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Home » Blog » ICF’s PCC Credential: Why is it essential?

The Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential is the second in a three-part series of credentials offered by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the other two being the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and the Master Certified Coach (MCC). These credentials are professional certifications indicative of the standards that a coach has met in the industry of coaching. It also shows that the coach follows strong ethical practices within the profession. Credential equals credibility and credibility leads to respect among clients. The credential showcases the coach as a model professional committed to the advancement of the coaching industry. 

Today’s coaching clients attach a lot of importance to a credential, especially an ICF credential because it is important for them to trust a coach’s professional background before investing their time and effort with the coach. The 2022 Global Consumer Awareness Study found that 85% of coaching clients say it’s extremely important for their coach to hold a certification or credential.


So, before we deep dive into the PCC certification, we must ask ourselves: Why ICF? 

As the name suggests, the International Coaching Federation is a globally acclaimed body that has united the ethics of coaching under its aegis. Over the years the ICF has morphed into the gold standard for coaches, coaching institutes, and clients all over the world. Coaching is now synonymous with the ICF and it serves as the go-to destination for an aspiring coach. Anybody can be a self-proclaimed coach. ICF-certified coaches, however, go through stringent processes and have to meet comprehensive eligibility criteria (context: mentor hours, lessons learnt, and client coaching experience) before they get their certifications. 

The ability to put theory into practice for a client is tested over and over before a coach gets the ICF stamp of approval. Their oath to adhere to strict ethical guidelines to serve and protect coaching customers all over the world has played a significant part in them setting standards in the field of coaching. So, today when a client looks for trust in a coach, the ICF steps up to provide exactly that.

Coming back to the PCC certification-

Within the series of certifications, PCC is what comes after ACC and before MCC. It is the intermediate step in the journey of the professional coach to being a fully certified coaching professional. The eligibility criteria to become a PCC certified coach are as follows-

  • 125+ hours of coaching education
  • 500+ hours of coaching experience

The requirements to achieve the certification are specified by ICF as well-

  • 10 hours of mentor coaching
  • Successful completion (passing score) of a performance evaluation
  • Successful completion (passing score) of an ICF Credentialing exam

The ICF offers three paths to apply for the credential; all of which follow a similar process. All have the same five requirements which have now become the hallmark of the ICF- education, experience, mentor coaching, performance evaluation, and the credentialing exam. The process is extensive and makes sure of a coach’s commitment to the coaching industry. Upon clearing the exam, you become a PCC certified coach.

Why should you become a PCC certified coach? 

A successful coach is known for her natural flair towards coaching as well as her experience. However, to become a top-performing coach and create a name for yourself in the industry, you need to be certified. What better way to do it than with professional credentials? An added certificate demonstrates your continued drive to maintain excellence and become better as a coach. Continuously developing and enhancing your skills showcases your desire to keep evolving as a professional. This credential will help you hone your already existing skillset and take your coaching practice to the next level. So, if you are already an ACC certified coach and are wondering about your next step, building yourself up to become a PCC certified coach is a great initiative to take. This is a move that will only benefit your coaching career. Not to mention, the ICF also offers some extremely competitive rates to apply for this credential.

What are the benefits of the PCC certification?

The dividends that this credential pays off are manifold-

  • You gain credibility and trust This is the number one and most obvious benefit that arises out of completing this certification. You enhance your reputation as a coaching professional and gain respect amongst peers and clients alike.
  • You expand your network– Having access to the ICF and its network is akin to a goldmine. A global community of coaches to offer you mentorship, guidance, referrals, and opportunities, all at your fingertip.
  • You gain competitive advantage Needless to say, the ICF stamp of approval makes you stand out from contemporaries in your field and you are noticed first by clients of international repute. Competitive advantage will help you attract better opportunities. 
  • You enhance your confidence Completing this certification will give you added confidence and the assurance that you are progressing in the right direction in your career. Additionally, you will develop a distinctive style of coaching and will gradually begin to leave your own imprint on the industry.
  • You improve your skills as a coach As you will learn more about coaching during this certification, it will re-ignite the desire to improve your skills in your field. As in every other profession, it is very important to keep re-inventing yourself to keep yourself in the game.
  • You escalate your income Last, but not the least, the added credibility and trust will translate into significant earnings as you become a regular for top clients all over the globe.

To conclude, coaches are who they are because they remain committed to helping others achieve their goals and overcome challenges. Along the way, they must help themselves to help others better. To all the coaches- start your journey to becoming a certified coach with the ICF today!