To receive the ACC credential from the International Coach Federation (ICF), applicants must complete all application requirements, which includes submitting an audio recording of a real coaching session. This recording consitutes the ICF performance evaluation.
At the ACC credential level, applicants must submit one audio recording of 20-60 minutes for a performance evaluation by an ICF assessor. This post will detail what the ICF ACC assessors are looking for in the performance evaluation.
As an ICF ACC assessor does the performance evaluation, he or she is essentially looking for evidence that the life coach applicant demonstrates with efficacy the ICF core competencies during the coaching session.
The ICF ACC assessor scores the coaching performance based on those core competencies and will offer feedback for each one, pass or fail. ICF does not hesitate to fail life coach applicants who do not meet minimum standards. They do so respectfully, with detailed feedback on what needs to be improved, along with an invitation to resubmit a new coaching recording when ready.
Here is an example of that feedback to a life coach ACC applicant who did not meet performance requirements for the Active Listening core competency:
The coach was hearing what the client said and the summarizing and paraphrasing occasionally picked up subtleties from the client. The coach was too verbose in his clarifying and occasionally interrupted and will be coaching at a higher level when he can spend more time listening than talking. The ratio should be around 80:20 with the coach only speaking around 20% of the time. In this session the coach would have been speaking at least 50% of the time.