How to Learn the ICF Competencies

32 Fun Activities to Get You Started

The most common question I get from coaches who are preparing to apply for an International Coaching Federation credential is a very simple one.

Where Do I Start?

The answer is probably not what you think.

You need to start by learning (or re-learning) the ICF Competencies!

Returning to this core body of knowledge is critical to your credentialing success.

Why? Because getting grounded in the fundamentals is a necessary first step in preparing to write the ICF Credentialing Exam and planning for the ICF Performance Evaluation.

Like many coaches, you may have been out of the classroom for years. So, it’s completely understandable if the prospect of hitting the books fills you with dread. You may already be wrestling with:

...knowing what to study

...understanding the competencies

...finding ways to learn the competencies besides just reading them

...retaining what you learn for more than a few hours (or minutes)


You don’t have to go it alone!

I’ve created a self-study resource that will kick-start your learning and quickly immerse you in the ICF Competencies. Plus, you’ll remember what you’ve learned, once and for all!

Want to know the best part?

This material is designed for active learning and fun. It is comprised of crossword puzzles, word searches, word mazes, quizzes, card sorts and more!

Of course, you’ll still have to invest the time, but you’ll have a strategy that will help you:

  • Learn, understand and retain the ICF Competencies
  • Build your core body of coach knowledge
  • Start preparing for the ICF Credentialing Exam
  • Reflect on how you are integrating the competencies into your coaching
  • Increase your confidence in aligning with the competencies
  • Create your own learning plan with self-directed, print-your-own learning materials
  • Have fun and take the pressure off the learning process
  • Earn ICF CCE units in Resource Development (RD)

You’ll get all of that and more using this new competency resource...

Cathy came across to me as a divine intervention in my journey of coaching. As my Mentor Coach, she refined my rough edges with utmost care and diligence. She is a reservoir of knowledge and wisdom. As a coach, she has an extraordinary command on coaching skills and also a miraculous ability to pass on the skills gained by her over several years of coaching experience. She is truly a grand master in the field of coaching. I feel blessed to have had her as my Mentor Coach.

- Dr. Archana Yemeshvary Ashok Upadhyay


How to Learn the ICF Competencies –

32 Fun Activities to Get You Started


It is a privilege to recommend Cathy to people seeking to prepare for any level ICF credentials. Cathy and I work together as I prepare to step into the world of MCC. Cathy is very knowledgeable when it comes to all things ICF, which is completely helpful, though she also brings an amazing human touch to every connection we have. I feel completely safe to be vulnerable with Cathy; she gets me. Thank you Cathy for your support. This will be a long process.

- Janet Davie, MCC, CEC, CPA

Stop stalling and start learning today with this entirely self-directed, fully downloadable resource.

I’m Cathy Shaughnessy, ICF Assessor Master Certified Coach and founder of Perspective In Action. Working in corporate training and development designing and delivering public and private sector training programs was my passion for decades. Many of my large-scale projects won awards.

These days, I am immersed in the professional coaching world. As a Mentor Coach with a long track record in corporate training, I know the value of making learning stick. Most importantly, I understand that adult learners are not all the same. One approach does not fit all. I also know that learning can be easy, and fun.

No matter your educational experience or how long it’s been since you’ve had to sit down and study, you can get the ball rolling today. Best of all, you’ll get access to this fully digital product right away. Just print and begin!

How to Learn the ICF Competencies – 32 Fun Activities to Get You Started includes a variety of downloadable quizzes, flashcards and puzzles that you can print and use to build your learning plan.

It’s a simple resource you can use to study anywhere. Just print, grab a pencil and start learning! The content is reusable, so you can keep working with the same material to improve retention.

Any ICF credentialed coach who has gone through the renewal process knows that it is a pretty substantial undertaking. As I was looking to start my renewal process, I knew I needed someone who could help me navigate, not only the mentor coaching hours, but the entire process. Cathy has been a tremendous support through my mentor coaching hours and helped me to minimize the stress of the entire process. A BIG thank you to Cathy for your expertise and encouragement! So happy to have submitted my renewal application and more grateful that I was able to learn from you along the way!

- Caroline Duke

What’s Included in this Self-Study Resource?

  • Two sets of ICF Competency Flash Cards that are digital, downloadable and ready to print
  • A comprehensive booklet (over 100 pages) with loads of interactive activities that you can download, print and use again and again in whatever way works best for you
  • A downloadable and printable answer key to check your work

Using this resource, you can claim ICF Resource Development CCE units for your time!

Get started now!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Refund Policy...
Due to the digital nature of this product, we cannot provide refunds. You will have access to all materials upon purchase.
Is this resource eligible for International Coaching Federation CCE units?
Yes! Since this is an entirely self-directed resource with no final assessment, you can claim Resource Development (RD) CCE units for the time you spend.
Will I get a CCE certificate upon completion of the course?
CCE certificates are not provided. Your payment receipt will serve as your proof of purchase.
How do I claim ICF CCE units for this resource?
To use this resource for RD CCE units, print your payment receipt and record the time you spend completing the exercises. When you are ready to renew your credential, you will input this information into your renewal application form on the International Coaching Federation website. Completing all exercises in the program will take an average of eight hours and is, therefore, eligible for eight RD CCE units.
Will this course help me pass the ICF Credentialing Exam?
This material is intended to provide a fun way for coaches to learn the ICF competencies. This is an excellent place to start if you are unfamiliar with the ICF Competencies. However, it is not intended as practice for the multiple-choice questions in the official exam, which is a situational judgement test.

Your Instructor

Cathy Shaughnessy, MCC
Cathy Shaughnessy, MCC

Hello! I am Cathy Shaughnessy, and I am excited to share these resources with you!

I have spent my entire career in corporate training and development, winning several awards from the Canadian Society of Training and Development.

As a coach, I am an ICF Prism Award winner, providing executive coaching for corporate leaders.

As an ICF Assessor, I conduct performance evaluations of coach credential submissions in accordance with ICF assessor standards and practices.

As a trained Mentor Coach, I provide group and individual mentor coaching for credentialing coaches.

I have developed these resources to help coaches like you get up-to-speed on the updated ICF Competencies and Markers fast and help you prepare for performance evaluations and the ICF Credentialing Exam.

Get started now!