Note: ICF is happy to respond to your mentor coaching questions towards credentialing, please allow a few days for a response at I highly encourage you to check with them as requirements change. However, if you are trying to make a decision and unable to reach them, I offer this FAQ from my clarifying exchanges with them, with frequent updates and the image above showing current credentialing and renewal requirements.

Resources: , ICF Credentialing Process (without code) on Vimeo,

Frequently Asked Mentor Coaching Questions and Answers for ICF Credentialing

  1. When is the best time to apply for an ICF credential? Now! The requirements and financial investment continue to go up. The new, proctored CKA (Coach Knowledge Assessment) will be required for all credential applicants except renewing ACCs, at an additional fee, beginning August 2022. 
  2. Is your program based on the updated competencies? Yes. Note: Candidates applying for an initial ICF Credential or upgrading to a higher-level Credential will be required to complete the new, proctored Credentialing exam starting August 2022, with an increase in fees, and the updated competencies will be used for Performance Assessments (assessments of your coaching recordings). Your ICF Performance Assessment will be based on the current Minimum Skills Requirements until the update.
  3. Can I take this program again and still earn the 24.5 hours ICF CCE? Yes! So long as we add new content, which is not a problem! I’ve contributed to a book a year the past few years, add new MCC recordings, do an ICF program a year (ICF Finland in 2022). “It’s worth having mentor coaching at least every other year, if not every year, to refine my practice and deepen my understanding of the coach’s competencies by reviewing others’ sessions.  We need to keep sharpening our saws,” two time participant, Shoko Masuda.  
  4. Can I count this program as training hours toward a first ICF credential? Yes, for an initial credential portfolio application, the CQ Coaching Certificate™ 14.5 Coach Education hours could be counted as training hours as it is ICF CCE approved, as well as receive the 10 hours of Mentor Coaching, or 24.5 hours total for the entire program, with 23 hours as Core Competency and 1.5 as Resource Development.
  5. How are the Culturally Intelligent Mentor Coaching +Culturally Intelligent Coaching™ Certificate 24.5 hours ICF CCE (Continuing Coach Education )counted if not applying for a first credential? When you complete the reports showing you have read and listened to the materials and described how you will implement your learning, as well as demonstrate your Cultural Intelligence in your Coaching Recordings during the program and attend a one hour competency based alumni/participant Zoom, you will be awarded the Culturally Intelligent Coaching™ Certificate and, along with completing your 10 Mentor Coaching hours, earn a total of 24.5 hours, 23 in Core Competency plus 1.5 Resource Development, for the combination Culturally Intelligent Coaching™ Certificate and Mentor Coaching program. 
  6. When does the ICF require mentor coaching hours and who can I use? ICF requires 10 hours of Mentor Coaching for your initial credential, whether that is ACC or PCC. Additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching is required for ACC renewal and for the MCC. Additional Mentor Coaching from ACC to PCC or to renew PCC is not required unless your first Mentor Coach was an ACC, although many coaches choose to engage in Mentor Coaching every 1-3 years to keep their skills fresh by receiving feedback. If you are applying for your initial credential via Portfolio or ACSTH, you may use any qualified mentor coach. If you are applying via ACTP pathway, you will complete your mentor coaching within your program.
  7. If I enroll in a Mentor Coaching program when it is not required, can I still use the mentor coaching hours for CCE? Yes, 10 hours per renewal cycle. When you participate in our Culturally Intelligent Mentor Coaching + Certificate program, you can earn 24.5 hours ICF CCEs. As noted in #3, you can take the updated program and earn 24.5 hours ICF CCEs for your next renewal cycle or level of accreditation.
  8. How do I enter the Mentor Coaching hours on my credentialing or renewal application, how long does it take and what is the process after I submit the application? There is a place on the application to add mentor coaching. When you complete our program and are applying for your credential or renewal you will add my name, email and number of hours mentored, 7 group and 3 individual, over the 3 month time period upon completing our mentor coaching program. ICF will check with me to verify your mentor coaching. You automatically receive 10 hours of continuing education in core competencies for renewal for mentor coaching, those 10 hours are included in our 24.5 hours CCE. Occasionally coaches make a mistake on the dates and have to correct it, which slows down your application. It can take up to 24 weeks for a credentialing application to go through, especially for MCC or Portfolio applications. After your application has been reviewed, you will then be asked to take the updated, proctored CKA (Coach Knowledge Assessment), the written test, unless you are renewing your credential, starting August 2022. If a Credential is due to expire and they submit an application for a higher level credential prior to their current expiration date, ICF Credentials and Standards will automatically renew their current credential during the review process.
  9. How is my Performance Assessment assessed? Two trained assessors review each recording, noting which skills or markers were demonstrated. The assessments are completed independently. If the 2 assessors findings are conflicting, a third assessor will be brought in. The applicant’s name is listed on the recording. This does allow for the assessor(s) to recuse themselves if there is a conflict of interest. ICF Credentialing compares the assessor’s evaluations and decides on credentialing based on their algorithm. Each competency is considered based the PCC markers and/or ACC and MCC Minimum Skills Requirement demonstrated, as well as an overall “score” for all competencies.
  10. Can I “clean up” my app based transcript for my Performance Assessment? ICF:”for app-generated transcripts, we encourage candidates to review the transcript for accuracy (and integrate any needed revisions) prior to submitting. If there are significant discrepancies in the transcript compared to the recording, the transcript can be returned to the candidate to update for the recording can be assessed. With this in mind, it’s more efficient for a candidate to review prior to submission to prevent any delays in the performance evaluation review.”

Tip: Before taking the CKA (written Coach Knowledge Assessment), it is helpful to take the complimentary (for ICF members) ICF Ethics course in addition to reviewing the Coaching Competencies.

I hope you have found this Frequently Asked Mentor Coaching Questions guide to be helpful. Please let me know how else I may be of service, including if you have further mentor coaching questions.

Marilyn O’Hearne, MSW, MCC, LLC; CQ Master Certified Coach, International Coaching Federation

Unlocking potential, prosperity and peace with leaders, coaches and their organizations through Leadership & Team Coaching, ICF Mentor Coaching and Coaching SupervisionICF Circle of Distinction Award

Copyright November 12, 2021 Marilyn O’Hearne MSW MCC LLC with input from ICF.  All rights reserved Updated frequently, up to 4/5/22