Frequently Asked Questions


How do I Become a Coach?

If you are considering a career as a professional coach, the International Coach Federation recommends the following four step process:
  1. Hire a Coach - To truly gain full knowledge and understanding of the coach-client relationship, begin your journey as a client. This step provides valuable insight into the coaching relationship and prepares you for a meaningful relationship with your clients. Additionally, hiring a coach can help you to determine whether coaching is the right profession for you. You can use our Find a Coach service to identify the right coach for you and your goals.
  2. Attend a Coach Training Program - ICF strongly recommends that you complete an ICF accredited coach training program to streamline your path to become an ICF credentialed coach. Formal training using ICF core competencies and code of ethics as the basis of training will prepare you for the rewards and challenges of the coaching profession. ICF accredited programs demonstrate their commitment to the highest coaching standards. Review a list of ICF accredited programs.
  3. Join the International Coach Federation - Let ICF be a partner on your journey to a successful coaching practice. ICF membership will provide you with networking, continuing education, and leadership opportunities through local chapters, Special Interest Groups and our local, regional, and international events. Connect with coaches from around the world and lend your voice and talents to the future of the profession. By joining ICF, you will realize your full potential as a coach. Learn about the eligibility requirements and join ICF.  
Join Your Local ICF Chapter - Your local chapter is your primary way to connect with professional coaches in your area. The Charlotte Area Chapter (ICF-CACC) is a vibrant and growing community of business and personal coaches who support each other in the areas of professional development, business success and personal growth. Learn about the ways to join.

ICF Credentialing Process

Should I Consider an ICF Credential?

ICF Credentials are highly recognized coaching qualifications with credibility around the world. If you are serious about building or maintaining your coaching business and desire to be part of a well-respected, self-regulating profession, you will be interested in gaining ICF Credentials.

There are three ICF credentials: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC). Each credential requires a specific set of required hours of coach-specific training and coaching experience.

What Are The Benefits of an ICF Credential?

  • Enhances your credibility and reassures potential clients that you are an experienced and professional coach
  • Demonstrates that you have high professional standards
  • Demonstrates that you stand by a strong code of ethics
  • Demonstrates a high knowledge and skill level
  • Demonstrates that you take on-going professional development seriously
  • Develops you as a professional coach to further enhance your skills
  • Brings personal satisfaction - in achieving a career goal
  • Brings personal satisfaction - in gaining a credential from the only internationally recognized independent coaching body
  • Reinforces the integrity of the coaching profession nationally and internationally

What is the process to become an ICF credentialed coach?

While there are several paths to becoming an ICF credentialed coach, ICF recommends attending an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). An ICF ACTP is considered an all-inclusive coach training program. An ACTP includes a minimum of 125 hours of coach-specific training, including comprehensive instruction around the ICF Core Competencies, Code of Ethics and the ICF definition of coaching. This type of program also includes Mentor Coaching, observed coaching sessions and a comprehensive final exam that evaluates a student's coaching competency. Review the different types of training programs.

What is the difference between program certifications and being an ICF credentialed coach?

Program certifications acknowledge that you have completed an organizations specific training program and meet their internal completion criteria. Note: These programs may or not be Accredited Coach Training Programs by ICF. The role of ICF is to serve as an independent body to assess and award credentials after submitting approved training, client and mentoring hours and passing oral and written exams.

How do I get a mentor coach?

The easiest way is to ask other members you know and trust for a recommendation. Talk to coaches at a chapter event. You may also leverage the ICF Mentor Coach Registry to search for mentor coaches.

What assistance does your chapter offer with the ICF credentialing process?

Our chapter programming offers various educational events that focus on developing the specific core competencies required for ICF credentials. The CCEU's you receive for attending events are important for submitting training hours and recertifying every three years.

Hiring a Coach

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a partnership that supports clients taking action toward a specific vision, goal, desire or outcome. Coaching focuses beyond the "what" or the problem and examines the "who" or person and how they make decisions and life choices.  Coaching provides a safe place for the coach and client to reflect and explore ideas, insights, strengths, and limitations. During the coaching process, clients define and achieve professional and personal goals faster; often with more ease.

Why Hire A Coach?

Hire a coach if you want to accelerate your results. If you or your organization are ready to stretch, grow, and discover, you're probably ready to work with a coach.

When Should I Hire a Coach?

Some examples of situations where coaching has been helpful are:
  • starting or expanding a new business
  • making a career choice or transition
  • developing leadership skills
  • evaluating life choices or purpose
  • improving personal effectiveness
  • enhancing communication skills
  • fulfilling a lifetime goal or desire
This list is merely a starting point of possibilities for coaching. A coach works their client's goal or objective.

Are There Different Kinds of Coaches?

Yes. While some coaches are generalists, most specialize in particular niches, including business, executives, organizations, entrepreneurs, spirituality or relationships.

How is coaching different from therapy, consulting and other service professions?

According to the ICF, professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it's helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.

Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual's emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one's work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.

Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.

Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.

Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.

Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.

How Do Coaches Work With Clients?

Every coach has their own unique style and method of working with clients. There are however, some commonly used methods. Coaching often consists of 1-to-1 telephone, video conferencing or face-to-face conversations, in 30, 45 or 60-minute intervals at pre-scheduled times. In addition, some coaches provide between session support and accountability, via e-mail or short, just-in-time telephone coaching calls.

What Does Coaching Typically Cost?

Costs for individual coaching typically range from $250-$1,000 per month, whereas corporate coaching may range from $1,000 - $10,000 per month.

Do All Coaches Need to Have ICF Credentials?

No, coaches do not need to have ICF credentials to be an effective coach. A professional coach who has been credentialed by the International Coach Federation has received very specific coach training, has achieved a designated number of experience hours and has been coached by a mentor coach. The three levels of ICF Credentials are: Associate Certified Coach (ACC); Professional Certified Coach (PCC); or Master Certified Coach (MCC).

What Should I Look For When Selecting a Coach?

The most important thing to look for when selecting a coach is someone with whom you feel you can easily relate to and create the most powerful partnership with. We recommend that you interview several coaches and ask these questions:
  • What is your coaching experience?
  • What is your coach specific training?
  • Do you hold an ICF Credential?
  • What is your coaching specialty or client areas you most often work in?
  • What specialized skills or experience do you bring to your coaching?
  • What is your philosophy about coaching?
  • What is your specific process for coaching?
  • What are some coaching success stories?
Many coaches also offer a complimentary demonstration session that allows potential clients to experience the coach's style and approach.

Visit our section on how to find and hire a coach page to learn more.

Ads & Sponsors

Who can benefit from being an ICF-CACC sponsor and/or advertiser?

  • Coach training schools
  • Companies with coaching-related products/services
  • Businesses offering products/services useful to coaches
  • Organizations looking to connect and partner with ICF-CACC's Members

Why advertise your services or products on this web site?

  • There is a growing community of professional coaches in the Charlotte and surrounding areas.
  • The International Coach Federation (ICF) has over 10,000 members globally and the ICF-Charlotte Area Chapter has a thriving coach population of more than 100 coaches.
  • Our members consistently refer to our website as a resource to grow their business and access tools to support professional growth as well as the success of their clients.
  • ICF Global is elevating the profession of coaching through the implementation of new training and credentialing requirements.
  • Our chapter website serves as a resource for individuals who are considering coaching training and credentialing.

How can I market my program or business on your website?

Please review our Ads/Sponsors page for information and guidelines.

How can I market my program or business at your meetings and events?

We are in the process of developing different types of sponsorships for our chapter. If you are interested, please connect with our VP of Community Outreach to discuss.


What types of coaches join ICF-CACC?

ICF-CACC Members and Affliates specialize in a variety of coaching areas, including Executive Coaching, Life Coaching, Leadership Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Career Coaching and other skilled coaching fields.

What is the value of joining ICF-CACC?

ICF-CACC Members and Affliates receive a multitude of benefits, starting with access to professional development opportunities and the related CCE units (CCEUs) needed to maintain certification. By joining our chapter, you gain access to networking, leadership, and community service opportunities. In addition to our monthly programming, we also offer a book club, business building meetings and local area coach social meet-ups.

How do I become a Member/Affiliate with ICF-CACC?

It's easy and fast! Visit our join page to identify the appropriate membership type and proceed to complete and submit the membership form.

How do I get started as a new Member/Affiliate of ICF-CACC Chapter?

We're glad you joined! Our VP Membership will contact you by email to welcome you to our group. You will receive an invitation to a new member/affiliate reception within the next six months. In addition, you will be paired with a Welcome Ambassador who will connect with you, attend the reception with you and help you feel comfortable in your first few months joining the Chapter. We recommend attending a chapter event as soon as possible so you can meet our coach community. Look for the Welcome Ambassador ribbons and find someone to talk with right away. Our Welcome Ambassadors will make you feel at home and introduce you to our coach community who will be equally as welcoming! We believe that the more inclusive and encouraging we with one another, the better we can partner and grow professionally and personally.

How can I become active in the ICF-CACC Chapter?

Consider attending one of our monthly meetings, webinars, networking events, book club and/or Business Forum. You can find all of these events posted on our website.  You also will receive emails on the first and third Monday of each month announcing upcoming chapter events.

Another great way to become involved is to serve as a member of one of our committees. By serving on a committee, you will learn more about that committee's work and be able to become further involved by serving in a leadership role on the ICF-CACC Board. To learn more, contact the chairperson of the committee that interests you the most:
  • VP Communications: oversees website, email communications, marketing, advertising, social media  
  • VP Community Outreach: oversees building business relationships in the community
  • VP Membership: oversees event registration, welcome committee, new member ambassadors (link to contact form for VP Membership)
  • VP Professional Development: oversees the ICF-CACC event and continuing education programming

How do I connect with the chapter's social media community?

We encourage you to join any or all of these communities and to participate actively. You do not have to be a member/affiliate to participate in these communities, though it is preferred.

How do I get listed in the Find a Coach service?

The Charlotte Area Chapter of the International Coach Federation offers a free online service to assist individuals in identifying and selecting coaches best suited for their particular situation. ICF-CACC Members are automatically listed in the Find a Coach tool. If you'd like the public to have more details on your coaching practice, you may want to consider paying for an enhanced member profile which is $50 a year.

How does someone become an ICF chapter board member?

Most board members have served as chapter volunteers and been active in chapter events. Serving on the board of directors is a great way to "give back" and offers an opportunity to expand your leadership capabilities, meet a wide range of interesting people, and immerse yourself in the coaching profession. Express interest in serving to one or more of our current board members. Each September, the Board Nominating Committee issues a notice that the board is seeking candidates for positions for the next year. Nominate yourself or ask a fellow chapter member to nominate you. You must be an ICF-CACC Member to serve. To learn more about the Board positions, log in to your member profile.

Programs & Events

What programs does ICF-CACC offer?

ICF-CACC hosts events in a variety of venues and formats: meetings, workshops, webinars, conference calls, and networking events. Most meetings offer networking and an informative presentation approved for ICF continuing coaching education units (CCEUs). In addition, the chapter organizes the annual Coaching Week, typically in May. For more information about our events, check out our Events page.

How can I find out about upcoming events?

Members receive notifications of meetings via semi-monthly email blasts. If you're not a member yet, sign up for our email blasts at the bottom of the page. Future events are posted on our Events page.

Do I have to register for events?

Yes, please. We leverage registration records to ensure we're prepared with sufficient materials and food / beverage as applicable. Some events have limited attendance, so secure your seat today!

How do I find out if I've already registered for the upcoming event?

An email confirmation from is sent immediately upon your registration.

What is your refund policy?

Please review our Event Policies to learn more about cancellations and refunds.

I lost my CCEU certificate for a chapter program. How do I get documentation that I attended?

We strongly recommend that be sure to pick up your certificate at the end of applicable sessions and keep your CCEU paperwork in a safe and easily accessible place. At this time, due to the manual nature of our meeting attendance and certificate distribution processes, we are unable to assist you if you forget to pick up or cannot locate your certificate. We hope to automate this process in the near future.

What are CCEUs?

CCEUs are Continuing Coach Education Units and they are important to members who hold an ICF credential (ACC, PCC, MCC) due to requirements for continuing education to maintain, renew or upgrade the credential. If you are working on getting your credentials, you want to keep your CCEUs for proof of training beyond the core training requirements.

How do I apply to present my program at an ICF-CACC Meeting or Event?

If you have a program or presentation that you believe would be beneficial to the coaching community, please visit our Call for Speakers page to learn more about the qualifications and application process.