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Executive coaching qualifications

I am thinking of training and qualifying as an executive coach and am currently looking at 2 options: 1.Henley Professional Certificate, which is accredited by the Association for Coaching, the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and the International Coach Federation (cost £6,250 online) or 2.ILM level 7 Executive Coaching Diploma through the British School of Coaching (cost £4,790 online). My gut feel is that the Henley Certificate is more recognized within the HR community but I was wondering whether any of you have come across either or have any recommendations/thoughts on this? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated:)
866 views
  • I hire executive coaches on track record and recommendations rather than on a particular qualification or not. I wouldn’t personally draw a distinction between either.
  • Like Keith. Recommendations not necessarily qualifications.

    My wife was a coach for many years. No one ever asked if she was qualified all the work was by reputation and she never ever advertised either. All word of mouth. She was/is an excellent listener, a management trainer and had also spent a lot of time training and working for Relate.

    Being a bit of a cynic I can't really see how you can qualify and become competent as either a coach or counsellor by doing something on-line, but perhaps there's an element of 1:1 in it?
  • Thanks Keith - helpful to know. When I hire staff (or engage with external providers) I tend to look at both. But have not hired any coaches so far, so useful to get a feel about this within the HR community.
  • I have a business services and HR management background and have been used as a sounding board amongst management and colleagues as well as mediator in staff disputes. I want to learn more about different coaching approaches from experienced coaches who are trained to teach.
  • And yes, the course would be interactive- remotely (using Zoom) for me as I am currently based in the UAE and as alternative to in-person learning during COVID
  • In reply to Britta Corrigan:

    The other thing I would say is in my experience the "best" executive coaches I have found don't actually come from a HR background but come from senior management roles - been there and done that type thing. Not saying there aren't some great HR/training bods turned into Exec Coaches but I have just never used them
  • Hi Keith - thanks for your feedback. The course would indeed be interactive (via Zoom) with 1:1 coaching parts. Online instead of in-person for me as I am currently based in UAE and offered as an alternative during COVID by most institutes and training providers
  • Ok - would be interesting to hear whether that is generally the view amongst HR professionals?
  • Thanks David - see my responses below. I agree - not everyone would be suitable for coaching and training is therefore only part of it. But it would provide an opportunity to examine (and apply!) different approaches to coaching used successfully by experienced coaches
  • When I was exploring coaching qualifications, the key for me was the content, the accreditation (EMCC or ICF) and the approach. Some coaching providers have a more gestalt foundation, others NLP, others a blend or mix and or a focus on academic qualification. I found taster sessions, references from past attendees and research like this helpful.

    I had coached already and wanted some formal validation of my existing skills, the ability to meet and network with other coaches and get feedback and input. I didn't go for one of the many academic institutions or business schools as getting a post grad or Masters was not an important criteria for me. If it is for you and your potential clients then Henley has a name....you are probably paying for that in the increased fee.

    Even before Covid some coach providers were using tech to train - Coach U comes to mind as one that worked that way.

    Finally, I'd say the coaching market is a crowded one so consider that if you are thinking of it as a career with coaching as the main line in it. Building the reputation in the market takes time. I've never regretted doing my training. It informs my work even if it's not the sole element of it. I found it sharpened my consulting skills and definitely increased my self awareness and ability to facilitate better conversations. Good luck in making the decision.
  • In reply to Sharon:

    Hi Sharon - thank you for your reply. This is very helpful. Do you have an HR background, too?

  • In reply to Britta Corrigan:

    Yes. Didn't start my career in HR so not a traditional, all my life in HR person and now run my own interim consultancy and I also coach.
  • Hi Britta
    I've been an Exec coach for many many years, and like most here rely on referral to get work, and when employing others will always seek recommendation over qualification.

    The brutal truth is, however, as sourcing policies become automated, it is increasingly useful to have a qualification.

    As an experienced coach i found ILM7 to be suitable - it should be aimed at experienced coaches, with rigorous and specific feedback, review and reflection. It could be used to attain ICF or EMCC accreditation (with more work), but these are not essential to be a good coach.

    After looking around for some time, and following recommendation (!) i studied with Love Your Coaching run by Charlie Warshawski www.loveyourcoaching.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/charliewarshawski
    I found value in the level of challenge and benefitted from the reviews and feedback on real client sessions.

    A qualification is no substitute for experience (business and coaching), and the ILM7 is not for those starting out. A qualification alone should not get you clients, and will not be enough to be an effective coach. It might, however, get you some way through a poor selection process.
  • This won’t be my first career change either. I have a business degree and worked for almost 8 years in advertising (account management) before moving into GR after a couple of years in Executive Search. How did you manage to get started in Coaching and setting up your own business?
  • Hi Anne - this is really helpful. Thank you:)How did you manage to start off in Coaching? And what did you do before?