I am interested in developing some business (as opposed to life) coaching skills and would like to know if anyone can recommend any particular provider/workshop/course? There is such a variety of options available! I don't have any previous coaching experience, so need something that covers all bases. I have checked out "Go Mad" but feel that their offer is more generalist, and would prefer a course specific to coaching.

Does anyone have any experience fo working with The Smart School, or The Academy of Executive Coaching?


Thanks for your help!

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This question comes up time and time again and many people find it difficult to answer.  My company employs over 40 coaches and I can only go on the training that they have had and the level of competence that that gives them.

Your first step would be to look at what course gives accreditation.  Look for ICF or EMCC since I think they will carry the most weight in the future when looking for corporate business.  For me the following stand out

The OCM - http://www.oscm.co.uk/

The Aoec - http://www.aoec.com/

Coach U - http://www.coachueurope.com/

There are many others.  good luck with your training.


Thanks Tim, appreciate the information!

Hi Nicki

As I am sure you have found, there are just so many companies offering this training, but finding out which company will give you the kind of skills you need for your future practice is hard to pin down from a web site,a phone conversation and a single meeting.  I know, I have walked your walk and feel your pain. 

Depending on where you are based you may have a preference for the location of the training, but my organisation decided to use Leading Edge Development based in Exeter for our initial training and subsequent CPD.  The training was intense, indepth and challenging but the quality was excellent and the support throughout our fledgliing practice has proved to be invaluable.  We are now over 4 years into our relationship with this company.  They provide both open courses and well as in-house. 


I hope this helps, and good luck with your training.


Hi Saf, thanks very much- I have not come across them so far on my search so will look them up now!

Hi Nicki

I agree with Tim that this is a tricky one to crack. Firstly a quick check on your initial request - you mention that you want something that covers all bases, but that 'Go Mad' is too generalist?


Our team of L&D consultants hold a number of coaching accreditations between us, and each methodology can be useful in different situations, so I suspect that unless you have the time and inclination to study a number of them, you may end up with a 'Jack of all trades' provider/workshop/course. Are you looking for something that will beneift your clients/customers/stakeholders or something that will make you personally more marketable. If the latter, then certainly follow Tim's advice.


Having said we use a variety of methodologies, our predominant model is 'Go Mad'. We find that we can use the possibility thinking at all levels in our organisation, from team members to board directors. I studied under Ken Hudson, and he could certainly give you a really good insight (tweet @KenGoMad). As a really business focused (and ILM endorsed) alternative try The Naked Leader  - http://bit.ly/syUaRb


Good luck



Hi Paul,

 A colleague of mine has completed the Go mad course and benefitted from it, but said from a coaching perpsective, he wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Having looked at their course outline, it's not just coaching that is covered. I'm looking for an entry level course that covers the basic principles of coaching- which is what I meant by "general".

I will check out the Naked leader-thanks for your recommendation!

Hi Nicki.

There certainly are a plethora of Coaching qualifications, providers and courses out there and an internet search can be quite overwhelming! The lack of regulation in the industry doesn't help when trying to negotiate which course is right for you. I work for Cambridge University where we offer a part-time undergraduate Certificate in Coaching which provides a solid grounding in the principles and practice of coaching and acts as a springboard to higher qualifications in coaching. We also offer an Executive Coaching online 7 week course which serves as an excellent introduction to executive and business coaching and the Certificate course. Visit www.ice.cam.ac.uk/coaching for further information about our courses and tutors.

I hope this goes some way to help informing your decision, good luck with your studies.


Hi Victoria, this is great, thanks for the information; the online course could be a good option!

Hi Nicki, 

I don't have a specific recommendation (well I do, but I doubt it's practical) but I have some advice. When looking for a provider, be clear about whether you want to end up with a coaching qualification or coaching skills; the two do not necessarily go hand in hand... 

My impractical recommendation is the Coach Master Process. The reason it's probably not practical is that they're based in Australia! In my B&Q days we brought Christo Norden-Powers over to the UK to spend two months working with trainers and managers, and the results were superb. It's the only coaching training I've had where I believe I actually learned real practical skills rather than theory. I was amazed at the results at the time, and even now (8 years on) I still use the techniques with great results.  


Hi Barry, you have raised a good point, and what I want is a course that will give me both! The skills are more important to me than the qualififcation.The Coach Master Process (as you guessed!) won't be an option, but I will check out their site anyway!

Hello Nicki

My name is Helen Blunden and I'm an instructional designer for the National Australia Bank working on a Mortgage Transformation Program which will see the back office mortgage processes transformed - and it involves a cultural change too.

I'm in the process of developing and implementing an Instructional Coaching model which is heavily based around the 20/70 of coaching and on-the-job experience providing the skills to SME coaches to teach and cross specialise their team members on the job.  It allows a consistent approach and so far, it has been successful in that the business is asking and scrambling to get on the training (as opposed to L&D telling the business what they think they need).

I'm happy to share the material if it is relevant to your needs.  It's an on-the-job coaching model for SMEs to teach a skill, process, procedure or task.

If you want more information, do a google search on 'Job Instruction' or 'Training Within Industry' to see what the model is about - and it's more instructional.

I'm blogging my outcomes on my website on: http://activatelearning.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/an-old-coaching-fr...

It's a work in progress but it's a model (despite it being over 60 years old) that aligns itself perfectly to our transactional, highly procedural and process orientated work environment.

I would suggest you explore all options as coaching is a HUGE field and it's got to the be the right coaching for the situation.

Good luck!



thanks for your reply, I look forward to checking out your blog!



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