ICF releases implementation timeline for updates to Credentialing Process

On April 7, 2022, ICF sent an email announcement to all ICF credential-holders with an update on the ICF Credentialing Process for ACC, PCC and MCC applications received from August 1, 2022. This includes changes to coach training education and the ICF knowledge assessment.

You can read the announcement at this ICF webpage;


There are three pages accessible from the above page, below are the direct links;

Updated Credential Application Paths link to that page here

Updated Performance Evaluation Criteria link to that page here

New ICF Credentialing Exam link to that page here


Comments from Carly

I’m going to do my best to simplify the information ICF released on April 7 😊


Updated Credential Application Paths

My understanding is the intention was to eliminate acronyms that were meaningless in the general marketplace (ACTP and ACSTH) and to replace with Level 1 coach training education to align with 60 hours required for ACC credential, and Level 2 coach training education to align with 125 hours required for PCC credential. However it seems that ACSTH will remain for ACC and PCC applications.

All of this is to say that any ICF accredited coach training education for ACC or PCC is now called either Level 1 Path, Level 2 Path or ACSTH.


New Coaching Education Path of Development – toward MCC skill level

For the first time ever, ICF will now recognize Level 3 coach training education of 75 hours or more, that is specifically designed for MCC skill level education. PCC application requires 125 hours of coaching education, while MCC requires 200 hours. Therefore the difference of 75 hours is what this Level 3 pathway is designed for.


Portfolio Path Remains for ACC, PCC and MCC

The Portfolio Path remains as an option if you using any non ICF accredited coaching education to apply for ACC, PCC or MCC. In which case the applicant is required to provide robust documentation, demonstrating how the coach training aligns with the ICF Definition of Coaching, ICF Code of Ethics, and ICF Core Competencies. Education hours may include ICF-accredited, Continuing Coach Education (CCE), and/or non-ICF Accredited courses.

If you have specific questions about how these apply to you, best to email ICF directly at support@coachingfederation.org


Updated Performance Evaluation Criteria

As of August 1, 2022, all new Credential applications that require Performance Evaluation/s (coaching session recording/s) to be submitted directly to ICF, will align with the Updated Core Competency Model released in 2019.

This applies to applications via ACC-ACSTH, ACC Portfolio, PCC-Level1/ACSTH, PCC-Portfolio and MCC Portfolio.

This does not apply to Level 1 and Level 2 accredited training, as the provider is required to assess coaching sessions by applicants within their program, to align with the ACC or PCC skill level standards set by ICF.

All ACC, PCC and MCC applications received by July 27 will be assessed using the original 11 core competencies. From August 1, 2022, all ACC, PCC and MCC Performance Evaluations will be assessed using the updated 8 core competencies.


PCC Assessing

The Updated PCC Markers were publicly released in September 2021 and mostly represent a streamlining from 47 markers to 37 markers, and moving some markers around to align more closely with the competency they are associated with.


ACC and MCC Assessing

The ACC and MCC minimum skills requirement documents will be replaced with something similar to the PCC markers. Except instead of called Markers, the behaviors assessed are being called “Anchors” in what is called a “Behaviorally Anchored Rating System” (BARS). Yes, that’s a new acronym 😊

For both ACC and MCC, ICF has asked many assessors (including myself) to evaluate coaching recordings using the current assessing criteria, as well as draft anchors for ACC and MCC.

Based on 300 submissions for ACC and 300 submissions for MCC, assessing has occurred both ways (using the current assessing system, and also using the draft anchors). Based on the alignment demonstrated in those 300 submissions, ICF will finalize the anchors for ACC and MCC, and release publicly on June 1, 2022. There will be between 3 – 5 anchors per competency evaluated.


Comments from Carly

There are no big changes to what is being assessed, more to align with the updated core competencies, and to provide simpler information on behaviors being evaluated for ACC skill level and MCC skill level.

I’ve participated in pilot assessing for the draft BARS for ACC and MCC, so I’m aware of what my mentoring clients need to know and will include in my mentoring approach.

If you have specific questions about how these apply to you, best to email ICF directly at support@coachingfederation.org


New ICF Credentialing Exam

ICF Announcement on April 7 reads:

“On August 1, the new ICF Credentialing Exam will replace the current Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA). It is a secure, high-quality and state-of-the-art exam that aligns with the highest standards of certification test development practices.

The new exam will feature approximately 170 scenario-based questions designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge of and ability to apply the ICF Core Competencies in practice.

Candidates who submit an application for an ICF Credential on or after August 1 will be required to complete the new ICF Credentialing Exam. This includes candidates who have completed the CKA for a previous ICF Credential. Individuals renewing their ICF Credential will not be required to complete the new exam.”

“The updated ICF Core Competencies still very much reflect the content and spirit of the original ICF Core Competencies. They are simply streamlined in structure and the wording has been revised and updated to improve clarity. The skills developed and the knowledge gained under the original model will apply under the updated ICF Core Competencies. The new ICF Credentialing Exam will feature new questions, but the content will remain very similar.


On the ICF Core Competencies page a video and several webinars are available, discussing the differences between the 11 core competencies and the updated 8 core competencies.

On the ICF YouTube Channel there is a series of webinars about each of the updated ICF Core Competencies featuring expert coach practitioners. These are excellent resources to understand how the original competency framework translates to the updated competencies.”


Comments from Carly

I participated in the pilot of the ICF Credentialing exam. Most of the scenarios are common sense if you have been trained in the ICF Core Competencies as well as an understanding of ICF Code of Ethics. Some scenarios require more thought.

I’m not sure what the minimum pass rate is yet. The CKA is minimum of 70% correct answers to pass. I assume there will be a similar minimum pass rate required for the ICF Credentialing Exam. However, I don’t know what that is until ICF releases more information.

If you have specific questions about how these apply to you, best to email ICF directly at support@coachingfederation.org


In Closing…

Some of my mentoring clients are concerned about this change, and I would say there is no reason to be concerned. In fact, for ACC and MCC applications in particular, there will be easier to understand behavioral criteria available.


Phew! I’m not sure I simplified however I did my best. 😊

Carly Anderson, MCC


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