ILM Level 5 Certificate in effective coaching and mentoring

The practical, credible coaching qualification for people who hold leadership positions but have had little training in coaching

There is a great expectation that, employed or self-employed, people use a coaching approach to how they work. That is easier said than done. Often people report that the only coaching training they have received is the “off you go, just practice your coaching” approach.

There is an alternative.

With a credible coaching qualification, you can:

Coaches who undertake ILM qualifications get good career progression opportunities, get onto “approved coach” lists, build sustainable coaching client lists. They do this, and you will be able to as well.

Key characteristics:

  • Open programmes
  • In company programmes
  • Small group sizes
  • 8 x ½ day webinars
  • Full tutor support throughout

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Unsure whether the ILM level 5 or level 7 coaching programme is right for you?

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Levels of these qualifications are set by the national body Ofqual. Level 5 means that the level this qualification is aimed at is equivalent to an undergraduate degree. It doesn’t mean that you’ll have to write as much as in a degree! But the level that the course material, and the assignments, are pitched at are the same as a degree.

In many ways the two types of courses are similar. In both you’ll learn the skills and processes to be able to coach well. The main two differences are:

  • you have to complete coursework to pass your ILM qualification

  • you have to pass an assessment of your coaching


Clients who book you to coach them can be reassured that you have gone through a rigorous process and have got yourself to a good level of coaching.

This course is highly practical, with plenty of opportunities to practice coaching skills and have coaching conversations. Key features of the courses include:

  • 8 x ½ day webinars, spread over 2 months, plus 2 further webinars for assessments
  • Small group sizes (max 10 people)
  • Regular practice and feedback sessions during the training days
  • Comprehensive resources to help you through the qualification
  • Support between sessions, and right up until the time that you pass the qualification

Individual focus on the learner, with the course tailored to the needs of each group.

Clearly, the first and most important thing you’ll get is a qualification, backed up with the skills and experience of having learnt to be a recognised, credible coach.

And there are other benefits, including:

  • Not getting caught in the “should I coach or should I mentor” trap

  • Be able to structure long term coaching engagements, not just one off sessions

  • Be a reflective practitioner, and be able to continually develop as a coach
Course length8 x ½ day webinars, spread over 2 months, plus 2 further webinars for assessments
Qualification requirements

Coaching assessment

1 x 3000-word essay: understanding coaching and mentoring

18 hours coaching practice and reflection

1 x 1500-word diary – reflections on your coaching skills

Home study requirementsUp to 80 hours

Good question! It’s a bit of a minefield, and one we’ve given lots of thought to before deciding the ILM is the qualification to offer. Read our blog on this topic for more details.

You can do one of three things:


You can also ask to be put in touch with someone who has completed the course and who will share their experience of it. We’re happy to help you connect with other coaches who have trained with us.

What’s next after I take the level 5 qualification?

The sustainable
coach programme

To help you turn your coaching skills into a profitable business

Fast track to the ILM level 7 certificate
in coaching for executives

We run a short course for our level 5 alumni, to get you qualified at level 7 too. We are the only UK ILM centre who offers this cost-effective option

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