Set YOUR Potential Free

Blended learning is proving to be a real hit with individuals who want to get a recognised qualification in coaching and mentoring!

In the last ten years we have seen an explosion in interest in coaching and mentoring across all business sectors. It is now widely accepted that managers should have coaching and mentoring skills in their ‘manager’s toolkit’ and many organisations are seriously developing a coaching culture which supports this style of leadership. Significant research now exists to validate the use of coaching and mentoring in improving the performance of both individuals and organisations and as the drive towards ‘wellness of workers’ gathers pace it is likely the emphasis will continue.

Over the decade many coaching courses have been designed, delivered and attended by employees and freelancers alike yet frequently those attending have not received any formal recognition for their learning and in some cases, have not had the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge into practice in the learning environment.

It is not always easy or economic for individuals to take time out to learn, develop and to gain accreditation but increasingly the use of flexible blended learning programmes is enabling those who wish to qualify to do so in a timely and cost-effective way.

Three years ago the ILM (Institute for Leadership and Management) developed their first set of coaching and mentoring qualifications and they have already proved to be very popular and extremely thorough in developing coaches and mentors so they are ready to make a significant contribution to their workplace. 

The ILM coaching and mentoring qualifications have just be revised and unitised to fit into the national framework of qualifications. They provide accreditation options (at levels 3, 5 and 7) for those who operate at supervisory, middle management and executive management levels to gain accreditation. They are equally suitable for internal or external/freelance individuals and provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills.

We have found the ILM level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring in Management to be particularly in demand. Historically, the qualification has been offered to groups of candidates; however we are now seeing a healthy interest from individuals, some who have previous coaching experience and some who are working in a role that will enable them to put their newly acquired coaching skills into practice.

This is where the flexibility of a blended learning approach comes into its own because individuals need only to attend a minimum of ‘classroom’ based learning but can study for the most part using a combination of online learning and tutorials delivered by phone or in their location.

Thus the benefit of this option for both candidates and employers is that the candidate spends less time away from the workplace and is able to study at a time to suit them. Equally the freelance coach/mentor wishing to acquire a recognised certificate can integrate the qualification into their client schedule with minimal loss of earnings.

Potential candidates come from all types of business and organisations across the sectors. They include business managers and HR professionals as you would expect but also school teachers, social workers, IT consultants and project managers, many of whom have been working in a coaching environment for some time and are now looking for a formal qualification through a respected and recognised awarding body.

Previous clients have commented that the qualification has enabled them to deal with staffing issues more effectively, implement changes/policies, improve staff moral, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism as well as introducing a consistent approach towards coaching within their organisations.

Blended learning is now opening up qualifications to individuals who have not had the opportunity to access them in the past and this can only be a good thing for them and the coaching and mentoring profession as whole.

Julia Miles

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