Mentor Coaching

Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential consists of coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative and dialogued process based on an observed or recorded coaching session to increase the coach’s capability in coaching, in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.

Mentoring provides professional assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency and capability demanded by the desired credential level. Mentor Coaching should take place over an extended time (three-month minimum) in a cycle that allows for listening and feedback from the Mentor Coach while also allowing reflection and practice on the part of the individual being mentored.

Initial Credentialing

Credentialing candidates on the following paths are required to participate in Mentor Coaching prior to submitting their application:


  • ACC Portfolio


  • PCC Portfolio

  • MCC

ACC ACSTH and Portfolio 

Credentialing candidates on the ACC ACSTH and Portfolio paths must complete 10 hours of Mentor Coaching prior to submitting their application. They are required to partner with a Mentor Coach who holds a valid ACC*, PCC or MCC Credential.


On the online credential application, you will list the name of each Mentor Coach, the Mentor Coach email address, the credential level of the Mentor Coach, the start and end date of each mentoring relationship, and the number of hours of coaching from each mentor. You are not required to provide documentation from your Mentor Coach, but your Mentor Coach should be able to confirm that the mentoring took place.


The Mentor Coaching requirement must be fulfilled prior to submitting your application. 


Do not send documentation to ICF Headquarters by mail or email. Only the mentoring log on the online application will be accepted.

ACC Renewal

Coaches applying to renew their ACC Credential are required to complete an additional 10 hours of Mentor Coaching above those hours required for their initial credential. These hours must be completed in the three years since the initial award of the credential or since the last credential renewal, and must take place over the course of at least three months..

Mentor Coaching Duties and Competencies

The ICF defines Mentor Coaching as providing professional assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency demanded by the desired credential level sought by a coach‐applicant (mentee). Furthermore, Mentor Coaching means an applicant (mentee) being coached on their coaching skills rather than coaching on practice building, life balance, or other topics unrelated to the development of an applicant’s coaching skill.


ICF Mentor Coaches:

  1. Model effective initiation and contracting of client relationship

  2. Explore fully with a potential mentee what they are looking to achieve

  3. Ensure both are clear about the purpose of the mentoring

  4. Establish measures of success in partnership with the mentee

  5. Fully discuss fees, time frame, and other aspects of a Mentor Coaching relationship

  6. Inform the mentee regarding all aspects of the ICF Code of Ethics

  7. Inform the mentee of the availability of the Ethical Conduct Review Board

  8. Support mentee self‐confidence by encouraging potential mentees to interview more than one mentor coach candidate in order to find the best match

  9. Make no guarantee to the mentee that as a result of the mentoring the mentee will obtain the credential level s/he is seeking

  10. Focus on core competency development by reviewing and providing oral and written feedback on a series of the mentee’s coaching sessions
    a. These sessions are to be conducted one at a time, with a feedback session between each one, giving enough time between sessions to allow for incorporation of the mentee’s learning and development.

  11. Provide specific verbal and/or written feedback, using targeted examples from the sessions so that:
    a. The mentee will know exactly what s/he is doing well.
    b. The mentee understands what needs to be done to develop a deeper level of mastery in coaching.

  12. Demonstrate that s/he is learning about the mentee at many levels at once and is able to hold all of that in the context of:
    a. Who the mentee is
    b. What the mentee is seeking
    c. Honoring the mentee’s unique style

Personal Traits

The ICF Mentor Coach:

  1. Is trustworthy and has the ability to connect with the mentee in terms of fit, chemistry and compatibility.

  2. Is someone who encourages the mentee to reach beyond what the mentee initially feels is possible, assisting in broadening their creative process.

  3.  Demonstrates equal partnership by being open, vulnerable and willing to take appropriate risks, for example, in providing feedback that may make one or both individuals uncomfortable.

  4. Understands and is able to model the value of partnership and, as an example, allows/encourages the mentee to lead in designing areas to be worked on between sessions that will lead to more powerful, leveraged coaching.

  5. Has the ability to be supportive and authentic in celebrating who the mentee is, her/his achievements and growth throughout the process.

  6. Is secure in their own work and is able to demonstrate appreciation and respect for the unique style of each mentee.

  7. Encourages the development of the mentee’s own coaching style

  8. Is willing to hold both self and mentee accountable for performance and to periodically encourage mutual assessment of the effectiveness of the relationship


The ICF Mentor Coach:

  1. Listens beyond content to discern application of the skills related to the core competencies (i.e. skill versus direction, skill versus style or skill versus outcome for the client.)

  2. Listens on all levels: physical, intellectual, emotional and intuitive

  3. Listens equally for strengths and areas for growth

  4. Is aware of and allows for differences in style, culture, and language.

  5. Has a working knowledge of the assessment tools used by the ICF in the evaluation of recorded coaching sessions used in the credentialing exam process. 

  6. Listens both for the presence of individual competencies and for the overall totality of skill level.

  7. Has the ability to distinguish which critical underlying competency (s) may be giving rise to ineffective or limited coaching impact.

  8. Can discern and articulate the gap between levels of skill demonstrated and next skill level to attain.

  9. Discerns and articulates areas of growth, competency use, and skill level using competency based language and specific behavioral examples from the coaching.

  10. Creates a safe and trusting space for the delivery of feedback, using a respectful, clear, judgment free tone.

  11. Articulates with specific detail and examples, what is being observed and the specific development needed to move to the next skill level, delivered with sensitivity to the impact of the feedback.

  12. Offers feedback that is relevant to each specific coaching core competency, recognizing strengths as well as potential growth areas.

  13. Demonstrates the ability to self‐manage relative to any coaching model preferences and stay focused on the skill assessment related to the core coaching competencies.

*Developed in partnership between the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO) and the International Coach Federation (ICF).

1 hour one-on-one of mentor coaching $165

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One-on-one Mentor Coaching is typically priced between $200-$400/hour, which means when you choose a Certified Life Coach Institute Mentor Coach not only will you be getting coached by one of out amazing facilitators you will be saving hundreds of dollars. 

Mentorship With Michael Form
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