Levels 1, 2 & 3: Understanding ICF Coach Training Accreditations

programme accreditation

In this article we are going to focus on the accreditations delivered by the ICF to the coach training providers. The ICF grants accreditations to individual coaches (read our article about ACC, PCC and MCC), but also to companies who want to train coaches on the ICF standards.

The ICF doesn’t provide training directly. They review and accredit third-party training providers, which will then deliver a coach certificate or diploma that will enable learners to apply for their own ICF credential when they meet all the other requirements.

Coach training accreditations matter to you as a coach (whether you are novice or expert) because the training you choose impacts your own credentialing process. You will find below a summary of the 3 levels of ICF accreditations for coaches so you know what to research further if you need any additional information, and how to pick the appropriate training for you.

Level 1 accredited programmes

Level 1 courses offer between 60 and up to 124 training hours, and are designated as ACC Accredited Education. That means that upon successful completion of a Level 1 training, you will be able to apply for the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential using the Level 1 application path once you meet the other credentialing requirements.

Our Professional Coaching Skills Certification is ICF Level 1 Accredited.

Level 2 accredited programmes

Level 2 courses offer between 125 and up to 175 training hours, and are designated as PCC Accredited Education. Upon successful completion of a Level 2 training, you will be able to apply for the ACC or the PCC credential using the Level 2 path.

Our Advanced Diploma in Coaching is ICF Level 2 Accredited.

Level 3 accredited programmes

Level 3 courses are aimed at giving PCC-accredited coaches the knowledge and resources to be ready for an MCC credential. These programmes are designed MCC Accreditation Education. They are 75 hours long and are delivered by MCC coaches who will also mentor participants.


It all depends on your coaching education and your goals.

  • If you have never done a coach training before, start with a Level 1 coach training.
  • If you have completed a coach training before but it wasn’t accredited by the ICF, you will need to start from a Level 1 course as well.

If you know you want coaching to be your career, and your goal is to get a PCC accreditation at some point, you can go for a Level 2 directly:

  • If you have the time and money to invest in a long training from the start, you can go straight for a Level 2 programme.
  • If you want to spread your training, you can start with a Level 1 course, get your ACC accreditation, and when you are ready, you can do another training to get your Level 2 certificate and apply for your PCC.


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International Coaching Federation, https://coachingfederation.org/


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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