The Program Structure | Coaching Certification Program CCP

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Columbia Coaching Certification Program

Columbia Coaching Certification Program

Department of Organization & Leadership

The Program Structure

Our Comprehensive Approach to Coaching is Based on Three Foundations Used to Navigate the Work:\

IntensiveKey FeaturesAudience
To learn more about these Coaching Intensives visit Program Offerings
External Coach Intensive (ECI) Extensive practice applying foundational coaching principles, competencies and tasks using a "case-in-point" approach to make the learning real and transferable - as you build or expand your professional practice! For coaches external to organizations
Internal Coach Intensive (ICI) In addition to learning the Columbia approach to executive coaching, in this intensive participants examine creative ways to position coaching practices in their organization to create a human capital advantage. HR/OD Professionals managers and leaders
Field - based reflective Practicum This segment of the program is designed put the framework learned during the front-end intensive in action through the coaching of clients, participating in on-line coach supervision, engaging in peer learning, and conducting a coach-specific research project. For All External and Internal Intensive Participants
Advanced Coaching Intensive (ACI) This segment of the program is designed to help participants pull it all together, as well as, continue to build capability by exploring more "advanced" coaching topics such as coaching across cultures, coaching for emotional and social intelligence, and continuing to explore ways to co-create coaching organizations to drive growth and renewal. For External Coaches, Internal Coaches, HR Professionals, Managers, and Leaders
5 Days On-Site Residential Program.

Available only to those who have successfully completed either ECI or ICI, and the field-based coaching practicum.


Over a period of eight to ten months, program participants will navigate a path towards mastery of the Coaching Foundations. Participants begin by developing a solid understanding of four guiding principles found to differentiate highly effective coaches, the High Impact Coaching Process, and intensive practice with nine core coaching competencies. The primary aim of our three component certification process is to help participants chart their path towards an individualized coaching approach. These building blocks provide coaches and their clients with a solid platform for co-creating the unique paths needed to achieve the results they truly desire.

All participants will attend either the Internal or External Coach Intensive, dependent upon their coaching context. Following the 5-day intensive they will transition into a six-month Reflective Practicum and finish by joining together for the Advanced Coaching Intensive. Upon completion, participants will be fitted with the skills to begin the next phase of their journey -- The practice of Professional Coaching.

Columbia Program's Alignment with ICF and other Professional Associations 


In launching the program, the program has aligned its coaching approach to 11 core competencies as defined by The International Coach Federation, founded in 1992 and currently the leading global organization in terms of size of membership and number of chapters worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. [NOTE: The Columbia Program's design, implementation and annual progress reviews, have also been informed by the Graduate School Alliance for Executive Coaching's (GSAEC) academic standards. As a leading, Research-I University the combination of aligning our work with both a leading coaching professional association and GSAEC meets our unique requirements of being housed in two leading academic departments of Columbia University.]

ICF and the Columbia Program: 

ICF currently offers three levels of certification, attainable through the following contact and client coaching requirement:

Certification TypeRequired Contact HoursRequired Client-Coaching Hours
Master Certified Coach (MCC) 200 2,500
Professional Certified Coach (PCC) 125 750
Associate Certified Coach  (ACC) 60 100

Columbia University offers various credentials that are recognized and well respected around the world, credentials include academic program degrees, certificate program, and intensive professional certification processes (the later two are generally offered via CEUs). Our non-degree credit and credit programs are accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), with IACET accreditation, a CE/T provider tells the world it is committed to best practices in adult learning and that it has successfully mastered IACET's rigorous Authorized Provider Accreditation process. Specifically related to ICF, Columbia Program participants wishing to attain ICF certification must apply using their portfolio application at the ACC or PCC levels depending on the number of client hours logged and performance on ICF oral exam, where the contact hours earned at Columbia can be applied toward meeting the "coach-specific training" requirement. At the present time, Columbia University will NOT seek program accreditation from the ICF for the following reasons: 

1. As a accredited Research-I university, our university-wide accreditation requires that all programs seek accreditation from recognized by the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), or other organizations that monitor the quality of accrediting bodies; 

2. At the present time, ICF as self governing organization, does not belong to an oversight body to ensure the rigor, validity and quality of its accreditation procedures; and 

3. All accredited programs at Columbia University must be recognized by organizations who adhere to the generally accepted professional standard that the independent "certification agency must not also be responsible for the accreditation of educational or training programs or courses of study leading to certification" (2003 Report, Standards for Accreditation of Certification Programs, prepared by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies - For more information on credentialing in the coach training and education space, we recommend reviewing the following website:


Via Columbia's membership with GSAEC, our leaders on in conversation with ICF and other professional coach associations to address this important accreditation requirement for university based program. The Columbia Program's five year plan calls for seeking accreditation from other organizations, as they meet rigorous accreditation quality assurance and governance requirements, such as: 

  1. Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC)
  2. Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  3. APA -- Division 14: Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  4. International Association of Coaching (IAC)
  5. Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE)

We continue to search for opportunities to align ourselves with professional associations, service organizations, support networks, and consortiums that share a commitment to becoming a global resource for high quality executive education opportunities for aspiring and existing coaching professionals.