In this guest post, Nicola Williams - a recent participant on our Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching and Development programme - shares her experience of the course.
Having just completed the ILM Level 7 with The Performance Coach, I was eager to continue to develop my skills and experience as a coach. In discussion with The Performance Coach tutors, I realised that by doing the Postgraduate Certificate programme I could obtain both an academic qualification and a recognised accreditation from the EMCC. I was also attracted to the programme as it is the first year of a three year Masters in Coaching at University of Portsmouth, should I decide to continue my development.
The Postgraduate Certificate programme comprised of three two-day residential workshops, two 4,000 word assignments, four group supervision sessions (by videoconference), a coaching observation, and submission of a portfolio of evidence of 30 hours of coaching practice. As I had already completed the ILM Level 7, I was credited for this prior learning which meant I did not repeat the first two-day workshop.
Before I started, I had a one-to-one with a tutor to discuss my learning outcomes and clarify the requirements and practicalities. They were always on hand throughout the programme to answer questions or anxieties!
I was a bit nervous about joining a group of coaches who I thought may have bonded already in the previous workshop. However, these fears were immediately allayed as others had also transferred from other programmes and everyone was so open, friendly and supportive of each other.
The workshops were fantastic - delivered in a wonderful country house location, by experts in each topic covered, and a perfect mix of theory and practice. The energy was high – fun, challenging, incredibly supportive and positive. This environment enabled me to push myself to try out new ideas and techniques, with very honest and constructive feedback from the other participants and tutors. In between workshops, the group supervision sessions helped to embed the learning through high quality facilitation.
The assignments also gave me a great opportunity to research two areas of coaching in much more detail and those reports have been useful information for my workplace too.
The programme increased my confidence, particularly in coaching senior leaders and raised my awareness of my strengths and coaching style. I regularly use many of the tools, models and techniques from the programme in my coaching practice. The programme continued to reinforce my passion for coaching and now I can’t wait for the Post Graduate Diploma to start!