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What is coaching accreditation?

Sue Weekes

A manager with a coaching book

Is it important to have accredited coaching training? Sue Weekes investigates

Business coaching remains a largely unregulated area, but recent years have seen a drive by coaching educators and bodies to professionalise the sector. For employers wishing to upskill their managers in coaching techniques and establish an internal coaching facility, there are a range of accredited coaching qualifications available. Accredited qualifications, also known as regulated qualifications, are reviewed, recognised and monitored by the regulatory bodies in order to make sure that they meet specific criteria and quality standards.

Providers and awarding bodies include the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), the biggest qualifier of coaches in Europe, and the Chartered Institute of Management (CIM). While the content and approach to courses may vary, they set out to achieve the common aim of equipping managers with a range of coaching skills and techniques appropriate to their role. Employers can use the National Occupational Standards for Coaching and Mentoring2 as a guideline/frame of reference. These set out the performance standards expected of individuals carrying out coaching in the workplace and also specify the underpinning knowledge and understanding that is required.

Employers planning to introduce executive coaching should look for external coaches with accredited qualifications which show a coach is fully trained. ILM qualifications also require coaches to have performed a specific number of coaching hours to pass - which means you know your coach has experience. Membership/ affiliation of/to coaching bodies such as the Association of Coaching (AC), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision (APECs). Ideally, an external coach should also be under supervision. This means that they have an assigned supervisor with whom they regularly check-in with and it is a mark of their professionalism and commitment to coaching.

This article originally appeared in our white paper Make coaching work: Four steps to success

Interested in implementing coaching in your organisation? Download our free white paper Make coaching work: Four steps to success or get in touch with the ILM team here


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