Coaching qualifications and accreditations: a new angle

My article ‘Coaching qualifications and accreditations: what are they built on and what do they mean?’ has been published in the ImaginativeHR e-bulletin of July 2016.

It explores the fact that fundamental questions need to be addressed concerning what qualifications and accreditations are actually measuring and assessing. What, therefore, do they mean and what are they based on? Qualifications and accreditations are recognised as badges of quality – but how do they help us recognise a good or excellent coach?

Knowledge and experience alone may have little or nothing to do with what makes for an excellent coach – and yet until now many of the principles underlying coach assessment have been about competencies, and many of the coaching bodies assess coach quality through competency frameworks.

James Lawley and Susie Linder Pelz (2016) note that competency-based assessments rest on the principle (and indeed the assumption) that the evaluation of observed behaviour predicts future performance.

Tatiana Bachkirova and Carmelina Lawton-Smith (2015), of Oxford Brookes University, bring another perspective: they argue that a coach’s true capability may not show up in observed behaviour, and that the complexity and unpredictability of coaching may therefore need a new model.  They propose a capabilities approach rather than a competencies approach.  This, they say, implies an approach to coach training and education that allows the development of the coach in congruence with the individual’s characteristics and values, who they are as a person and not only as an opportunity to assimilate a repertoire of competencies.

In my view, this makes a lot of sense.  It seems to me that a collaborative approach by purchasers, training organisations and coaching bodies may be the way forward from here.

If you’d like to see the full article, please e-mail for a pdf.



Photo by Dennis Callahan via Compfight


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