City Skills, in partnership with education training specialists Olevi, have created a new Coaching Professional Level 5 apprenticeship.
In a bid to professionalise coaching in schools and wider business settings, the apprenticeship, which can be funded by the apprenticeship levy , has two pathways designed to equip senior teachers and business leaders with the tools and techniques to improve performance and facilitate growth through individual, team and leadership coaching, while also creating the framework to embed a coaching culture within an organisation’s wider practice and approach?
The Coaching Professional Apprenticeship is delivered over fourteen months and ensures coaches working in a variety of organisations can develop the advanced theory, skills and strategies to engage and empower others to enhance their professional performance by building self-belief and encouraging individuals to be self-aware, making them better equipped to collaborate, innovate and deal with daily challenges in the classroom and in business.
Damian Mitchelmore, Managing Director of the OLEVI Alliance explains the ethos behind the new coaching apprenticeship.
“All organisations, whether they are an education setting or a business, are striving to get the best out of their people. Formalised coaching gives them the space to think deeply about how to solve a problem, how to move themselves – and their teams or students -forward, but it also provides a platform for them to be held accountable, be responsible for their progress and that is a key element.”
Coaching empowers others
“This new qualification will develop expert coaches that are able to work with people, in a non-directive way, helping them to learn and grow but importantly, empowering them to be responsible for their own actions. This takes the onus away from leaders, who instead of taking on more and more responsibility empower their teams which actually leads to shared ownership of goals and provides a sense of fulfilment for all parties.”
“The coachee may not know how to solve a problem, that’s ok, but what is important is keeping the responsibility away from the leader or the coach and making them responsible for solving it eventually.”
Coaching describes the process of bringing out the best in others by using key active listening skills and asking probing questions, where the intention is the coachee is responsible for finding solutions rather than being told or led to a certain conclusion. In this way, coaching is a key skill for middle and senior school leaders that support or manage others. Whether the outcome is a change in behaviour, a performance appraisal or the requirement is to develop others for leadership roles, there is a wide spectrum of skills that coaching develops overtime to assist growth on both a personal and professional basis.
Coaching in organisations
The impact of coaching skills within an organisation is far greater than just the individuals who study the qualification and the coachees they work with. The ripple effect of a coaching culture can be felt throughout the corridors, staff rooms and classrooms of a whole school.
“If we professionalise a group of people in an organisation as coaches, what we typically see is that they use their skills in daily practice, not just in formalised coaching situations, but also in the staff room or the corridor when someone approaches them and says ‘ I don’t know what to do’. Rather than give them the answer, they will empower them to take responsibility to appreciate where they are now, what they want to achieve and how are they going to move forward – and keep moving forward.”
“Coaching is about shifting someone’s mindset so that they believe in growing other people. The Coaching Professional Apprenticeship transforms people into coaches that fundamentally believe the people that they work with can solve their own problems and can grow”, says Damian.
One of the major benefits of the delivery model for this apprenticeship is that coaches will have the opportunity to engage with people outside of their organisation. This means that senior teachers could be honing their skills, listening and working with business leaders and CEOs of larger companies, learning about very different experiences, which adds to the learning experience and develops a coach’s appreciation of different techniques and contexts.
By the end of their apprenticeship coaches will be competent to work as professional coaches and have developed enough skills not to require further formal training. Throughout the apprenticeship, coaches will be required to work with a range of people, including those that are more senior or identified as challenging within their organisation during a series of formalised coaching sessions. This will establish, not only what they have learned, but also whether they have developed the mindset and embedded the skills required to engage and empower others.
Ultimately, apprentices will be accountable, not just for doing the apprenticeship, but for using their new knowledge, skills and behaviours to achieve a real impact for their organisation.
Says Damian, “Our coaching experts will challenge each learner through professional coaching and training to develop the core skills needed to be a successful leader in a fast-changing digital environment. The success of the programme is measured not only by the skills they gain, but by the impact they have on their organisation.
Professional registration and progression
On completion, the apprentice will be qualified as a Level 5 coaching professional and affiliated to several international accrediting bodies.