ACTP programs are required to have at least 125 student contact hours. At least 80 percent of all training must be delivered in synchronous activities and focused on the ICF Core Competencies. The remaining 20 percent of the training program can be delivered asynchronously and focused on subjects not directly related to the ICF Core Competencies.
- Student contact hours: Clock hours spent in synchronous (real-time) interactions between faculty and students. This may include time spent in direct instruction, real-time discussions, observation and feedback or practice coaching sessions, and mentoring students.
- Homework/Independent study: Clock hours spent outside of real-time interaction between faculty and students (asynchronous). These may include outside reading, writing, research, journaling, practice coaching and various other activities that may occur outside of the synchronous setting. All asynchronous hours require some method of validating that the activity was completed by the student.
ICF considers observed coaching sessions a vital component of quality coach training. ACTP programs are required to provide a minimum of six (6) observed coaching sessions for each student. Written feedback must be provided for at least four (4) of the six sessions.
- Observed coaching session definition: Sessions in which a student is coaching any client, fellow student or another person as a method for practicing their coaching skills.
- Time requirement: ICF does not have a minimum length requirement for observed coaching sessions. Sessions should be long enough for a coaching conversation.
- Structure: Observed coaching sessions are observed by an instructor/observer who is responsible for providing written feedback to the student, noting the student’s use of the ICF Core Competencies in the coaching session. These sessions may be observed live or through a recorded session. Observed coaching sessions count as part of the total instructional hours of the program.
ACTP programs are required to provide 10 hours of Mentor Coaching over a three (3) month or longer period of time.
- Mentor Coaching definition: a student being coached on their coaching skills rather than on practice building, life balance or other topics unrelated to the development of a student’s coaching skill. Mentoring is intended to serve as a development process for the student that takes place in a repetitive cycle of receiving feedback regarding student coaching, reflecting on this feedback and practicing new skills. The focus must be on the development of skills using the ICF Core Competencies.
- Structure: Minimum of 10 hours of Mentor Coaching. These 10 hours should be integrated into the total program and occur periodically throughout the course of the training. Group mentoring may count for a maximum of seven (7) hours toward the mentoring requirement. The group being mentored may not consist of more than 10 participants. A minimum of three (3) of the 10 mentoring hours must be one-on-one mentoring.
All ACTP programs must administer a final performance evaluation in a formal testing environment. The final performance evaluation must, at a minimum, contain an actual observation of coaching at least one half-hour (30 minutes) in length which is graded as a final performance evaluation. Students enrolled in FLOW’s ACTP online coach certification program can go through their performance evaluation with FLOW Coaching Institute instead of ICF.