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coaching qualification



I deliver much of my training in management skills as one to one coaching sessions and have decided that I would like to get some formal training in coaching techniques and preferably an accreditation, but am finding my search in this area a bit of a mine field and i also don't want to spend a small fortune as I've recently started freelancing.
Can anyone please give me some advice or recommendations on what I should be looking for and how much I should pay?

Any help will be much appreciated!

Alison Darrington
Darrington Training
alison darrington

5 Responses

  1. My experience
    When I was asking myself the same question about 5 years ago I was very keen to look for something that had some verifiable external validity.

    For this reason I was attracted to the Oxford Brookes programmes in Coaching & Mentoring Practice. Since completing the MA I now teach there part-time.

    I strongly believe that university courses, or courses with university validation at post-graduate level, help students to develop professional thoughtfulness in a way that is not necessarily the case for straight skills training. For an activity like coaching, I believe this is a reasonable commitment to make to one’s clients.

    Since 2001 a number of other universities have produced their own post-graduate courses and there are also university credit-rated courses such as the CIPD’s. I am obviously only familiar with the Brookes course which is centred around the key foundations of reflective practice, adult and professional learning, and psychology. We find that students quickly start to develop their own deep understandings of their own practices which go beyond individual techniques or approaches.

    One of the things that makes me wonder about some offerings is that they seem to purport to offer ready-made solutions to your training needs. Yet, if we believe as coaches that learning is an individualised process, why would you ‘teach’ someone to ‘coach’ according to a particular set of techniques. If you believe it’s about learning, why not go to where learning is the raison d’etre?

    This may sound like a biased view. It may be, but believe me, I’m not trying to recruit – we filled our September intake in the Spring. Perhaps there will be comments here from other former students.

  2. Coaching qualification
    Hi Alison

    I have just completed (last week) the first part of the Institute of Leadership and Management Diploma in Leadership Mentoring and Executive Coaching. I chose to do it with a week’s intensive course, followed by a work based assignment and a coaching diary based on 12 hours of coaching. I now have a year to complete the assignment and diary although I hope to complete it much sooner. I accessed the course via ILA Scotland (I think the English equivalent is Learning Skills Councils). I have nothing to compare it with, but I am happy with what I’ve done so far and the ongoing support offered is good.

    Hope this helps


  3. Becoming a coach
    Back in 1991 I embarked in what proved to be a turning point in my life, both personally and professionally. Becoming a certified coach (The Newfield Group was then the brainchild of Rafael Echeverría and Julio Olalla, who have since then started each their own company) was like opening a world of possibilities or rather like getting the key for opening new worlds. I strontly suggest you read Coaching to the Human Soul, by Australian coach Alan Sieler before making any decisions re your own process to become a coach.
    The less expensive way to acquire those skillls would be to come to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where we have the only institution that offers an official diploma (the Ministtry of Education avails it) on Leadership and Ontological Design, but it is a two years course (1080 hours plus field work)!!!!

  4. Get a propelry accredited EMCC course
    You are right – this is a minefield. You should look for an organisation whose courses are accredited by the European Coaching and Mentoring Council (EMCC), the most active and respected body in the UK. They have recently announced which of their pilot organisations have achieved the various levels they have set out. Double check with the QAA – a national organisation which does a similar job for UK qualifications generally. Apart from that, my suggestion would be to look for an organisation whose training faculty are all also successful and practising coaches. Unfortunately there are many organisations which are really just sales organisations where the trainers have no up to date experience of coaching and they give false promises of how easy it is to earn a living from coaching – it’s NOT easy, as maybe you have already found and the market is increasinlgly discriminating about what it is looking for. To get accredited, you should also look for people who assess yoo on real life, recorded experience of working with actual clients, not just relying on the much easier stuff of assessing you on working with so-called peer coaching or just on easy-to fill in questionnaires from clients. It’s much tougher doing this and can be daunting but much more worthwhile in the end.
    Also look out for copmpanies which rely on YOU doing all the work – eg through learning sets, reading and on-line stuff. Nothing in my, now long, experience of training coaches, can replace face to face methods of training and this is expensive to deliver. You can read all you like and write essays till the cows come home but this does not give a reliable guide to how well you can coach. The only way you will find this out is through practice and feedback from a skilled practitioner.
    Please visit our web site to see what we offer:

  5. Thanks everyone for your advice
    All your comments have been very helpful – i am certain that i need to get a recognised accreditation which has focused my search rather better now. Judging by the amount of companies i’ve looked at who sell coaching training i’m seeing a need for more policing of standards against what is actually delivered.

    I agree that to be able to legitimately say to a client that you have a proven track record in coaching skills necessitates some serious work and effort and not just display a ‘one size fits all’ qualification.

    Thanks again everyone!


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