Last month the Association for Coaching held their 3rd annual International Conference in London.
The Association is a UK body that set up in 2002 to represent and aid the development of the growing UK coaching community. The conference title this year was Embracing Excellence and what I found interesting this year was how much the coaching community has grown. The key theme of the event appeared to be the professionalism of coaching and a large number of delegates from outside of the UK were present.
The coaching community appears to have come of age, with more and more organisations adopting a coaching culture and a greater understanding and acceptance of the important role coaches can have in helping individuals and therefore businesses achieve their goals.
Katherine Tulpa, chair of the Association of Coaching opened the conference with a rousing speech. This was shortly followed by the first keynote speaker, Lynne Franks, PR guru and Jungle Celebrity TV star who spoke of how coaching is so much needed in the current times we find ourselves in globally. This was echoed on day two by keynote speaker, Sir John Whitmore, who provoked a massive response when he spoke about global issues such as sustainability and how the ethos of coaching was so relevant to the current challenges for the planet.
The highlight of day two for many delegates was the keynote speech by Laura Berman-Fortgang, who is always an inspiration.I was impressed by the presentation from Alan Jones, CEO for the four star Somerset Council who made a strong case for the impact of coaching in a large public sector organisation.
The atmosphere of Professionalism continued throughout several of the workshops over the two days where there were discussions and presentations on the area of accreditation and qualification. It was clear that there is significant confusion in the community about which qualifications to consider, how to become accredited as a coach and which organisations to link to. The cost of training and delivery was naturally of great concern as it was felt that some organisations were delivering very expensive programmes.
Looking around at many of the exhibitors who were promoting their training programmes, including some Universities, I was able to establish that the ILM qualifications in Coaching & Mentoring offer an excellent option for those in the business sector who wish to access high quality, accessible and affordable programmes. As the coaching community moves more towards improving standards and professionalism I look forward to seeing many more candidates choosing ILM qualifications as their route to certification.