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Certificate of Coaching Practice

Certificate leader:
Professor Bob Thomson(WBS)
Optional Certificate
Year 2, Term 2
5 workshops (10 hours)
5 weeks
Available to second-year undergraduate students in the School for Cross-faculty Studies
Not available to students outside the School for Cross-faculty Studies

Moodle Platform »

The Certificate of Coaching Practice is a Warwick Award-accredited activity. Undertaking this Certificate will contribute five points towards the Warwick Award.

The Warwick Award is free for all undergraduates and taught postgraduates. For undergraduates, the Award will appear on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) transcript, while taught postgraduate students who complete the Award will be issued with a digital certificate by the Skills Team.

Principal Aims

Sir John Whitmore published an influential book, Coaching for Performance in 2002. He defined coaching as

unlocking a person's potential to maximise their own performance. It's more often about helping them to learn rather than teaching them."

Coaching is about adopting a positive, collaborative, open attitude towards others. It is about empowering ourselves and those with whom we interact. Adopting a coaching approach is one essential element of leadership.

Research has found that if you learn how to coach others and seek coaching for yourself, then you will benefit from a range of academic and personal benefits. Coaching can

  • accelerate your personal and professional development
  • help you adapt to new learning strategies and cope with difficult situations more productively
  • enhance team morale
  • enable you to develop a stronger sense of responsibility

Coaching is about:

  • nurturing the development of the individual
  • challenging the learner
  • offering an opportunity for reflection (on progress, on errors, on habits…)
  • enabling you to be flexible and adaptable to change
  • learning the tools to eliminate blocks to learning

This Certificate is offered as an optional activity. It is not credit bearing but it will appear on your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR). Through practical activities undertaken in workshop settings, you acquire skills in managing coaching conversations that you will be able to apply to your academic study and, in your future careers.

Please note that we can only offer 30 places on this Certificate.

Delivery Method and Learning Outcomes

You attend five workshops of two hours each and prepare weekly practical tasks which are formatively assessed. At the end of the course, you submit a reflective essay in which you consider the issues affecting the management of coaching conversations that you have encountered on the course, assess your own strengths and weaknesses in undertaking such conversations and consider how your learning may be applied in other contexts.

In the workshops you:

  • explore the differences between directive and non-directive approaches
  • practise the use of the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Will) model to structure a conversation
  • reflect upon practical issues – such as confidentiality, boundaries and time management - that may arise in coaching conversations,

and learn how to:

  • listen with attention in order to understand others
  • ask crisp, open questions to explore issues in depth
  • play back an empathic understanding of the perspective of others
  • manage productive and helpful coaching conversations.


1 Reflective Essay

Find out more about Coaching

Thomson, Bob. How to Coach (2020)

van Nieuwerburgh, Christian. An Introduction to Coaching Skills (2020)