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Clean Coach Certification Programme (ICF ACSTH) 

Are you a coach, aspiring coach or Clean Language facilitator? Or a manager, consultant, HR specialist, health worker or leader who would like to gain skills in coaching with Clean Language? Would you like to gain formal accreditation as a coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF)?

Join our ICF accredited Clean Coach Certification Programme to gain training in clean coaching which also forms the basis of your application to become an Associate Accredited Coach (ACC).

The ICF is the leading global organisation for coaches and coaching, dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals. ICF accreditation is often required by those procuring coaching services - as a guarantee of quality.

The ICF defines coaching as: Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.

We recognised this definition as being a good fit with what happens during Clean Language sessions, and together with our colleagues in Sweden - Lena Sobel and Søren Holm, both experienced ICF coaches - we set out to create an accredited course that would allow coaches to make full use of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling within their coaching practice.

During the course you will:

  • Establish definitions for coaching, Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling and learn how they can combine to produce powerful and often life-changing experiences for your clients.
  • Learn the basic clean questions of David Grove and how they can be used for maximum effect.
  • Practice Caitlin Walker's Clean Set Up model and ascertain different ways this can be used in a coaching context.
  • Find out how to use clean and clean-ish questions to reach and maintain agreements with clients, both at the start of a series of sessions and at the start of each individual session.
  • Discover how to identify problem statements, remedy statements, desired outcomes and resources and how to use clean questions to direct clients' attention more to desired outcomes and resources.
  • Determine which are the best clean questions for moving a client's attention from their conceptual, everyday world, towards a more metaphorical or symbolic expression of that world.
  • Learn how you can help your client to clarify the structure of their thinking by developing the unconscious metaphors they use.
  • Gain a deep understanding of the importance of metaphors in everyday communication and in coaching.
  • Find out how using Clean Language is a natural way to cultivate trust and safety with your client.
  • Participate in coaching practice sessions that will bring you rich personal development - as essential ingredient in becoming a coach.
  • Practice the Clean Feedback model during these sessions and integrate this into your coaching practice too.
  • Improve your listening skills and develop your coaching presence.
  • Discover how to partner with your client to design goals, actions and accountability measures that integrate and expand new learning.
  • Learn how the skills of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling relate to the ICF Core Competencies.
  • Understand the ICF Code of Ethics and what needs to happen for you to apply it in your own coaching practice.
  • The training will take place over 18 x 4-hour sessions via Zoom. Some of these sessions will be devoted to practice where you will receive feedback from experienced clean coaches who have already gained their accreditation with the ICF. During other sessions there'll be teaching, discussion, shorter practice activities, demonstrations and time for reflection. You will also have access to an online manual and to the Clean Campus - our online community of practice, where you can meet and practise with others on the course and with participants from other clean courses.

The Clean Coach Certification Programme is run according to clean principles, which means that although we’ll be going in a definite direction, the way we get there will be partly down to you and your needs, your questions and your interests. From the outset we’ll be discovering what kind of training you would like to have and we’ll be tailoring what we do to meet your needs. We’ll be checking in with you regularly, because we know that your ideas about what you’d like to have happen are likely to change as new information - about yourself, the process and the course itself - becomes available. 

We’ll be respecting and encouraging diverse thinking. We’ll be welcoming your contributions and your questions and we’ll be suggesting you ask them as they occur to you, so that your learning can happen in the moment. We love helping people to learn the skills of Clean Coaching - and to witness the personal development that occurs when these skills are put into practice. We hope you’ll find this programme fun, interesting and challenging, that you’ll enjoy the whole experience and that you’ll learn a lot.

This Clean Coach Certification Programme is recognised by the ICF as an ACSTH (Approved Coach Specific Training Hours) course, which counts as 62 hours of training. To gain the ACC accredition you will also need to do 100 hours of client coaching and to have 10 hours of mentor coaching, by an experienced ICF coach. You will need to record and transcribe one of your coaching sessions for a performance evaluation and take the ICF's Coach Knowledge Assessment. The approved training hours can also be used towards a PCC or MCC application, or as CEUs. 

Frequently asked questions

Who was David Grove?

David Grove was the creative genius who developed Clean Language, Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge - the clean approaches upon which the entire field of ‘clean’ has been built.

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What is Clean Language?

Clean Language is a simple set of questions developed by counselling psychologist David Grove. These questions are used with a person’s own words to direct their attention to some aspect of their own experience. Asking these questions in the right context often results in an interesting new insight or the recognition of some new possibility. And if that new possibility is then questioned using Clean Language, the result can be quite profound. Clean questions invite people to consider their experience from different perspectives and they are often surprised by their own capacity to generate new, powerful and useful ideas about their own experience.

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What is Symbolic Modelling?

Symbolic Modelling was created by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley when they worked with and observed David Grove over several years, to discover what he was doing to achieve his phenomenal results. They combined David’s ideas with ideas from the fields of cognitive linguistics, systems thinking and NLP to produce a model which could be taught to others to enable them to achieve the same kinds of results as David.

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What is Clean Feedback?

Clean Feedback is a way of giving someone (or yourself) feedback that is likely to be acted upon. This is because it separates out what actually happened from what you are making up about that event and from the impact it is having.

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Upcoming events

Clean Coach Certification Programme (ICF ACSTH)

  • Tuesdays from 8 March to 12 July 2022 (except March 22), 2pm to 6pm UK time
  • Online via Zoom
  • With Marian Way

Details & booking

Featured products


Clean Approaches for Coaches

Marian Way's book about creating the conditions for change within a coaching session, using Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling.


Read more

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