What is Accreditation? What is Certification? What is Credentialing? Confused?

Its all so confusing, the names, the acronyms, the requirements, the conflicting information!!!

Here is all you need to know 101!



This is issued by a peak body or government authority in whichever country you reside.

It normally pertains to programs, schools or organisations and is about quality assurance and compliance driven.

In Life Coaching that peak body is the ICF (International Coach Federation) and they have a rigorous process that organisations like us need to go through to become accredited at the different levels according to the criteria we meet.

We have to demonstrate that our curriculum is mapped against a certain set of competencies that the ICF have, we need to demonstrate the quality of our programs, trainers and faculty.


This is issued by the school or organisation and it created around these competencies or skills.  In our case, our programs are created around the competencies set by the ICF.

Anyone can setup a school and issue a certificate and that is why it is so important to look for schools or organisations that are regulated in some way by some peak body or authoritive body like the ICF.


This is issued by that peak body or government authority.  It is earned or awarded.  It requires a combination of education, practice and accreditation.  Some levels of credentialing are covered in the accredited programs and some required additional separate verification.


So what do you need?

  •  Education – specific program that is aligned with the ICF core competencies from an accredited training organisation.
  • You would seek a Nationally Recognised program from an RTO within Australia as there is another level to recognition from a government authority (ASQA) and this would also ensure you are able to obtain Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Experience – coach specific training hours with mentoring as well as pro-bono coaching experience.  All of this leads to your performance evaluation which may be included in your accredited program or may need that separate verification process.


Levels of Coach Credentials:

  • ACC (Need a level 1 or 2) certification from an accredited course plus 100 hours of coaching.
  • PCC (Need Level 2) certification from an accredited course plus 500 hours of coaching.
  • MCC (Need Level 3) certification from an accredited course plus 2500 hours of coaching.

MCC can only be achieved through the PCC pathway, there is no jumping the queue.


Accredited Education:

There are essentially 2 programs you would be looking for and those are:

  • ACTP

ACSTH (Level 1): is a minimum of 60 hours of training which requires 10 hours of mentor coaching and 5 hours of observed coaching.  Exam to be graded at ACC level.

ACTP (Level 2):  is a minimum of 125 hours of training which includes mentor coaching as well as observed coaching.   It is considered All Inclusive Training.  Exam to be graded at PCC level.

I am sure you have gathered from this information that ideally you would be looking for a program that is Nationally Recognised as well as Internationally Accredited and particularly at the ACTP level which it is all inclusive and there is not more for you to do.

We have it all 🙂

Professional Coach ICF ACTP gives you everything we have discussed and more.

We have 189 hours of training, 31 hours of mentor coaching plus observed coach and pro-bono coaching included in our course.

Our program puts you on the direct pathway to obtain the PCC level of credentialing and best of all, we prepare you for your exam and application.

Added bonuses are:

Student Support person with you through your program

ICF Accredited mentor overseeing your practical coaching groupwork

Lifetime access into the online portal for course materials and resources

Business Coaching post graduation

Life Coach Profile in our website directory

Give us a call to discuss on (Free Call 1800 032 151)

or email on info@lifecoachingacademy.edu.au