Certification is a Mark of Competency

Master Coach – Certified Master Coach (MC) is the mark of competency for the Business Coaching profession and is recognised internationally through the The MC designation is consistent with internationally accepted standards and indicates that a business, executive or leadership coach meets certain requirements of character, education, expertise and experience. Members with a minimum of 500 hours’ of face to face coaching experience are eligible to become a Certified Master Coaches (CMC) by assessment.

These assessments are offered to full members of the Institute as well as to existing Certified Management Consultants who have met the additional criteria. To retain the CMC designation, members must perform 100 hours of professional development every three years. A CMC Practicing certificate is issued annually upon fulfilment of the stated requirements.

High Standards

By setting high entry standards and continuing demands for certification, the IMCSA protects and enhances the reputation of the profession as a whole. By requiring continuing professional development of its certified members, the IMCSA ensures that certified members are in a position to deliver the highest standard of service.

The demand for certification status is above all other offerings of the IMCSA and members continuously rate certification as the single most important activity of an Institute. The standards for certification applied by the IMCSA in South Africa comply with international standards.


An additional benefit of international certification is automatic reciprocity and recognition between member institutes.

Clients will be able to determine whether the coach they are dealing with is certified, by contacting the IMCSA. National and international bodies, including governments, will be able to draw on the register of certified coaches. Clients will obviously not be obliged to use MC’s but will be encouraged to do so.

Certification Eligibility and Process

The certification process is based on the following requirements:

  1. Support by other certified members and/or reputable clients in the form of testimonials.
  2. Evidence of bona fide coaching hours totalling not less 500 hours.
  3. Evidence of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or an additional 8 years of management experience in lieu of a degree.
  4. Sufficient management experience or line support experience to indicate competence in management and its principles.
  5. Signature of the code of ethics.
  6. A completed application, mapping your experience to each of the required competency areas, highlighting that you have understanding and experience of these.
  7. Undertaking an interview with qualified assessors to confirm the details of your application and to perform a summative assessment of you as a certified master coach.

Once you have sent through all application documents and your membership level has been determined by one of our assessors, you are required to pay the appropriate fee for the current year. You will then receive an invoice and upon receipt of proof of payment you will have a membership number assigned to you and a electronic certificate issued. 

Please note that if you have less than 500 hours of bona fide face to face coaching experience, you will need to accumulate sufficient hours until you qualify for certification and may apply for a lower level of membership.

Full membership requires evidence of 200 or more hours of face to face coaching experience as described in the member application form. Only once you have qualified for full membership, and you have accumulated a minimum of 500 hours of coaching experience, can you begin the process of certification. This requires full membership as the starting point and is a competency-based assessment, requiring a comprehensive portfolio of evidence before the certification assessment interview is scheduled. Full membership means that the applicant has met the entry requirements for certification in terms of specific experience and the information now required will build on the full membership application.

Once an applicant has been awarded full membership and has accumulated the required experience in hours or years, the applicant may proceed to apply for certification.

The applicant must download the certification application pack for coaching. This pack contains detailed information about the process and requirements.

The applicant must pay the appropriate certification application fee and complete all the certification application documentation.

Once the documentation is complete, the applicant must pay the master coach assessment fee, which is non-refundable due to the amount of effort it entails. Proof of payment, along with the complete set of application documents must be forwarded to the secretariat at

The applicant must comply with all requirements of the application prior to proceeding to the assessment interview. This means that the application must be complete in every sense. 

The designated assessors will ensure compliance by means of a bench review of the application. If necessary, they will request further clarification in writing before allowing the candidate to proceed to the assessment interview. The assessors may reject the application due to incompleteness or due to the candidate failing to meet the minimum application criteria. If you have previously qualified as a member, there should only be minor issues, which can be rectified quite easily.

Once the bench review is complete to the satisfaction of both the assessors, the candidate will be invited to an assessment  interview with two assessors. Their task is to validate your submission according to the now completed bench review and to confirm your credentials.

Upon successful completion of the assessment, the candidate will be notified in writing accordingly and a certificate will be issued for the year of the assessment.

All certificates remain valid for the calendar year of issue and must be renewed annually, in January, to ensure that the professional remains in good standing with the IMCSA.

Application Documents

Please download your application pack HERE. Please ensure that you comply with ALL the requirements and complete ALL the documents.