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What is PCC and Why is it Important?

Have you ever heard of someone getting a credential but you think to yourself, and may even ask them, “That’s great, but what does that mean?”? If you have, you’re not alone. Most credentials come with a million acronyms and it can be really hard to keep track of them all. Well, I just recently finished my credential as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and felt that it would be really beneficial to you, and me, if you knew what that meant. After all, this is a big achievement and something that many coaches work really hard towards, and some never end up getting. 

First, what is ICF?

The International Coaching Federation is an organization that has been around for over 25 years. They are leading the industry in advancing the coaching profession so that coaches can become an integral part of society. As you may have noticed over the past few years, coaching is becoming more popular. However, the word coach has also been used in many different ways and can be used loosely at times. 

What is a coach?

In the professional world, a coach is someone who helps an individual become a leader of their own life or enhance the leader they already are. They help an individual move forward and align their life with their values to live a more fulfilling life. A coach is not a therapist, which it’s often mistaken as. Therapists help the client resolve issues from the past where the coach helps clients find their inner wisdom to problem solve and move forward without putting to much emphasis on the past. Coaches are held to standards, just like therapists and many other professions, and must follow a code of ethics. These standards and ethics are created and set forth by the ICF. The ICF also creates different levels of coaching.

Levels of Coaching

The three main levels of coaching are an Associate Certified Coach (ACC), a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and a Master Certified Coach (MCC). To become an ACC, PCC or MCC, certain requirements with the ICF must be met.

The ACC requirements are:

  • Completion of an entire ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). Check for your program’s approval below.
  • A minimum of 100 hours (75 paid) of coaching experience with at least eight clients following the start of your coach-specific training. At least 25 of these hours must occur within the 18 months prior to submitting the application for the credential.
  • Completion of the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA).

The PCC requirements are:

  • Completion of an entire ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). Check for your program’s approval below.
  • A minimum of 500 hours (450 paid) of coaching experience with at least 25 clients following the start of your coach-specific training. At least 50 of these hours must occur within the 18 months prior to submitting the application for the credential.
  • Completion of the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA).

The MCC requirements are:

  • 200 hours of coach-specific training.
  • 10 hours of Mentor Coaching over a minimum of three months. Your Mentor Coach must be an MCC in good standing. This cannot be the same Mentor Coaching that was applied toward a previous ICF Credential application.
  • A minimum of 2,500 hours (2,250 paid) of coaching experience with at least 35 clients, following the start of your coach-specific training.
  • Performance evaluation (two audio recordings and written transcripts of coaching sessions).
  • Currently holds (or previously held) a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Credential.
  • Complete the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) unless previously passed when applying for ACC or PCC.

I recently completed the PCC requirements and am officially certified as a Professional Certified Coach! This accomplishment shows my commitment to the coaching profession and will allow me to provide more satisfaction to my clients overall. It also means that I have put countless hours in to hone my craft so that I have the skillsets to meet the needs of my clients on an individual basis as well as within groups. 

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