What Is ICF Mentor Coaching?

If you are a coach or you are looking for information about the ICF accreditation requirements, you probably encountered the term “Mentor Coaching.” This can be confusing as coaching and mentoring are two different approaches to helping people, yet here they are put together.

In this article we are going to look at what Mentor Coaching is, from whom it is, and what its purpose is.

What is Mentor Coaching?

Mentor Coaching enables coaches to work closely with an experienced coach on their practice. The sessions offer a space for the mentee (the coach who is seeking to develop their skills) to receive both mentoring and coaching about their competencies:

  1. Coaching is used in the session when the coach mentor explores with the mentee their vision and perspective of their practice, strengths and areas of development.
  2. Mentoring is facilitated through feedback and input from the mentor.


The mentor often listens to recorded coaching sessions the mentee would have sent prior to the session. They are going to review it and appreciate what is working well and what the coach could improve. 

Mentor Coaching can happen in group or in individual sessions, depending on the learning experience sought by the coach-mentee-learner.

Who can be an ICF Mentor Coaching?

In theory, anyone who has experience as a professional can mentor other coaches. There is no accreditation or certification required in order to become a mentor coaching.

However, if you want to do mentor coaching as part of your ICF credential (to apply or renew your ACC, PCC or MCC), the ICF requires the mentor to have the ICF accreditation of the level you are applying for, or a higher accreditation:

  • If you apply for ACC, your mentor coach needs to be ACC*, PCC or MCC accredited.
  • If you apply for PCC, your mentor coach needs to be PCC or MCC.
  • Only MCC-accredited coaches can mentor coaches for their MCC application.

* Regarding ACC-accredited mentor, the ICF requires that they complete at least one full cycle of their credential (which means they have renewed their ACC once) before serving as mentor coaches.

Who is it for?

Mentor Coaching is for professionals who have an active practice of coaching, whether they practice full-time or a few hours per week or per month.

What is its purpose?

The purpose of Mentor Coaching is twofold:

  1. Help coaches prepare their application or renewal of an ICF accreditation,
  2. Provide developmental support for coaches to align their skills to a certain standard of practice.


In the context of the ICF, the mentor has an extensive knowledge of the ICF Core Competencies and checks that the mentee’s practice is aligned with those as well as the ICF Code of Ethics. In doing so, the mentor provides clarity to the mentee of what is expected of them by the ICF when they have to submit their application.

Mentor Coaching can also be used outside the context of the ICF. Coaches who have completed their training a while ago may like to recenter their practice and receive feedback and guidance from a more experienced coach on their coaching skills. It can count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD).


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International Coaching Federation – Mentor Coaching. Link: https://coachfederation.org/credentials-and-standards/mentor-coaching


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