We are in the coaching profession; We represent coaching and coach training to the public. Therefore it is our responsibility to use the correct language about who we are. This dictionary clarifies many common terms often misunderstood or misspoken.

This dictionary includes:

  • Coaching Associations SUN is aligned with (ICF – International Coaching Federation and ACTO – Association of Coach Training Organizations),
  • Roles in Success Unlimited Network (SUN) – Partners, Trainers, Ambassadors, Graduates and Students (CITs), 
  • ICF credential levels of mastery for individuals (ACC, PCC, MCC), and programs (accreditation),
  • Those who support our continuing development as coaches (mentors, supervisors),
  • Ethics and law.

International Coaching Federation (ICF), is the world-wide professional coaching organization that awarded accreditation to the SUN 125-hour Coach Training and Certification Program in 2000, and this esteemed accreditation is in force to the present. The ICF definition of coaching is: partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO) is a community of professionals who bring coach training to aspiring coaches around the world

ROLES in Success Unlimited Network (SUN)

Trainers train the SUN materials and have completed a 3-year SUN Coach Trainer-in-Training program including being mentored while training three students until they graduate as a Certified SUN Coach. The Trainers are the community of support and guidance for the Partnership. Some SUN Trainers chose to continue as trainers and not become part of the business venture of the SUN Legacy Partnership. Other SUN trainers said they might consider becoming part of the business operation in the future. There are different levels of trainer depending upon number of years of SUN Trainer experience, number of students graduated, contribution to the profession, etc. The most senior is Master SUN Coach Trainer including our SUN Director of Training. The next level is Experienced SUN Coach Trainer with at least 8 years SUN Training experience. The next level is full SUN Coach Trainer. The remaining SUN Trainers are still in Trainer-training program. The total number of SUN Trainers at all levels in November, 2020 is 14.

SUN Global Ambassadors form a global network of about 30 SUN coach volunteers who choose to play a special role in SUN by being involved in the expanding presence of SUN globally as we find ways to be of greater service with our very high-quality, spiritually focused coaching, coach training and mentoring. Examples of Ambassador outreach activities might be to promote the SUN uniqueness by networking with SUN Coaches and Trainers, coordinating presentations at ICF chapters, organizing professional development activities and partnering with regional teams of SUN Coaches for event planning. Each SUN Global Ambassador is linked with a SUN Coach Trainer as a mentor and support.

Certified SUN Coaches have graduated from the ICF-accredited 125 hour SUN Coach Training and Certification Program (ACTP) and have been mentored while coaching 3+ clients. Some SUN coaches went through our Advanced SUN Coach program. These coaches already have certification from an ICF accredited program and a PCC credential and wanted to become part of SUN. The Advanced program took them through the experience of using our SUN methodology and included mentoring with 3 clients using the SUN mindset and approach. As of November, 2020, SUN has graduated 307 Certified coaches and over 30% hold an ICF credential.

CIT (Coach-in-Training) is a coach studying and experiencing any one of the SUN programs: ACTP (125 hours), ACSTH (60 hours) and Advanced SUN Coach Program.


Upon graduation from a school or program you receive a certificate. This certificate is given when you have successfully completed training.


A credential is given by an association such as ICF and requires:

  1. training (ACC= 60 hours); (PCC= 125 hours); (MCC= 200 hours)
  2. coaching experience (a minimum number of hours coaching clients) ACC=100, PCC = 500, MCC = 2500
  3. number of clients ACC= 8; PCC = 25; MCC = 35
  4. mentoring – 10 hours
  5. an on-line ICF coach knowledge assessment (CKA) test only taken once

ACC = Associate Certified Coach

PCC =  Professional Certified Coach

MCC = Master Certified Coach

For those students who graduate from SUN, all you need to provide the ICF to comply with the training and mentoring requirement is our certificate of completion. As part of our curriculum we require that you work with at least 3 clients, so you will have accrued some coaching experience. How much more is up to you.


ACTP Accreditation is awarded to programs that meet the ICF professional standards of coach training. ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Programs) offer a minimum of 125 hours of coach-specific training. Our trainers, curriculum, methodology, etc. have undergone close scrutiny to ensure that we meet or surpass all standards. A school or program such as SUN is not accredited, only specific programs within. Our SUN Coach Training and Certification Program is accredited and any of the modules within are also accredited, such as Learning Life Purpose or Ethics and Standards.


There is another form of ICF approval for training.

ACSTH (Approved Coach Specific Training Hours) is awarded to ICF-approved programs of 30+ hours of coach-specific training.

CCE (Continuing Coach Education) credits are awarded to ICF-approved programs of 1-29 hours.

40 hours of CCEs are required every 3 years to maintain your credential – 3 of which must be in Ethics.


Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential consists of coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative and dialogued process based on an observed or recorded coaching session to increase the coach’s capability in coaching, in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.

COACHING SUPERVISION is a collaborative learning practice to continually build the capacity of the coach through reflective dialogue for the benefit of both coaches and clients. It focuses on the development of the coach’s capacity through offering a richer and broader opportunity for support and development. Coaching Supervision creates a safe environment for the coach to share their successes and failures in becoming masterful in the way they work with their clients.

A PROFESSIONAL COACHING RELATIONSHIP includes a contract/agreement defining responsibilities between client and coach (and sponsor) if appropriate, such as a 3rd party involved in arranging/paying for services, e.g., a boss or HR Department in business or a parent/surrogate.


Ethics are rules that identify minimal standards of conduct created by a profession (coaching), credentialing organizations (e.g., ICF), and Professional Membership Organizations (e.g., ICF).

Laws are created, adopted and enforced by governmental bodies (legislators and elected officials) to protect the public by defining who can provide services and have a title.