ICF releases Updated PCC Markers

On October 21, 2020, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) widely released their Updated PCC Markers, to align with the Updated Core Competency Model that was released November 14, 2019.

These markers represent behaviors a “Professional Certified Coach” engages with at that skill level, and are derived from the Updated Core Competency Model.

The PCC Markers were primarily developed as Assessment markers, that indicate what an ICF Assessor listens for to determine the skill level of the coaching conversation being evaluated. 

The PCC Markers are also an excellent support for training and mentoring coaches. From my experience, they are a great foundation to mentor from, and can support improvement of coaching skills at each level, including ACC and MCC. I’ve used the current PCC Markers to  offer distinctions that differentiate ACC and MCC skill level for years now, and I will now determine how I use these new PCC Markers for the other skill level distinctions as well.

Here’s the English version of the Updated PCC Markers

Here’s a Dropbox containing the PCC Markers in the 5 languages released so far: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese.

The password is UpdatedPCCmarkers


Some background…

A core team of 15 experienced global ICF Assessors were tasked with updating the PCC Markers, and I was honored to part of that team. We met in-person at ICF Headquarters in February 2020. I wrote about that experience in this blog article.

Since then, we continued to work online to refine the language of these markers. Then a broader group of ICF Assessors were engaged in robust testing of the new markers by evaluating a coaching recording and comparing evaluations between a team of Assessors, then discussing and clarifying where we were aligned, and where we differed. This occurred with numerous teams. This robust process further informed what PCC markers needed further refining.

Carrie Abner and her ICF team have worked hard to get to this point of releasing the markers. Thomas Tkach, Assistant Director for Credentials and Standards, has significantly led this huge project for the past 7 months. Congratulations to you Thomas for your amazing leadership of this project. There’s much more to go, but you are doing an amazing job!


What’s changed in the Updated PCC Markers?

There aren’t any “wholesale” changes, nor are there any big surprises. More of a refinement based on learning about the PCC Markers for 6 years since they were first released. Then aligning with the language of the Updated Core Competency Model.

I’m not going to go into detail in this article, but as an overview;

  • There were 47 markers, and now there are 37 markers
  • Duplication of markers across competencies has been removed
  • Some markers were moved as they more closely aligned with behaviors of a different competency
  • Wording changes in many markers to simplify the marker
  • Change to non-gender specific wording
  • Care was taken to eliminate as many biases across languages as possible, with expert input from many languages and countries.


When will these new PCC Markers be used for ICF Assessing?

ICF has announced that these new PCC Markers will be in effect for ICF Assessing sometime from mid 2021. Until then, I’ll be using both the current and the updated PCC Markers, and will figure out the “how” I do that in coming months.


In closing…

These PCC Markers represent another exciting “body of work” that ICF is contributing to the global professionalism of coaching. As a continuous ICF Global member since 1998, and an ICF Assessor since 2005, I’m proud of what the ICF continues to do to advance the professionalism of coaching.

I’ll write more about these markers over coming months in my blog articles, as I begin to work with them with my mentoring clients.

Written by Carly Anderson, MCC



Are you ready to upgrade your coaching skills, and prepare for your next ICF credential?

The next MCC Group #50 commences Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The next PCC-ACC Group #51 commences Tuesday, February 9, 2021

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I have been trained by the ICF to assess using the PCC Markers. I also regularly assess for the ICF MCC and ACC credentials.

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2 thoughts on “ICF releases Updated PCC Markers

  1. Hi. I have several questions:

    1. What is the different between the Updated PCC Markers and thr Updated Core Competenciies? When do we use each of them?

    2. Why don’t they establish the ACC or MCC Markers?

    1. Hi Adithia,

      I’m not an ICF employee but will answer from my experience as an ICF member, assessor, etc.

      The Updated Core Competencies are the foundational coaching skills and mindset of a coach.
      The Updated PCC Markers indicate coaching skills and mindset of a coach at the level of PCC skill level.

      For both of these, if you read the top of each document, gives you the distinction. Here’s a link to the ICF website where you can read those descriptions too:

      For your question about ACC or MCC Markers, I cannot answer for ICF. My assumption is there will be further work on this in future years.

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