The Need for Considering the New Policy Updates in Applications for ICF Credentials

The acknowledged gold standard for life coaching, ICF has brought in a few changes in the requirements for applying for credentials. It is necessary that applicants be aware of the changed requirements so as to fully meet the mandatory criteria. The changes have come into effect from Jul 31 2018 and it is highly likely that professionals may have missed on the updates or may not have been informed by the training centre regarding the same. So here is a brief outline of the changes that have been introduced. There are other changes also that have been communicated by the ICF to the stakeholders, but some changes are scheduled to come into effect in 2019.

The need for submitting proof as per new ICF ACC requirements
Under the new ICF ACC requirements, applicant Associate Certified Coaches need to submit proof in the form of a recording and transcript of a coaching session. One live session of coaching needs to be recorded and the transcripts along with the recording need to be submitted as part of the performance evaluation. This has been ordered to bring about greater consistency in the standards for professional coaches opting for the ACSTH route to ICF credentials.

The requirement for completing one cycle of credentialing
Another requirement is the need for Associate Certified Coaches to have completed one complete cycle of credentials through the renewal route, after which they can become a Mentor Coach. The role of Mentor Coaches is important in the training of coaches. The improvement in the standardization of Mentor Coaches makes it possible for coaches to receive a higher level of training, which in turn will assist the other coaches undergoing training at the hands of Mentor Coaches.

Key change that has been included
One of the important changes that have been incorporated is of the credential renewal applications. ACC renewal that required 10 hours of compulsory coaching hours can now be used as a part of the 40 hours of Continued Coaching Education necessary for obtaining ACC renewal. In other words, applicants for ACC credential renewal need to have 10 hours of mentor coaching and 30 hours of CCE. Out of the 30 hours of CCE, 11 hours need to be Core Competencies and three hours each in coaching ethics.

Proof of completion of overall training
Applicant Professional Certified Coaches or Associate Certified Coaches on the path to initial credentialing who choose the Portfolio route for acquiring credentials need to prove that they have completed a comprehensive training program. This includes the coaching as defined by the ICF, the Code of Ethics, and the Core Competencies. This has been developed in a manner so to encourage and assist the coach to develop in a manner that will transform the coach. In other words, this new requirement replaces the old system where aspiring coaches got to submit non-approved training hour details. This is intended to improve the standards of coaching and professional excellence.

Soliciting feedback from Master Coaches
Other relevant changes, apart from the changes that will be effective from next year include feedback sought from Master Coaches. The idea behind ICF seeking feedback from Master Coaches in the assessment procedures is for the purpose of putting together recommendations in order to improve the scope, development and overall professional ability of the coach. While the feedback is certainly not a mandatory requirement as far as the aspirants and coaching centres are concerned, it is nevertheless important. This is mainly because of the fact that ICF credentials require to be renewed after a period. And therefore coaches will find it beneficial to have systems and procedures in place that are more convenient and simplified, without compromising on the standards that have been achieved and maintained by ICF.

Annual announcements of policy changes
The ICF has also communicated to stakeholders of its intent to bring in changes annually. This effectively means that procedures and processes will witness improvements as required. This dynamic quality will be of great use as individuals will now find the credentialing system and the procedures to be more in tune with the latest developments in the field of technology. We are in a technology driven world and the use of technology has become a powerful tool everywhere. For instance the need for submitting a recording of a live session is in itself a powerful tool that helps to improve the standards. This was not available earlier and makes it possible for candidates to prove that they have met the standards as required. Similarly, as new technologies overtake the ecosystem, the ICF credentialing system will witness changes. The changes are planned to be brought into effect on the February of every year.

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