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Coaching is a way of giving people time to think. Getting out of how and more into the what and why, giving people the space to achieve great things - Swart, 2010. 

Coaching is not about teaching a person how to perform better in their role. It is about facilitating learning and development. This happens via confidential conversations with a trained coach in a structured way that benefits the coachee in relation to learning, thinking and identifying potential actions. 

Coaching should ultimately be seen as part of the way we work. It is involved with personal development, organisational development, business improvement, change management and performance and development review. 

What's involved with coaching

The benefits of coaching

For individuals

  • Support in career and professional development
  • Improved self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem
  • Identifying clarity, focus and actions for development
  • Developing a more positive mind-set and taking action to resolve problems, issues and develop work performance
  • Reflection on practice, insights into new ways of working and identification of plans for improvement
  • Personal change and development
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • An opportunity to receive safe, supportive and confidential feedback

For the University

  • Developing a culture of support and personal development
  • An enhanced skills and knowledge base amongst colleagues
  • A tangible demonstration of our commitment to supporting and developing staff
  • A coach will not normally offer advice or guidance

The University's approach to coaching

Individual coaching is a part of all line managers’ roles and the University recognises this through the provision of coaching skills training for managers. Resources and training to support Coaching can be found below in the self-directed and online resources section.  Alternatively classroom based training is also available below.

There may be cases where a staff member believes the more in depth services of an accredited coach can be useful for enhancing performance and supporting their personal and professional development. Provision of this service will be coordinated by the University’s Staff Learning and Development team who will access the services of trained accredited internal coaches and (exceptionally) a register of approved external coaches.

The following principles will govern the operation of Staff Learning and Development coordinated coaching services:

• Where staff take part in one to one coaching there are no formal reporting lines back to that individual’s line manager unless three way contracting has been agreed by all parties.  The coach will be bound by a confidentiality rule - we would however expect that staff discuss their need for coaching with their line manager prior to making an application;

• Individuals taking part in one to one coaching do so as part of their own personal and professional development – participation in one to one coaching does not imply any performance deficiencies or any remedial need for an individual;

• The effectiveness of one to one coaching will be evaluated in similar ways to other staff development activities consistent with maintaining confidentiality.

Ethics and confidentiality

The University is a corporate member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (UK)  and is bound by their code of ethics and good practice. 

If you wish to complain or believe the Code of Ethics has been broken you should contact the Director of Organisational Development in the first instance.

How to access coaching support

Requests for coaching will be considered on an individual basis. We will try our utmost to match coach and coachee, however we cannot guarantee to meet the need in all cases – this is dependent on the availability of resources and individual coach workloads. 

To request coaching, please complete an application following this link.

Once your request for coaching has been received, Staff Learning and Development will provisionally allocate you a trained coach, discuss your request to access the services of an external coach or refer you to a specialist coaching service for staff with disabilities.  The allocated coach will then contact you to set up an introductory first meeting to discuss: how coaching works, your coaching needs and how subsequently to proceed. If at this stage you feel that coaching may not be the type of support that you need you can discuss other methods of achieving your development. 

If you choose to proceed with coaching, arrangements will be made for the duration and frequency of future meetings. If there are any queries about how coaching works in the University please contact

We also have access to a self-coaching tool called Mindset.  This a self-coaching tool that aims to develop self-awareness and support you in self-coaching. Based upon a self-assessment questionnaire you will receive a series of micro coaching exercises where you are encouraged to make commitments to do things differently by setting goals, objectives and forming new habits.

Take a look at the modules available here

If you'd like to access this coaching support tool, you can register as a user here 

If you already have a Mindset account, sign in here!


Coaching training

Classroom training

  • TMS71: Coaching skills for managers
    This course is aimed at managers who are responsible for the development and management of individual and team performance. The course will ensure that your individual team members are given the opportunity to develop to their full potential and enhance overall team performance and effectiveness using a supportive coaching approach.
  • TSLD70 ILM Level 5 Award in Coaching and Mentoring
    This accredited qualification in Coaching and Mentoring is aimed at members of staff who wish to join the University’s internal team of coaches. You will learn the fundamental principles and techniques of coaching and mentoring with an emphasis on coaching practice. There is a substantial time commitment both during and after the course – please ensure that you have read and understand the ongoing commitment – details of which can be found on the application form.     
  • TSLD52: An Introduction to Coaching
  • This session will develop an awareness of the benefits of coaching skills and how to practically apply them in the workplace. You will feel confident to have coaching conversations in the workplace. It will look at the difference between coaching and mentoring and the benefits to using a coaching approach with colleagues. You will learn how to build rapport, listen effectively and ask powerful questions.


The models below are simple frameworks that individuals can use during a coaching session or in applying a coaching style to your management practices.

GROW model (video)



FUEL Model

A coach needs to identify at what learning stage an individual is at, so that the coach can tailor the language he/she uses to meet the individual's needs.

Competence cycle model of learning