Keeping track of your coaching hours is a necessary requirement for most coaching certifications, whether you’re applying for an ICF credential or getting certified with another organization. Your client coaching log needs to document all your paid and pro bono coaching sessions, so that your application can qualify.
The International Coaching Federation can also conduct periodic audits to verify your coaching experience, so it’s important to keep this information handy even after your credentials are granted.
In this article, we’ll lead you through the entire process of documenting your coaching sessions correctly, so that you can complete your ICF credential application and finally become a certified coach.
Who Needs To Submit A Client Coaching Log?
Every coach who completes a certification program needs to submit proof of their practical experience in order to get their credentials. At the International Coaching Federation, there are three levels you can get certified on. These levels will grant you the following credentials:
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
- Master Certified Coach (MCC)
Each of these certification programs consists of training and practical application, which in this case means coaching groups and individuals.
ICF Coaching Log Requirements For ACC Level
Coaches who apply to be Associate Certified Coaches need to complete and document at least 100 hours of coaching experience, out of which 75 should be paid coaching sessions. Because of the pandemic, ACC candidates who apply before the end of 2021 are an exception and can qualify with only 70 paid sessions out of their 100 sessions in total.
Keep in mind that at least eight clients you work with should follow the start of your coaching training, and at least 25 coaching hours should occur within a year before you submit your application.
ICF Coaching Log Requirements For PCC Level
Professional Certified Coach candidates are required to complete 500 hours of coaching in total, out of which 450 should be paid. For applicants who submit their coaching log before the end of 2021, this requirement changes to 440 paid hours due to the pandemic.
At least 25 clients PCC candidates work with should be clients they started working with after the beginning of their coaching training, and a minimum of 50 coaching hours from their log should take place within one year of their application date.
ICF Coaching Log Requirements For MCC Level
If you’re applying for a Master Coach Certification, you need to submit 2,500 coaching hours with your clients and make sure that at least 2,250 of them are paid. If you submit your ICF coaching log before the end of 2021, then 2,200 paid sessions are sufficient for your MCC credentials.
At least 35 of your clients in this case should be individuals or groups you started working with after you began your training, but there are no restrictions as to how recent they are.
Documenting hundreds or even thousands of coaching hours is almost impossible if you don’t start keeping track of them at the very beginning of your practice. It’s best to start logging these hours right from the first session and keep this information in a safe place.
Paperbell automatically generates a coaching log with all your sessions, so you can download your client coaching log for your application with one click! Sign up here for a free account.
What Should My ICF Coaching Log Include?
In order for your application to qualify, your client coaching log should include the following details. All this information needs to be accurate on your coaching log, otherwise ICF may consider it fraudulent and prohibit you from reapplying for a coaching credential for up to five years.
Client Name & Contact Information
For each individual client, you need to list their full name and their email address or phone number as contact information. For group coaching sessions, it’s enough to document the name and contact details of one person from the group, you don’t need to list all names.
If you’re employed at an organization as an internal coach or provide coaching services through a third party, you can list the names and contact details of the individuals and group representatives you work with the same way.
However, any direct reports that you supervise at an organization can’t be your coaching clients, since the nature of your relationship with them is different. You’re their manager in this case, so you might not be able to stay impartial when it comes to their career path in the company. You might also need to report on their performance despite it being a subject of your coaching conversations, which means you wouldn’t be able to keep this information confidential.
It’s very important that you follow the ICF Code of Ethics and obtain consent from all your clients to list their personal information on your client coaching log. Their consent should be recorded in compliance with all relevant laws (for example EU GDPR guidelines). If a client of yours doesn’t grant you permission to share their names and contact details with a third party (aka ICF), unfortunately you can’t include them on your client coaching log.
The only exception for that rule is if you work in internal or third-party coaching arrangements with organizations that have a confidentiality policy. In that case, you can share the name and contact of a company representative, and get a reference letter from the organization that states the number of coaching hours you’ve completed with them.
Details About Your Coaching Sessions
For each name listed on your ICF coaching log, mark whether you had an individual or group coaching session with them. If it was a group session, then you also need to indicate the number of people in the group you worked with.
Document the start and end date of your coaching relationship with each client, in other words, the date of your first and last coaching session with them. This is important so that ICF can see how recent your coaching experience is.
You’ll also need to document the number of paid and pro bono (unpaid) hours spent with each client. You need to list them separately since you might offer a mix of both to some of them.
Once you’ve listed all these details, make sure that the numbers add up and you have the required number of paid and unpaid coaching hours for your credential level before you submit your application.
Free Template: How To Log Your Client Coaching Hours
A simple spreadsheet works just fine to submit your client coaching log for your ICF credential application. As long as it contains all the elements we’ve listed above and the information on it is accurate, it will be accepted as a verification of your practical experience.
We’ve created a template based on the official guidelines of the International Coaching Federation that you can access here for free and use for your application. Once you open it, click on File > Make a copy to save it to your Google Drive to start using it right away! You can use it on your google drive/sheets account or download it as a .CSV or .xlsx file.
Keeping track of all your client data for your coaching hours log can get pretty tedious, especially when you need to record hundreds or even thousands of sessions on your spreadsheet. So we’ve created a much simpler solution that you can access with a free Paperbell account.
Paperbell is a platform for coaches where you can manage all payments, contracts, scheduling, and documentation for your clients in one place. Paperbell automatically generates a coaching log with all your sessions, so you can download your client coaching log for your application with one click! Sign up here for a free account.
Software That Generates A Coaching Log Automatically
If you’d rather skip the hassle of manually logging every hour, you can use a software tool that automatically creates an accurate log for you. Paperbell, a tool that manages the billing, scheduling and admin for coaches, also has an “ICF Coaching Log” feature.
Simply use Paperbell to schedule all of your coaching appointments, click on your icon on the top right side of Paperbell then click “ICF Client Coaching Log“.
You’ll see an on-screen version that includes every detail. You can also export this file as a CSV to submit to the International Coaching Federation or any other coaching association.
Coaching Log FAQs
What If I Don’t Have The Contact Details Of My Client?
If you don’t have the email address or phone number of your client, unfortunately you can’t list them on your client coaching log for your ICF application. You also need to make sure that you have the consent of all your clients whom you listed in your spreadsheet, to share their personal information. You need to have a record of their consent in written form that complies with the relevant GDPR regulations.
If you work as an internal coach or you coach through a third party, you can list a company representative as contact information. In this case, you need to get a letter from the organization that states all your coaching hours delivered in place of the contact details of each individual.
What Counts As One Coaching Hour?
One coaching hour is 60 minutes of actual coaching delivered to a group or individual that hired you as a coaching professional. Other 1-on-1 services such as mentoring, supervision, or consulting don’t count as coaching hours.
If you offer coaching sessions of less than 60 minutes, they will count as partial coaching hours. For example, 30 minutes of coaching with a client will count as 0.5 coaching hours on your client coaching log, that you can list altogether with the rest of your coaching hours with the same client. Both in-person sessions and coaching calls count as coaching hours.
What’s Considered A Paid Coaching Hour?
An hour of coaching is considered paid when you receive payment from your client or barter goods and services in exchange for your coaching services. Peer-to-peer coaching is also considered bartering of services, so you can count them as paid coaching hours.
If you coach your client for free, you need to list those hours as pro bono coaching hours. Make sure that this number doesn’t exceed the number of free coaching hours permitted for your ICF credential level.