presence makes its Credentials acceptable globally. Moreover, an ICF Coaching Credential carries the credibility of the brand and also the structured approach to Coaching. Hence, if one is planning to consider options for Coaching Education, ICF stands out as the best option.

Moreover, ICF Coaching Education focuses on Coaching Education rather than the niche. Hence, ICF Coaching isn’t a niche-specific one, to start with. This opens up the possibility of various opportunities in terms of choosing the niche. Be it Life-Coaching, Executive Coaching, or Millenial Coaching or for that matter, you choose any niche, the ICF Coaching Education caters to all.


FAQ 7. How Can Someone Ensure They Benefit From ICF Coaching?

One can benefit from ICF coaching by surrendering to the process. The framework is holistic, complete, and empowering. Regal Unlimited’s approach to ICF coaching involves


  • Setting goals, for the engagement, and individual sessions
  • Deeper exploration of beliefs, biases, and other subtle elements
  • Awareness and action. The ICF coach then remains an accountability factor to enable the client to remain committed to the actions.  

All these are to enable the client to achieve the goals, and beyond, #beingRegal. We take pride in shaping coaches who are creating a positive impact in the lives of clients (through professional, personal, emotional, leadership & life coaching)


FAQ 8. What Can You Expect From An ICF Coaching Certification?

The ability to coach the ‘who’ of the client, beyond the ‘what’. At Regal Unlimited, we train ICF Coaches to coach the person, not the story. The spider, and not the web. An ICF coach does not get caught up with the client’s stories, even though that is the reality for the client.

The potential is beyond, in the realm of the person, ‘who’. 

All these require training on ICF coaching methodology & framework. The exposure to the framework, the synchronous & asynchronous learnings, the assignments, the mentoring, and most importantly, the practice hours… all help the coach to build the coaching muscle. There is no shortcut for it. ICF coaching certification process also gives the confidence to coach the client, in all areas of his/her work, and life. 


FAQ 9. What are ICF Core Competencies?

ICF’s curated framework involves 8 Competencies which are considered the ICF Core Competencies.  These competencies have been established to support a greater understanding of the skills that are required in the Coaching conversations in today’s Coaching Profession.

1. Demonstrates Ethical Practice
2. Embodies a Coaching Mindset
3. Establishes and maintains agreements
4. Cultivates Trust and Safety
5. Maintains Presence
6. Listens Actively
7. Evokes Awareness
8. Facilitates Client Growth


FAQ 10. What Is The ICF Code Of Ethics?

While defining the professional standards for Coaching, ICF has laid down the ethical standards as well. The ICF Code of Ethics is the blueprint for the standards that describes the core values of ICF, as well as the ethical principles and the standards of ethical behaviour that are expected from all the ICF-Professionals.

Not just the Code of Ethics, ICF also provides a venue for consumers to file ethical complaints. The details of the process are mentioned on the ICF’s Ethics page. ICF Ethics is a very powerful component that establishes the baseline for coaching – safeguarding the nuances of coaching and preventing unscrupulous coaching interventions.


FAQ 11. What Counts As Coaching Hours For ICF?

Coaching hours for ICF involve the number of hours used for the practice of Coaching as an experience requirement for the ICF credentials.


  • ICF mandates at least 75 (out of 100 hours) to be paid (either in cash or in-kind) and the remaining 25 hours could be either paid or unpaid.
  • 25 out of 100 hours, must have occurred within 18 months before the submission of the application for credentials to ICF.
  • The hours must include practice with at least 8 clients.
  • You can check the ICF requirements in detail, as mentioned in the experience section.


FAQ 12. What Is An ICF Membership?

ICF provides membership option to the To-be-Certified-Coaches or Coaches, depending on their eligibility, which opens the doors for the Professional Coaches:

  • to be part of it at a greater level
  • enjoying the benefits and perquisites of being an ICF member

One needs to pay a certain amount of fee for the ICF Membership as per the applicability.


FAQ 13. Who Are The ICF’s Competitors?

ICF is the gold standard in professional coaching. It is a not-for-profit organization, managed by full-time employees, and volunteers. All chapters, across the globe, are managed by volunteer coaches. As such, there is no competition for ICF. There are other good coaching bodies, such as EMCC. 


FAQ 14. How Effective Is ICF Coaching?

ICF Coaching can be very effective if the client chooses to trust the process and partners with the coach to move toward the action. A lot depends on the client’s willingness to work on themselves. 

It helps if the coach is trained & certified, ICF credentialed & experienced, and continues to work on themselves. 

Hence we say, trust the client, trust the coach, and trust the process 

How Effective Is ICF Coaching


FAQ 15. Can Coaching Supervision take the place of Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential?

No. Coaching Supervision has a broader bandwidth encompassing supporting the Coach and sharing the wisdom. Whereas Mentor Coaching focuses on the skills of the Coach regarding the ICF Core competencies. 

Therefore, only Mentor Coaching is considered and accepted for the Mentor Coaching requirement for obtaining the ICF Credentials, and not Coaching Supervision.


 FAQ 16. What does it mean to be ICF accredited?

ICF accredited refers to the Coaching Education Programs or Institutes that have been approved by the ICF to impart the ICF Coaching Education and hence eligible for providing certification to the aspiring ICF Professional Coaches.

These programs/institutes have been evaluated and reviewed rigorously in terms of quality and other important aspects like the learning philosophy, methodologies, evaluation, etc., to ensure that the quality of Coaching Education provided by the institutions is of higher standards and is conforming with the Coaching standards established by ICF.


FAQ 17. How do I become a certified ICF coach?

ICF has curated a framework and process through which an individual becomes a certified ICF coach. For this purpose, ICF Coach has accredited certain Institutions and ICF Coaching Education Programmes that help and support individuals in their journey to become ICF Certified Coaches.

The process of becoming an ICF-certified coach involves 5 basic steps-


  • Coaching Education (Coach-specific Training for a minimum of 60 hours)
  • Experience (Coaching Practice for at least 100 Hours)
  • Mentor Coaching (10 hours with a minimum of 3 hours of one-to-one Mentor Coaching sessions)
  • Performance Evaluation (Submission of 1 audio-recording and transcript of a Coaching Conversation to ICF)
  • Exam (ICF Credentialing Exam)

In case you are inclined to know more about this at length, read it here


FAQ 18. Could You Define Credentialed/Accredited?

Credentialed, in the ICF’s context, refers to the individuals who have completed the stringent
coaching education and have fulfilled the experience requirements, and also have demonstrated mastery over the coaching competencies. Once the above aspects are ticked, ICF confers the credentials on the individual.

While accredited refers to the Coaching Education Programs and Coaching Education Providers who are qualified by ICF to impart the Coaching education/training curated by ICF. These Coaching Education Programs are recognised by the ICF for undertaking the certification, which makes an individual eligible for the Credentials. This is to ensure that the Coaching Education provided to the individuals is of high quality and adheres to the framework curated by the ICF.

In essence, ICF provides Credentials to the individual coaches. ICF provides Accreditation to the coach training Programs/Institutes.


FAQ 19. How Much Does It Cost to Get ICF Certification?

The ICF Certification cost might vary subject to the Coaching Education Provider. 

With Regal Unlimited, the cost for ICF ACC Certification is ₹140,000 (plus 18% GST) for Indian Residents. Similarly, the cost is 2000 USD for Learners from Overseas.

However, this cost doesn’t include the application fee, payable to ICF during the submission of the application for ICF ACC Credentials.

The application fee for ICF ACC Credential can cost from USD 175 up to USD 625, depending on the ICF Membership status and the pathway chosen for the application for ICF-ACC Credentials.

The Application fees to be paid by ICF Members for ICF-ACC are as follows-


  • ACTP Path- 175 USD
  • ACSTH Path- 375 USD
  • Portfolio Path- 475 USD

The Application fees to be paid by Non-ICF members for ICF-ACC  are as follows-

  • ACTP Path- 325 USD
  • ACSTH Path- 525 USD
  • Portfolio Path- 625 USD

However, after every 3 years of the Credentials, there needs to be a Renewal of Credentials, which might cost around 175 USD for ICF members and 275 USD for non-members.


FAQ 20. How Long Does It Take To Become an ICF Certified Coach?

Approximately, it takes anywhere around 8 months to 18 months on average. It varies from Coach to Coach as the pace of clocking in of Coaching Practice hours and also the review of Performance Evaluation adds to the variability of the period involved.

At Regal Unlimited, we encourage learners to complete the entire process in 12 months. We are very supportive of our learners, provide them with additional resources and cohorts to fast-track their practice, and consistently clock the coaching hours. 

We also believe in ‘Getting Coached Slowly’. In coaching, there is no shortcut, hence detailed practice & mentoring sessions are encouraged! Regal Unlimited provides a supportive ecosystem to catalyze the journey of becoming an ICF Certified Coach within 12 months! 

Have the above got your queries covered? 

Do you still have further questions that you would like to discuss? If the answer is yes, please write to us at or ping us at +91 6362 872 685


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