Agile Certification Training

ICAgile Certified Expert Agile Coaching (IC-AC)

ICAgile – Facilitation & Coaching

Certification Overview:

ICAgile expert-level certifications are competency-based credentials granted directly by ICAgile. Individuals are eligible for these certifications once they have completed all learning objectives for the relevant agile discipline and have met the associated experience requirements.

To obtain the Agile Coaching track’s expert certification (the ICEAC),the candidate needs to demonstrate competency in the discipline of agile coaching and facilitation to a review committee of three industry-recognized experts. This is done via an interactive virtual session, the details of which are described in the sections below.

Certification Cost and Renewal:

Certification Cost: $1275 ($300 payable to reserve a spot with the panel and the balance payable upon successful completion of Expert Panel assessment.) 1

Renewal: 12 Mentoring hours per year. Helping other ICE candidates prepare and serving on ICEAC evaluation committees are the primary ways to log mentoring hours.

Certification Prerequisites and Requirements:
  • ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP) or equivalent prior learning
  • ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Team Facilitation (ICPATF)
  • ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ICPACC)
Required Experience before Applying:
  • Recommended 12 years of agile coaching experience
  • 6 months active practice after completing the two related Continuing Learning Certifications (ICPATF and ICPACC) 2
  • Agile Coaching experience must include 3 or more teams
Application Process:
  • Once the applicant feels s/he has satisfied the requirements for applying, s/he should contact ICAgile to express interest in applying for the ICE Certification.
  • To apply, candidates need to submit at least 1 contact from each of 3 teams s/he has coached. One of the names needs to be from the team that started using Agile for the first time. ICAgile needs each reference’s:
    • Name
    • Contact Email
    • Contact Phone
  • Upon receipt of the references, ICAgile will begin working with the candidate to schedule the assessment session with the industry-expert panel. The assessment session is 90-minutes conducted via videoconference. Candidates will receive feedback from the expert panel on the same day as the session, normally 2030 minutes after completing the activities.
  • Please note that it is not uncommon for candidates to go through more than one assessment session before meeting all criteria to receive the ICEAC.

Preparation for Certification Session:

ICAgile will contact the references provided by the candidate

References will complete an initial survey. At the end of the survey, references are informed that ICAgile would like permission to contact them via phone for additional details or clarification.

ICAgile will provide the candidate with the latest evaluation rubric

The candidate is responsible for reviewing it and making arrangements to provide the necessary evidence for each element. ICAgile will discuss these requirements with the candidate in more detail on a conference call.

During the certification session

the expert panel expects to see/hear a video or audio recording of the candidate facilitating an agile practice. The video material should also include evidence of the candidate in the teaching stance. The recording should take no more than 10 minutes to review. A longer recording is okay, as long as the candidate can point to specific portions for review that do not exceed 10 minutes total. Any of the following agile practices, or some variation of them, will be acceptable:

  • Chartering (Project or Team)
  • Iteration / Sprint Planning
  • Release Planning
  • Sprint Review / Iteration Demo
  • Retrospective
Once the candidate has the recording

the next steps are to break it down by time markers, and highlight what teaching and facilitation skills were in use. Candidates are invited to submit this in advance of the review (ICAgile will provide a link for submission) so that the panel has time to review it prior to the session. The candidate is also required to submit supporting materials showing the design for the meeting / session. These should include a facilitator guide and agenda. Here is an example of what to prepare for the recording in terms of time markers:

Time MarkerSkills / CompetenciesComments / Explanation
3:38Ask, don't tell"How granular do you need the numbers to be?"
6:20Show themPass out Planning Poker cards, which I happened to have. This is to make it tangible, even though use often use IM or planning
7:06FacilitationHelp them picture success
7:37PQ: Remember the Future"Picture a year from now. What will we have done today that led to our success?"
8:54Not a classI'm letting them describe their knowledge of Planning Poker, not telling yet find out what they know.
9:10Shift to Teaching StanceIntroduce Normalization from SAFe(tm). Describe the points, and when you may want to split them. Teach: tell them to split. Note the points are not directly related to time.
11:00Example points"Shhhhh" One point per day, 5 per week works well for some teams.
11:50Victory!Listen as the client verbalizes the message I was trying to convey. The team answered its own question.
13:23MentorMove 'em from MoSCoW to Stack Rank

Certification Session Specifics:

The goal of the certification session is for the applicant to demonstrate to the committee that they have the necessary Agile Coaching competencies. The committee does not want to hear the applicant talk about what they would do as a coach, they want to see the applicant in action.

The actual certification session is divided into 4 parts. The first part will be a review of the recorded material, the second part will be a live coaching session, the third will be a live mentoring session, and the last part will be an open Q&A session. As this is an intensive process, the applicant should make sure to be in a quiet space with no distractions.

Part 1: Video/Audio Material:
  • The committee will ask the applicant to show around 10 minutes of the recording. They will ask the applicant to jump to certain time markers and will ask specific questions about what they observe.
  • As stated above, the applicant may recommend to the committee certain scenes from the recording to the help illustrate his/her teaching and facilitation skills.
Part 2: Live Demonstration of Professional Coaching
  • The applicant will be asked to conduct a 10-minute coaching session with one of the review committee members.
  • This will be a oneonone coaching session.
  • The review committee member will select a topic of their choice. The applicant will not know the topic ahead of time.
  • The applicant is expected to engage in a coaching conversation using professional coaching skills (such as powerful questions, holding the coachee’s agenda, etc.) to generate insights and further action.
Part 3: Live Demonstration of Agile Mentoring
  • The applicant will also be asked to conduct a 10-minute mentoring session with a review committee member.
  • The mentoring session could be about an agile practice, process improvement goal,, team dynamic issue, collaboration between the business and development, etc. The applicant will not know the topic ahead of time.
  • During the mentoring session the applicant will be expected to help the mentee by asking questions and providing multiple approaches to resolve the issue being discussed.
Part 4: Q & A
  • This is an open question and answer session with the committee. They will have access to the references responses and will ask questions about these and any other types of evidence they need to see prior to panel deliberation.

Evaluation and Followup:

After completing the Q&A session, the session facilitator will ask the candidate to drop off of the videoconference while the panel deliberates. The facilitator will then contact the candidate to rejoin approximately 2030 minutes later.

At that time, the panel will provide direct feedback in alignment with the evaluation rubric. If the candidate passes, ICAgile will talk to him/her about official steps to award the certification. In the event that the candidate falls short in certain areas, the panel will provide specific feedback on what needs to be done for the candidate to pass. ICAgile will then work with the candidate in the days following the session on next steps.


Here are the 4 steps to getting certified as an Agile Coach through IC Agile

  • Have the ICAgile Certified Professional certification or its equivalent. If you’ve had a typical 2 day introduction to Agile, you most likely qualify.
  • Become a Certified Pro in Agile Team Facilitation which is conveyed by the successful completion of our “Agile Team Facilitation Workshop”
  • Get the Certified Pro level of Agile Coaching which is conveyed by the successful completion of this workshop.
  • The final step is to pass ICAgile’s knowledge assessment and live competency demonstration.

1 For ICAgile member organizations, please inquire about the latest policies on group discounts.
2 Candidates with significant Agile Coaching experience prior to obtaining the ICPATF and ICPACC certifications may waive the six month requirement, with prior approval from ICAgile.

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