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      Some issues to consider when deciding between a university's coaching
      certificate course, the Behavioral Coaching Institute's invitational
      masters-level course and coaching certificates from other providers

-University Coaching Courses for Business and Executive Coaching 

           University Coaching Courses -extracts from 'Behavioral Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington -published by McGraw-Hill, New York) ..

-Professional coaching today is a cross disciplinary methodology for individual and organizational change

Traditional coaching methods remain out of step and incongruent with today's change and learning needs. These out-dated methods are not congruent with the expectations, needs, assumptions, interests, and characteristics of business in the 21st Century.

As coaching is still an emerging science and discipline there is a need for continued conceptual development of the construct and direct empirical support linking coaching models to outcomes. Coaching today is an amalgam of many sciences, so it is important professional coaches obtain the practical understanding and application of a broad range of valid and empirically proven change models successfully co-opted by coaching. Coaches therefore need to be trained how to adopt a cross-disciplinary focus and be instructed how to source and broaden their empirical research base by incorporating related knowledge domains from other literatures. By utilizing a synthesis of various disciplines, professional coaches are also able to develop a framework that delineates the relationships among coaching model constructs and their applications. 


Over the last few years HR Directors, L&D Directors and other senior management involved in professional development, have been busy educating themselves as to how best employ and manage 21st Century professional coaching models and processes. As such, there is an increasing worldwide market demand for coaches that are appropriately trained and qualified in the use of new technology. It follows that today’s professional coach is expected to not only be able to articulate to their clientele -how adults learn and develop, the process of personal and organizational change, but also how they justify the selection of the appropriate methodology relative to the intervention they are working on. 

Four critical competencies required by the professional coach:

  • Resources: Can identify needed resources; also able to organize, plan and allocate required resources.
  • Information Gathering: Is able to identify needed information and can acquire, organize and analyse the information.
  • Systems: Can employ a systems-thinking approach to; 1) understand the structure, nature and complex interrelationships within businesses and organizations and, 2) design, construct and manage both small and large coaching programs that best fit the systems at work.
  • Technology: Is able to work with a variety of coaching technologies, learns new technologies quickly and can select appropriate technology for a given task / program.
      (-Adapted from The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, U.S. Dept. of Labor. “What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000.” Washington.)

There are three major categories of coach training:

  1. The credentialing mills and self-labelled coaching 'federations'/'associations' (in reality training companies) mass-marketing open-program courses ('accredited' by themselves) or via providers willing to pay a fee.
  2. Certificate level courses designed and delivered by a University or their franchised provider/s.  
  3. Industry-focused courses designed and delivered by workplace practice experts and long-term successful coaching practitioners 
It should be noted that Zeus and Skiffington (the authors of this article):- 
                            - developed the world's first coaching certification course for psychologists (over a decade ago) -See:
                             -helped develop some of the first coaching courses provided by universities
                            - have assisted many universities around the world develop their coaching courses
                            - have trained and certified many university professors as Certified Master Coaches
                             -have been guest university lecturers on the subject of coaching in the workplace
                            - and their text books are standard reference texts in many university coaching courses
Selecting a professional coach training school -is an important decision. Your choice has not only an impact on the personal and professional success you will enjoy as a coach, but the clients that will be attracted to you, who your peers are and the long-standing impact your work will have on the people you coach.

First, consider the basic facts when selecting a school. The costs-value-return, the time factor and the level of the course offered -are the most commonly cited considerations by most potential participants. What many students may not be able to ascertain, is that the course facilitators (the critical key for any successful course) will all have very different backgrounds, agendas and goals for their students. To make the most of your professional development, and of your future beyond, it is worth the time to learn more about the facilitators and their experience in organizational and business (small and corporate) coaching, their fields of expertise, their adult education teaching qualifications, their behavioral science/psychological qualifications, their business experience and what sort of expectations the school holds for their graduates.

The question of value of a coaching certificate from a university:

Point 1. Universities are increasingly offering a wide range of popular short courses to obtain valuable income. However, a short certificate course cannot be compared to a degree-status course.
Point 2. Recent industry studies have shown that coaching clients are not impressed what certificate a coach has on their office wall but rather they need to validate: what proven change tools and resources are to be used; the relevant business experience and track-record the coach brings with them; and, the outcome data collection methodology employed to provide statisical proof of the ROI -the bottom-line value produced by the coaching initiative.

In a key-note address at a recent ICF Conference, Dr Skiffington stated; "Coach trainers today need to have the ability to deliver immediate and relevant knowledge. Coach training is as much about the application of knowledge as it is about the acquisition of knowledge. Busy professional coaches want to be taught the latest methodology and best-practice in real-time and in fast-time."

Professional coaches need to be fully informed about best available evidence based coaching practice and methodologies and the strengths and limitations of different sources of evidence. Given that coaching is an amalgam of many fields, we must accumulate, mine, analyze, and synthesize our evidence base across many sources. But most coaches simply do not have the time and resources to gather together this critical intelligence/knowledge base. Furthermore, decisions or practices based upon what we know today will become outdated by tomorrow.. Because our evidence base is dynamic and ever-changing, so too must our practices and decisions change.

"Just in time" training or a historical perspective
One advantage industry specialist providers have over academic faculty is their ability to provide "just in time" training. While academics generally take a step back and look at the big picture in a historical sense, specialist industry educators speak and act the language of business. They are concerned with the direct application of knowledge and address employees' most immediate concerns: What do I need to do my job today and what do I need to know to do my job better tomorrow.

The traditional learning institutions approach to learning therefore tends to be reactionary, driven by tactical delivery concerns of technical skills in bricks and mortar classrooms, where training is seen as an event. Given the slow process of developing curricula by 'traditional schools' and the onerous task of keeping their teachers/academics up to speed, most companies today employ industry specialist providers to deliver their coaching education and support.

Generic training programs or customized programs
Another advantage that specialist industry educators have is that they can provide customized,  up-to-the-minute programs to keep pace with the organization's immediate/changing needs. "For instance, the more attention to developing specific leadership/management skill sets, the greater is the the need for specialist, tailored coach training," Dr Skiffington says. "A university curriculum typically takes 12 to 18 months to design. The source material is extracted from approved text books (a book itself typically takes 3 years from the writing of the manuscript to its publication) and the curriculum is then taken through a lengthy process of approval by the relevant university department heads. The result, a set course that is woefully outdated by the time the first student is enrolled. New and established coaches must be able to to choose their courses based on their specific client's needs of today. An academic course, with a scientific foundation, full of yesterday's outdated principles, processes and thinking is simply useless."

Critical Competencies for Today’s Coaching Professional
Today’s coaching professional is dealing with a much different environment and a vastly different set of challenges from those faced by traditional coaches using traditional methods. One thing that is constant in coaching today is change. Coaching is a new science and an amalgam of the best of many related disciplines. As such, technology advances have increased exponentially over the last few years. With continual advances in leading-edge technology and best-practices coach training providers need to supply specialist coaches with an ever expanding toolkit today not tomorrow

The choice of being trained and certified by Industry specialists --who also train the world's leading organizations how to build best-practice coaching programs and select the best coaches to suit

-The Behavioral Coaching Institute's Founders are recognized internationally as pioneers of the modern coaching discipline.

The Institute's intensive Master Coach certification course is universally acknowledged as the industry's highest level coaching program specializing in behavioral change.

Zeus and Skiffington have also authored three best-selling, groundbreaking books ('The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work, The Coaching at Work Toolkit: A Complete Guide to Techniques and Practices' and 'Behavioral Coaching: How to Build Sustainable Personal and Organizational Strength'). The books have received numerous awards, are translated in multiple languages around the world and are now standard course reference texts in at least 100 university and college degree programs.

For individuals who require an ongoing commitment to their continuing professional development and practice: 
he Institute's introductory level coaching textbooks form the basis of coach training modules in universities and training schools around the world. However, the Institute's "hands-on", "how-to" invitational courses are ten steps more advanced than the books. 

Today's busy professionals require accelerated learning (the rapid acquisition of new skills and tools) and expert modelling (expert performance that can be replicated)
The masters-level, industry-recognized course (continually updated with cutting-edge content) shows select participants how to establish, market and manage a world-class standard coaching business or/and implement successful internal coaching programs. As the new course applicant's relevant business experience became the major criteria of selection it followed that less than 7% of the participants had any formal psychological training. The Institute's Certified Master Coach course provides practical, proven, psychological-based tools and processes that are industry-focused and can be easily applied and learnt by participants who do not require any training in psychology. The students (a mix of highly experienced professionals with wide backgrounds involved in people development) simply require the formal structure, processes, best practices and follow-on practice support for their specific private or workplace practice delivered quickly, efficiently and effectively by internationally recognized subject-matter experts.

The value in certification
The real value in any certification is most apparent when you are presenting your credentials to a prospective client. On the one hand, there are thousands of unsuitable persons who have being trained in an impersonal, assembly-line classroom or production-line internet training school or the many college or university by trainers / academicwho have never reached or practiced the levels of coaching they teach.

The Institute's fast-tracked, Certified Master Coach Course (Campus, Self-Study or Distance Learning format) meets the critical needs for business and executive coaches to be trained and mentored in the use of validated, cutting-edge behavioral-change models, best-practice protocols, techniques and assessment instruments. In fact, the extensive coaching toolkit/resources provided in the course can be re-branded by a course graduate for use in their own coaching practice. Read More >.... 



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