What does accreditation mean?

In the coaching profession, accreditation is the independent assessment and evaluation by a third-party coaching body (such as ICF or EMCC) of both coach training providers (such as Transcend) and coaches (such as yourself!)

Accreditation of Coach Education and Training Providers

When we say we are ‘accredited’ as a coach education and training provider, this means that we have successfully demonstrated that we meet professional standards as part of a rigorous evaluation process of our programme content and instruction, our administration and business operations, and our ethics and transparency.

Our coaching academy is accredited with two internationally recognized coaching bodies:

  • International Coaching Federation (ICF) has awarded us with both a Level 1 and Level 2 accreditation
  • European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) has awarded us with the EMCC Global Quality Award (EQA)

Therefore the ‘Certificate in Professional Coaching / Mastery’ that we issue to graduates of our programme has been approved to be used as part of the individual coach accreditation process with both organisations. ICF and EMCC each have different focuses, ways of working and accreditation processes, which are outlined later in this document.

ICF Transition

Regarding ICF accreditation, you may see references to ACTP and ACSTH. As part of a 2020 task force to “eliminate jargon and clearly communicate the path for progressive development”, the ICF made the following updates to their Coaching Education Provider accreditation system:

  • Level 1 Accreditation: formerly Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH). This is for organisations that offer at least 60 contact learning hours, and it is the designated pathway to the ACC (Associate Certified Coach) credential.
  • Level 2 Accreditation: formerly Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). This is for organisations that offer at least 125 contact learning hours, and it is the designated pathway to the PCC (Professional Certified Coach) credential.

You can find out more about this transition here.

Accreditation of Individual Coaches

When you have successfully completed all your assignments to our standards and completed your coaching programme with us, we Transcend International will issue you with the appropriate Certificate (more information in Certification section above). This Certificate alone does not mean that you are an ‘accredited’ coach.

Accreditation is issued from an independent professional coaching body (ICF / EMCC) and requires reaching further milestones (beyond receiving your Certificate from us) before an accreditation can be awarded. Both ICF and EMCC have different levels of accreditation depending on the level of education and coaching experience of the applicant coach.

ICF Credentials

For ICF accreditation these additional milestones are reached outside of the Transcend programme, and you will apply for accreditation directly through ICF. When you are successfully accredited with the ICF, the organisation will issue you with a Certificate that is referred to as your ‘credential’.

  • Learn more about the pathway to receiving your ACC (Associate Certified Coach) credential
    • Applicants may use a Level 1 or Level 2 Certificate as part of the application for ACC
  • Learn more about the pathway to receiving your PCC (Professional Certified Coach) credential
    • Please note applicants will need a Level 2 Certificate as a part of the application for PCC – a Level 1 programme does not provide enough hours of coaching education to apply for this credential


EMCC Accreditation

For EMCC, the additional work is completed through Transcend and we then recommend* you to the EMCC for the level of accreditation that is appropriate for your experience, competence, and capacity.

As Transcend International holds a European Quality Award (EQA) from EMCC Global, we are able to recommend* our participants directly to the EMCC for their EMCC Individual Accreditation (EIA). Once you have informed us that you would like to pursue EMCC accreditation we will guide you through the process and once you have completed the required Reflective Learning assignments and coaching hours, we will recommend you to the EMCC for your EIA at the appropriate level (Foundation, Practitioner or Senior Practitioner). You will not need to apply for accreditation with the EMCC directly yourself.  They expect us to do due diligence and act according to standards.  As we have embedded accreditation within our coach training processes this will cost less than applying direct to the EMCC or the ICF pathway.

Why should I be accredited as a coach?

In addition to receiving your Certificate from Transcend, you may want to consider becoming accredited with an independent professional coaching body (either ICF, EMCC, or both!). The benefits of becoming accredited are:

  • Accreditation boosts your credibility and differentiates you from other coaches who haven’t received accreditation. You can demonstrate that you have undergone high quality training and that you have reached certain professional milestones and that this has been independently verified. The 2022 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study (which incorporates 30,727 responses from across 30 countries) found that 78% of people replied that it would be important (44%) or very important (34%) for their coach to hold a credential.
    • Organisations hiring you as a coach (B2B) are highly likely to require that you are accredited as part of a procurement and vetting process.
    • Individuals who are hiring you to coach them directly (B2C) and have done their research will want to know you are accredited or will have more trust in your credibility once they understand accreditation.
  • Coaching as a profession and an industry hugely benefits from coaches being accredited. As professional coaches, it is in our interest to raise awareness of the difference between those who are accredited and those who aren’t. The former receives high quality training, adheres to a code of ethics (if violated, your accreditation can be suspended or revoked), and has a commitment to continuing professional development through working with a supervisor. The former may have received training that has not been independently accredited, or no training at all! The accountability of accreditation boosts trust in the reputation of the profession as a whole.

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