How long does it take to get a Diploma and work as an executive coach?

There is a confusing array of options when it comes to executive coach certification. In this article, we lay out the different executive coach certification options you have and how long each takes. We start with our own in-house certifications, and then move to the International Coach Federation (ICF) coach designations as an option for you.


Certified Executive Coach with the Center for Executive Coaching. All of our coach training and certification programs include this option. It takes 2-4 months to complete this certification. You get Certified as a Certified Executive Coach by submitting 6 recordings of you coaching a colleague, or fellow coach in the program (yes, we match you up if you would like). Each coaching conversation should be 25-30 minutes. You submit one at a time, and we review each one together. We provide you with the criteria ahead of time. Meanwhile, you learn how to coach and succeed by going through our curriculum either online at your pace or via our live classes (all of which are recorded and placed in your member area in case you miss any). We have 2 two-hour live classes each week; each one is different and each stands on its own. You can start this program anytime.

Certified Career Coach and Certified Business Coach with the Center for Executive Coaching. For a limited time, the above program also includes our Certified Career Coach and Certified Business Coach certifications and materials. You complete these either by submitting recordings demonstrating your coaching competency on these topics, or by writing up 5-10 page case studies documenting how you use our toolkits and methodologies to coach a career coaching or business coaching client to a successful outcome.  Usually we ask that you first complete our Certified Executive Coach certification, but that is not required. You can complete these certifications at your pace.

Specialty/Custom Certifications. Another Certification that is included in the above program is your opportunity to create your own specialty or custom coaching certification. If you know you want to specialize in a specific niche, this is a great opportunity to conduct a research project in that niche, meet decision makers, and develop proprietary content to set your practice apart. You receive this Certification by completing a research paper of 10-15 pages about a problem in your niche and how you would solve it with coaching solutions. Your work should include interviewing 10-15 leaders in the niche. Examples of designations our members have completed so far include: Certified Healthcare Leadership Coach, Certified Government Leadership Coach, and Certified Technology Leadership Coach. We have members working on their Certified Non-Profit Leadership Coach and Certified Banking Industry Leadership Coach. You can complete this certification at your pace.


Many coaches express frustration and confusion as they attempt to navigate the ICF designations and how to get them. We make it as easy as possible for you when you join our program.

ACC: This is the easiest ICF designation to obtain. It requires 60 hours of live coach training and 100 hours of coaching experience, plus the ICF mentor coaching program (10 hours over 3 months by teleclass per ICF rules). When you join any of our programs, you can achieve the training hours required for the ACC. You simply attend our live classes; there are 2 two-hour classes each week, and each is different. If you miss one, you can get on the next one. That way, you can complete the 60 hours of training under 5 months if you are diligent. Or come to our in-person seminar, which accelerates your training because it includes 32 live hours. This can reduce your time to get the required training so that you need just 28 hours of classes, which will take under 3 months. We also match you up with our coaches to help you get your coaching experience hours.

PCC: The PCC requires 125 hours of training, including 100 hours live. Of that 100 hours, 10 hours consists of our mentor coaching course. The other 25 hours can be self-study. Our ICF ACTP training program gets you what you need to complete your PCC. It adds the mentor coaching and gives you the easiest path to apply to the ICF for your PCC designation. This program takes 6-9 months to complete the training, depending on whether you include an in-person seminar or not. You also need 500 hours of document coaching experience, and we can match you up with coaches to accelerate that timeline. You can also choose this option, complete your training, and apply for the ACC first and then the PCC when you have enough coaching experience hours. We make it easy for you.

IMPORTANT: The ICF does not let you count past coaching experience. You may only count your coaching experience once you join a coach training program. Therefore, if you know you want a coaching designation from the ICF, it is important that you take action and join our program sooner rather than later.

Hopefully the above clarifies what can be a complicated, confusing, and frustrating maze of options for you! Contact Faculty Member for Center for Executive Coaching in Romania, Daiana Stoicescu at 0040-730177494 or [email protected] with any additional questions.

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