This question was posed to me by Akash, a corporate leader contemplating doing the ICF certification. “Absolutely!” chipped in Ratna, his colleague, and a recent ICF-ACC graduate. 

I looked at Akash’s doubtful face and answered, “Well, that was the short of it. But I see you aren’t convinced. What makes you feel getting an ICF certification wouldn’t be worthwhile?

Akash spelled out his concerns – 

1. Why get an ICF certification in particular? Why can’t I get certified by any other institution?

2. I am a busy corporate professional. 100 hours of practice coaching and 60 hours of coach training for an ICF certification take a lot of time and effort. Why invest so much time and effort?

3. What would I get out of being an ICF-certified coach? I am a corporate leader, after all!

4. An ICF certification is steep in cost compared to other similar certifications. Is there a definite ROI for certification?

“Well, Akash! Let’s sit down, and I’ll answer all your queries.”  I said.

Well, reader, do you have the same concerns regarding ICF certification? Join Akash and me to get all your doubts clarified. 

Why should I get an ICF certification?

Science-backed Coaching framework

ICF provides a robust framework for coaching that keeps evolving based on the latest research and best practices in the coaching world. You can be assured that the ICF coaching framework & competencies are globally tested & proven effective.

ICF is the Gold standard in coaching

ICF is considered the gold in the coaching business. It is a global brand that is widely accepted and trusted worldwide. Over 4 million ‘coaches’ worldwide (on Linkedin), but only 50,000+ coaches are ICF credentialed. If you are an ICF-certified coach, no matter which part of the world, clients will make a beeline toward you because of its credibility & high-quality coach-training

A global community of coaches

You can reap all the benefits of being part of a global network of ICF coaches

Rigor in coach training

Why need 60 hours of training and 100 hours of practice coaching? It provides the rigor that makes you confident as a coach when you start your practice. ICF certification process builds your coaching muscle.

Higher earning potential

IIM graduates have an advantage over other B schools regarding earning potential, isn’t it? An ICF certification can give you the same advantage. Our research shows that an ICF certification provides a price differential to coaches! ICF coaches have the bandwidth to charge anywhere from INR 5000 – INR 10000  per session to begin with. 

High satisfaction score

NPS Score of Satisfaction gives ICF coaching a whopping 91%. And since coaching is a referral business, a happy client is a door to more coaching clients.

Provide maximum service

The ICF framework is carefully designed to enable a coach to maximize their client’s potential. As an ICF-certified coach following the coaching framework, you can be 100% sure you are giving your client the best service possible. Can any other certification provide such complete surety? I don’t think so.

Maximize your potential

The ICF certification process would be a transformational journey for aspiring coaches like you. It makes you more authentic, self-aware and poised. You are adequately equipped to excel professionally. ICF competencies can also help you create meaningful relationships with yourself and those in your life.

❝ Priya Sundaram, a life & leadership development coach, adds another major advantage for an ICF certification – strong ethical foundations of the ICF framework make ICF coaches trustworthy. An ICF coach knows when coaching can help the client and when it will not. And they are ethically strong enough to say no in the client’s best interest. Priya shares her experience of a chemistry session with a prospective client who was too emotional to let go of the past. Priya frankly expressed that the client was not ready for coaching and that some other modality would be more helpful. Priya also said she could coach once the client was ready to move forward from the past to the ‘Now’ and was ready for ‘where from Here’. The client took her suggestion and benefitted immensely from another modality.  She gratefully said she would return to Priya for coaching when she was ready ❞.

Is ICF Certification worth investing in?

We now come to the crux of the matter. Is an certification worth the investment of money, time, and effort? Don’t look at it one-dimensionally. The specialty of an ICF coaching certification is the multidimensional benefits it grants. Let’s look at the ROI of an ICF certification from different angles. 

Financial ROI

As an experienced ICF-ACC credentialed Regal coach, you can charge anywhere from INR 50,000 to INR 4 lakhs for a six-month coaching engagement with six to nine sessions. This means you can recover your investment within a year of beginning your ICF coaching career, even if you take on just two clients. 

Professional ROI

An ICF coach tag is a definite booster for your resume, regardless of your profession. Lower to mid-level leaders such as project managers and HR, L&D, OD, and Agile professionals get better roles, higher salaries, and compensation. Multiple job opportunities open up. We have documented cases where certain professions like Agile, Scrum, HR & L&D are mandated to take up ICF certification for career acceleration!

Social ROI

The term ‘coach’ (ICF coach even more so) has wider acceptance than ‘trainer’, ‘facilitator’, ‘counselor’, or ‘mentor’.  “There is nothing more empowering than an ICF coach title after your name,” many newly credentialed coaches often tell us.

Personal ROI

Your transformation is more than enough ROI for an ICF certification. Why? Because this reflects not only in your day-to-day life and relationships but also helps to become a better professional. 

In short, you become a better human being. One Regal learner coach asked his wife to monitor and rank listening skills throughout the certification program. From a dismal ten, it steadily improved and was within the top 3 by the time he became an ICF-certified coach. Who better to assess your listening skills than your wife?

Organizational ROI

Organizations benefit immensely from employing professionals with ICF certification, especially leaders. Coaching culture has proven to improve employee turnover and strengthen psychological safety (more so when external ICF coaches are involved). It has helped organizations to bring back high performers on course, plan the succession pipeline, and groom leaders to fit into the new role comfortably. A coaching culture reduces friction!

After this explanation, I asked Akash if I had answered his doubts regarding ICF coaching certification. He nodded his head. And yet, he still looked doubtful. “Do you have any more queries about the ICF certification program?” I asked. Yes, he said.

Who can benefit from an ICF certification, and why?

Agile coaches & professionals

Agile is disruptive and can make people antsy.Being an ICF coach enables Agile coaches to drive change more effectively by being better communicators, empathetic yet neutral, all while adhering to Agile principles,” says Meena Venkataraman, an Agile & DevOps Coach pursuing her ICF credentialing.

HR leaders, L&D professionals, OD enthusiasts, and talent management consultants

ICF coaching certification provide the necessary people skills to assess, motivate and develop employees or clients.

Senior corporate leaders (team size > 50)

ICF coaching skills enable leaders to manage teams better (coaching ensures the psychological safety of team members) and identify & drive organizational goals. They can also inject coaching into the organization’s culture. 

Corporate trainers & mentors

Trainers with ICF certification get wider acceptance and credibility. Coaching competencies can also take their training skills to the next level. Mentors pivoting to coaching can use ICF certification to enhance their existing skill set.


Leaders who want to create a coaching culture in their organizations should get an ICF certification. A leader as a coach is the best influencer and enforcer of company culture. 

As yet uncredentialed practicing coaches

If you are a practicing coach who is still uncredentialed, then believe me, you aren’t doing justice to either your client’s potential or your potential as a coach. 

Many coaches conduct workshops, instruct, prescribe solutions, etc., as a part of coaching engagements. These methods cannot empower clients nor give them sustainable solutions. You need a research-backed framework for coaching that an ICF certification alone can provide. 

Additionally, as awareness about coaching and its demand increases, clients increasingly ask for certification, and ICF, a global brand, is preferred. 

Lastly, the backing of an ICF certification can shoot up your earning potential and improve your visibility and credentials as a coach.

Psychologists, counselors, and healers

Agreed. What you do is very different from coaching. But getting an ICF certification and becoming an ICF coach can expand your skillset and repertoire. Personal transformation and professional upgrades that happen thereof can make you better at your profession and also give you an alternate modality to use when required. 

Other seasoned professionals

Are you a doctor, a banker, a dancer, a professor, an athlete, or a CA? No matter your profession, an ICF certification can empower you to excel as a professional and person apart from being an alternate option for a livelihood. We have successful doctors, dancers, and even astrologers who have added an ICF certification to their list of credentials.

Why is the price of ICF coach certification so high?

I answered this with a story.

ICF coaching certification empowers a coach to understand which screw to turn and when. Can such a powerful tool be quantified? Not really.

Still, let us look at the existing cost of an ICF certification. Broken down, it is still lesser than the financial ROI you are sure to obtain as a coach. You spend INR 2000/hour for the 80 (60+15+5) minimum support hours during the ICF certification program. Post ICF- certification, a starting fee of INR 5000 to 10,000 per one hour is granted.

Do the Math: INR 2000/ hour for the training & mentoring support you get & INR 5000 per hour (on average) is the price you can quote your clients!

Still not convinced, then approach to know how  you can improve your ROI from the ICF Coaching Certification

Why choose Regal Unlimited’s ICF certification program?

Regal Unlimited is the BEST coaching certification programs and coach-training firm based out of  India – serving the world. We offer one of India’s best online and offline ICF-certified coach training programs. 

Here’s what makes Regal Unlimited’s ICF certification the most sought-after program.

● We provide the perfect ecosystem for aspiring coaches to flourish and expand their base.

● We have trained over 300 coaches. 

● We are known for our high-quality training by the best coaches in the business.

● We enable you to build your coaching muscle through the ICF-mandated 100 hours of coaching practice. 

● We handhold and mentor you through your credentialing

● Our Coach Accelerator Program can help you quickly materialize your entrepreneurial dreams 

● We offer last-mile support in ICF-credential renewals

● You can take your coaching quotient to the next level through our coaching intensives – Coaching Unlimited.

Here’s why our alumni always recommend Regal Unlimited’s ICF certification program to aspiring coaches!

Train to be an ICF-certified and credentialed executive coach with Regal Unlimited.

Select the best executive coach training program for yourself. Join the next cohort of ICF-ACC.

Here’s why our alumni always recommend Regal Unlimited’s ICF certification program to aspiring coaches!

Watch our video – A Guide on How to Become An ICF Certified Coach

Priya Sundaram, an established ICF coach from Chennai, provides self-leadership and life coaching services.

Meena Venkataraman, an Agile & DevOps coach, is pursuing her ICF-ACC credentialing. She works with organizations and teams ranging from large companies to startups in their pursuit of discovering and transitioning to Agile ways of working.


What is ICF?

ICF, or International Coaching Federation, is a leading global organization for coaching and coaches. They independently certify coaches and nurture a worldwide community of coaches

How much does it cost to get ICF certification?

The first step to becoming an ICF coach, the  ICF-ACC certification, costs anywhere from INR 1 lakh to INR 1.5 lakh. It excludes the ICF ACC application fee, to be paid when applying for  ICF-ACC credentials.

What counts as coach-specific training?

Training received from an ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program) or ACSTH (ICF Approved Coach-Specific Training Hours) program counts as coach-specific training 

What are the requirements for ACC certification?

60 hours of coaching education, 10 hours of mentoring, 100 hours of practice coaching with successful submission of one coaching conversation to ICF, and passing the ICF credentialing exam.

What is ICF ACC credential?

ICF ACC credentials are conferred on professional coaches who show adequate understanding and application of coaching competencies and maintain coaching standards set by ICF.

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