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Coaching Qualifications – How to Choose?


I am part of a team of 5 business coaches. We are currently looking into different qualifications. We'd like to know if anyone has taken or knows of any qualifications that they'd recommend?
Beth Stallwood

15 Responses

  1. Institute of Leadership and Management
    Why not look into the ILM qualifications. We registered to deliver these primarily because we considered the ILM has credibility with the business community. Contact me if you want further information. [email protected]

  2. Try Oxford Brookes – we loved it!
    Hi Beth. I was in a similar position to you last year, but with a group of about 10 people. We researched all the options and decided on the Post Graduate Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring at Oxford Brookes University. In making the choice, we applied certain criteria which I’d be happy to share offline ([email protected]). Effectively, it’s the same course as the CIPD Certificate in Coaching.
    Now that the course is finished, I’m in a good position to recommend it to others. It scored highly both in the strong academic underpinning to good practice and the practical application of the theories and principles. Tough going at times for those who were light on previous coaching experience but still a good challenge for highly experienced coaches!

  3. Advanced Certificate in Executive Coaching recommended
    I have just completed a 5 day Advanced Certificate in Executive Coaching with Humantechnics deliverd by Sarah Frossel, I would highly recommend this inspirational and very practial course. contact Matt Tobutt [email protected]

  4. Lancaster University run a successful postgraduate programme
    I am a tutor on the lancaster University Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching. This M level certificate can be used to progress to the Masters programme which will be launched next year. The second cohort for the Cert starts in Jan 2006. Contact me if you want to know more or check out the website.

  5. Oxford Brookes
    Hi there Beth
    I’ve just completed my Masters in Coaching and Mentoring Practice at Oxford Brookes. It took me 2 years to complete. The course is divided into Certificate, Diploma, Masters and now they have introduced a PhD. Hard going at times, but certainly worth the money and the qualification recognition.
    Best wishes
    Barbara StClaire

  6. Try an alternate approach
    I have been involved, but only at a tangent, with colleges, post graduate centres and businesses involved with awarding certificates etc. in coaching. However the differentiating factors seem to be minimal, in my humble opinion (i.e. one method over another)

    Taking the viewpoint of a potential purchaser of your services (the true business approach) I am reminded of a survey of clients in the 1990’s asking what was the determining factor when purchasing consulting services. The overriding factor above all else was the personal relationship between the consultant and the client – all other factors, including qualifications were of secondary importance. Clients wanted quality references and a person they could relate to.

    If this has any input on coaching then you should be looking at building relationships and getting quality references rather than getting qualifications!

    The problem is that the “Training Industry” trades on promoting qualifications first then ensuring that the client is getting what they require second! It is easier to package and promote a ‘qualification’ than it is to prove competence at building a business relationship?

    Just a thought…

    I have just started the Oxford Brookes programme in Coaching and Mentoring; if you want a holistic approach to these overlapping territories, with an academic underpinning, as a means of reflecting on and developing practice, this looks the number.

    Core staff manifest humanness and capability. Genuinely healthy mixture of recruits to this year’s intake.

    ’nuff said?



  8. TNA
    I’m going to be a spoil sport here and say that it may or may not matter which qualification you go for.

    But you absolutely should carry out a TNA first.

    What skills are your coaches lacking?

    What do they want to be able to do more effectively than they do at the moment?

    And so on…

    Then I’d be looking to compare course content from reputable providers to the list and buy training appropriately.

    Or I’d consider commissioning something for them instead, 5 is a reasonable enough number to do so.

    And why a qualification at all? Despite the CIPDs marketing propaganda to the contrary the only factor I’d consider when hiring a coach was references from previous clients attesting to their ability to facilitate change and I’ve yet to find a single qualification that does that.

  9. Coaching Qualifications
    Hi Beth, I agree with a number of the comments. Firstly be really clear on your outcomes. What do you want the programme to do for you? When it has been a roaring success, how will you know? What will you be able to do that you can’t do now? The answers to these questions will inform the best courses for you.

    I’d also look at courses that don’t hold a qualification (unless getting a qualification is a key outcome for you). I’ve never been asked by any of my clients what my coaching qualification is, they are more concerned with the results I’m going to help them to achieve.

    A final thought, if there are five of you why don’t you try a range of courses, them create a learning set afterwards to distill and share the learning to create your own approach? The best coaches I studied with (Tony Robbins, Michael Neill, Kimberley Hare) are those who had a range of tools, experiences and models to draw from.

    Best wishes,


  10. Emotional Intelligence
    Hi Beth, Although there are many institutions offering Coaching Qualifications, the fact that you are already operating as business coaches suggests that you already have and are practicing the skills you would be taught. I trained as a Life Coach through a very reputable Coaching College but this year embarked on what I feel is the best training programme on offer. I have just completed a Post Graduate certificate with the Centre of Applied Emotional Intelligence (CAEI) because I felt that there was a more effective way to promote self awareness in individuals in addition to enabling the client to identify what personal obstacles are preventing them from reaching their full potential.

    Not only will this course enhance your existing coaching skills but will provide you with the tools to promote emotionally intelligent behaviour in organizations. By raising individuals and organizations emotional intelligence levels you will enable effective self management and relationship management. This directly leads to greater performance, high staff moral as well as reducing stress in individuals.

    The depth and breadth of this programme is second to none, and a crucial element is the underpinning of emotionally intelligent attitudes to the more usual EI skills and competences. A large part of the programme, and one of its greatest advantages is that in addition to all of the above, you yourself will experience a fantastic self development process and raise your own performance.If you require any further information, contact the Course Director Amanda Knight – [email protected]

    Julie Want

  11. Brookes
    Hi. I did the Brookes MA because I wanted to extend my understanding way beyond particular techniques. I value research and enquiry as the foundation for practice, so I wanted a course with an acadamic underpinning. At the time there was no other post-graduate course available, though that has now changed. I loved the course and am now involved in teaching at Brookes as a result. Brookes also credit rates specific courses run by Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring and the CIPD. This means that students who have completed these courses are accredited as already having ‘done’ some of the Brookes PGCert/PGDip/MA.

  12. What’s the need for them and the managers they’re going to coach
    I’m with Julie and Nik. You certainly need to think about what the skills and attributes of your coaches are in the first instance. Once you’ve determined that, identify whether a gap exists between what they currently do and what you’d like them to do in the future.
    In terms of what they need to do, if it’s coaching senior managers, and it’s in line with your development programme, then I’d certainly recommend the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI), accredited by Hay Group.

    This is a 360 degree diagnostic based on the emotional intelligence conceptual model developed by Daniel Goleman. In terms of raising personal awareness, it certainly packs a punch. Happy to give you more info if you wish.

    Kind Regards

  13. Coaching Accreditation

    Assuming you follow all the good advise listed re TNA etc..

    I have been accredited for a number of years and did so through the coaching academy, however the best training I had was from Vicki Espin of CECO (also Director of Coaching at the academy) very effective and aimed directly at in house corporate coaches and includes accreditationn.

  14. Beware of the quality
    I have also research the market. It seems daily a new Coaching organisation appears claiming to offer the best and advanced or even the only one to be recognised when regulation comes in!
    Some seem more interested in parting you from your money by aggresive marketing.

    If you want a recognised qualification ensure the accredition body not only accredites the course but ALSO YOU . . . so that at least your hard work is recognised and meets the standards of an industry accredition body not just the dedsigner and provider.

    My experience would say unless the qualification is awareded by the accreditation body save your money on an expensive course, which I have found at times do not have very high standards and select a well experienced training Coach specilising in your nich.

  15. Qualification
    What an interesting thread! Great comments. As a performance coach I am asked increasingly by new clients about professional body qualifications/accreditation,whether or not I have or am a coaching supervisor (yes to both) and have my own coach (yes again). I am watching with interest the positioning of the various coaching bodies and colleges looking to be ‘the one’ – I believe that the industry should be streamlined and cohesive, without being over-regulated. I am a Member of the Association for Coaching who I find to be professional and proactive. Also they are recommended in the CIPD paper ‘Buying Coaching Services’.


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