Primary Differences between Two Paths to ICF Credentials

There are differences between coach specific training and training that is not accepted as coach specific training. A large number of aspirants who are not aware of ICF certification requirements sometimes get confused between coach specific trading and training that is not regarded as coach specific. Any training that has been received from an accredited coach training program also known as ACTP or any ICF ACSTH Program or training that has been received from a Continuing Coach Education training provider is regarded as coach-specific training.  However, it is necessary that the continuing coach education covers the required number of hours necessary for core competencies.

When it comes to acceptance of the hours of training, 12 hours of training outside the Core Competencies will also be considered for the purpose of calculation.   When it comes to training that is not regarded as coach specific, there are three categories. If training is claimed to be teaching skills or offered as a method to acquire other special skills, the same will not be considered. Even if the skills can assist a coach, they will not be considered as coach specific training.  Personal development courses will also not be considered as coach specific training. Other training programs that cover subjects including psychology, NLP and counseling will also not be regarded as coach training. The only exception would be if the courses were conducted to be as per ICF Core Competencies and assisting in getting skills that can be used as a coach.

Aspirants need to be aware that if coaching classes have been conducted, it does not automatically qualify as coach specific training. It can, however, qualify as coach specific training if it meets specific requirements. For instance, if the applicant has himself/herself put together the class, or if the applicant conducted the training for the classes, or if the aspects of the training fulfilled aspects of training that can be regarded as coach specific.

The ACSTH vs ACTP argument – primary differences between both the paths

Similarly, many aspirants are not aware of the differences between ACSTH and ACTP, the two paths for ICF coaching certification.  They are primary paths to attain credentials. There are inherent differences between the two and it would be a good idea for participants to be aware of the differences, as it will help to prepare accordingly.  Here is a brief outline of each program, which.

  • ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program) – This is a module which covers coach training in a comprehensive manner and revolves around ICF Core Competencies, Code of Ethics, and various other aspects of coaching as defined by the ICF. This includes sessions that help observe coaching, mentor coaching, and also includes an exam that will assess the competency of a student. Aspirants who have acquired ACTP are eligible to apply for ICF credentials individually through the ACTP Path.
  • ACSTH (Approved Coach Specific Training Hours) – These programs are conducted on an hourly basis and it depends on the number of hours of contact. Applicants who have completed the required training hours as desired by the ICF, through this path may individually apply for ICF credentials through this path.

Equipping coaches with the diverse set of specialist skills required
Coaches need to possess skills that are of a high standard. This is necessary as the coaches will offer assistance to participants in programs that are transformative in nature. To be able to guide and lead participants, the coach needs to have superior NLP skills and needs to be aware of the different methodologies and resources that are necessary to guide participants to success. A coach is expected to understand the abilities of a student and help the participant identify his or her own abilities to be able to use it and work towards development. Self-exploration of abilities is a very advanced field of expertise and a coach needs to be aware of the different methods used to guide the participant towards self-awareness. This needs to be accomplished by guiding and not leading. One of the techniques that are used is gentle probing. This is typically performed by asking a set of questions that are not leading in nature. In other words, the questions will be open ended in nature and the respondent (in this case the participant) will reply to the questions in a manner that will make use of the participant’s ability.

The ability of a coach to help participants depends on the amount of training and experience of the coach. It is, therefore, necessary that an aspiring coach acquire certification that will also help in the development of skills that are necessary for imparting the training. And nothing can do this better than ICF certification.

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