Advancing the Profession: New ICF Membership Eligibility Requirements
Significant research and input from current members, Chapter Leaders, and the Global ICF Board revealed a demand for a clear policy and baseline requirements in order to become a member of the ICF. The most important criteria identified in the research was coach-specific training hours, This announcement details the policy change to incorporate the new membership eligibility requirements
Because ICF-RAC is a member of the global ICF organization, this policy will also govern membership in the local ICF-RAC chapter.
As of April 1, 2013, individuals must have completed at least 60 hours of coach-specific training* to become a member-or remain a member-of the ICF, in addition to paying membership dues and agreeing to abide by the ICF Code of Ethics.
April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013 will be a transition year, allowing current members to retain membership status while completing the necessary coach-specific training hours needed for membership eligibility (see below).
Current membership policy requires agreement to abide by our Code of Ethics and payment of a membership fee in order to become a member of the ICF, regardless of level of coaching expertise and qualifications.
While this reflects our value for inclusiveness, the current policy has eroded our reputation as a trusted source for qualified coaches, threatens to compromise our position as the leading coaching organization in the world, and undermines the integrity of the coaching profession overall.
This policy change serves to protect you and consumers, and will preserve the integrity of our organization by establishing a clear and verifiable standard of coach-specific training, including Code of Ethics, as the basis to identify oneself as an "ICF Coach Member."
In order to successfully implement this important and large-scale change, the ICF will employ the following phase-in process:
If you are currently:
- ICF Credentialed Member: Current ICF members who have previously earned and currently hold a valid ICF Credential (ACC, PCC, or MCC) automatically fulfill the membership eligibility requirements and will retain their Credentialed Coach Member status. Further, anyone who earns an ICF Credential in the future is automatically eligible to be a Credentialed Coach Member.
- ICF Coach Member: Beginning April 1, 2012, current members who have completed at least 60 hours of coach-specific training* will be considered to have fulfilled the minimum membership eligibility requirements and will retain ICF Coach Member status.
- Provisional Member: Beginning April 1, 2012, current members who have not completed at least 60 hours of coach-specific training* will be considered Provisional Members for a maximum of one year (until April 1, 2013) or until the minimum membership eligibility requirements are fulfilled, if completed before April 1, 2013. Of course, coach-specific training* hours accumulated between now and the official policy launch on April 1, 2013 will also be applicable.
The Provisional Member category will be limited to one year (April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013), at which time the individual either qualifies to become an ICF Coach Member (or an ICF Credentialed Coach Member) or leaves the ICF until such time as they qualify under the same membership eligibility requirements described above.
The 60 hours of coach-specific training needed to meet the minimum eligibility requirements for ICF membership is aligned with the requirements for the ACC Portfolio Application credential path. Coach-specific training is defined as:
- Training from an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) or a program that has received the ICF Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) designation
- Training from a Continuing Coach Education (CCE) Provider, subject to these limitations:
- All hours approved in Core Competencies will be accepted.
- A maximum of 12 hours outside of the Core Competencies will be accepted.
- Training that is specifically marketed as teaching coaching skills and behaviors, teaches how to apply technical skills in a coach-like manner, and transfers those skills in accordance with the ICF Core Coaching Competencies.
While we are confident this is a necessary move toward fulfilling our ICF vision and raising the professionalism of the coaching industry, this direction reflects a notable change from how we've handled membership eligibility in the past. No doubt our organization will experience the temporary pain that often accompanies growth and progress.
For more information about this new membership policy, please refer to the FAQ document on the ICF website.
We appreciate your support as we collectively raise the standards for our organization and, ultimately, our profession.