Why does coaching need regulation?

Few subjects have gripped the training and development fraternity as much as coaching.

In this magazine we have been tracking its growth for the past four years, and have seen it blossom from a sports-derived model to a practical must-have item for virtually every organisation. Once an exclusive perk for chief executives, it has quite rightly become part of the skillset for every line manager. With these pressures in mind, our regular Coaching at Work section will carry theory and best practice to help you succeed with it.

But as more expert groups are launched and the population of consultants-turned-coaches increases, coaching’s expansion is being greeted with confusion as well as enthusiasm.

Above the excited voices is a growing consensus of opinion that the market needs clearer guidelines. But a devil’s advocate may ask: why does the coaching market need to be regulated more than any other area of training services?

What about leadership development, for example? Best practice is now seen to encompass everyone from religious figures such as Jesus and Mohammed through to Walt Disney and most celebrity chefs. But who gets their money back if they find out that instead of following Jamie Oliver, they should have been emulating Richard Branson?

As with all training methods, coaching is effective if a thorough needs analysis and evaluation are taken at the right times, and so the responsibility for a wise purchasing decision has to rest with the development professionals. You are free to disagree of course, and we welcome your feedback sent to training.editor@rbi.co.uk

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