The qualification game: What coaching qualifications are really worth

The coaching profession can choose from a growing number of new and enhanced qualifications aimed at existing practitioners and those entering the industry.

According to the Association for Coaching, there is now a diverse range of programmes that embrace everything from basic coaching diplomas and refresher courses, right up to executive programmes, MScs and PhDs. The courses available can qualify anyone from part-time and full-time practitioners, right through to senior executive and business coaches.

Gladeana McMahon, the association’s vice-president, says: “Accreditation is becoming more stringent, requiring people to demonstrate coaching knowledge, experience and professional ethics.”

CIPD courses

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development’s (CIPD)Coaching using NLP programme shows individuals how to recognise patterns in thinking and behaviour and the implications of coaching situations. Priced from £947 for non-members, the course is a two-day, non-residential format.

The CIPD has also joined forces with the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring (OSC&M) to develop the Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring. It aims to provide an understanding of the theory and practice of coaching and mentoring, and uses face-to-face, distance and online learning methods.

The certificate complies with occupational standards issued by the Employ­ment National Training Organisation and the professional code of ethics and standards developed by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). Independently, the OSC&M delivers a wide range of courses at foundation, intermediate and practitioner level.

EMCC courses

At foundation level, there are two programmes: the Certificate In Coach-Mentoring Practice to Improve Performance, and the Certificate in Work Place Mentoring practice. Both are designed for managers and specialists and are accredited to EMCC Foundation Level 4. Priced £2,850 per person.

At intermediate level, there isthe Diploma in Professional Coach-Mentoring Practice and the Diploma in Professional Coaching and Mentoring. These are designed for senior managers and independent professionals. Both are rated at EMCC Level 5, with the latter carrying 20 university CAT (credit accumulation transfer) points at undergraduate level. Priced from£4,275.

At practitioner level, there are two courses: the Advanced Diploma in Professional Coach-Mentoring Practice, and the Advanced Diploma in Professional Coaching and Mentoring. Both are rated to EMCC Practitioner Level 7, with the more advanced carrying 40 university 40 CAT points at masters level. Priced from £5,275.

CFM Consulting courses

CFM Consulting and the University of Strathclyde also provide a selection of entry level, intermediate and higher coaching qualifications.

The Certificate of Performance is a two-day basic introduction to business coaching in the workplace. The Certificate of Professional Development combines academic rigour and practical experience designed to enable participants to become competent in the art of coaching.This includes six days of tutorial support as well as a blend of fieldwork, open learning and 360-degreefeedback that make up the programme. Priced £4,112.50 incl VAT.

Also on offer is the Certificate in Coaching (with CAT points attached) Module 1. The course is the first of a series of classes designed for individuals wishing to further their knowledge and experience in coaching, or who wish to develop knowledge and skills on a journey to other qualifications.

Module 1 costs £1,586.25 incl VAT. Module 2 aims to build on participants’ existing knowledge, understanding and skills in coaching. Priced £1,703.75 incl VAT. Module 3 is the Certificate in Coaching. Individuals work through a flexible programme of study that will further provide knowledge and skills that are needed in the world of work. Priced £1,821.25 incl VAT.

Business Coaching Foundation courses

Business coaching is becoming an increasingly popular option among managing directors and executives wishing to boost the performance of themselves and staff.

The Business Coaching Foundation offers a wide range of enterprise-level coaching programmes. These include: the Foundation Certificate in Business Coaching Advanced Certificate in Business Coaching Masters Certificate in Business Coaching, together with the In-house Coaching Programme. The Foundation Certificate in Business Coaching is endorsed by the Institute of Leadership & Management.

Association for Coaching: accreditation scheme

The Association for Coaching launched its Coach Accreditation Scheme in 2006. Since then, 54 coaches have been accredited, and there are about 40 waiting for their applications to be processed. At present, the association offers a basic accreditation scheme for coaches and is about to launch an advanced scheme. Further plans are in place to accredit coaching supervisors, together with trainers and courses. Accreditation is a professional recognition process that takes into account the experience, training, ethical understanding and overall competency of coaches.

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