What are the benefits of the ILM coaching qualifications? As you will have seen from our last blog on this topic, there are many ways to qualify as a coach. So why do we advocate the ILM coaching qualification as the best approach for both new and experienced coaches? Let’s explore this here…
Other coaching qualifications have too many variables
There are plenty of other pathways apart from ILM coaching qualifications. Some of them will help you become a good coach. Some of them will give you credibility. But very few will give you both! Let’s explore the challenges that these pathways present for coaches.
University qualifications. Feels good, serious, grown up and credible, as well as being research based and delivered by professionals. But there is an inconsistency in how practical the course will be. So, coaches may come out highly knowledgeable, but less skilled.
Qualifications from the coaching bodies (EMCC, AC, ICF). These are rigorous, with training well regulated, and a framework for coaching skills that can be taught and assessed. The ICF and others assesses our coaching to make sure that we reach the relevant level. It is very robust.
So why don’t I advocate this as the #1 coaching qualification? I do…. but not for every circumstance. The major obstacle here are the practice hours. It requires 100 hours of paid coaching practice to pass even their entry level qualification. For many professionals who want to use coaching as part of their day job, this is simply too time consuming and takes too long.
Unaccredited qualifications. The clue is in the title! There are some courses available that are creative, challenging, advanced, and offer coaching skills. But the lack of accreditation means that it is a bit of a punt for the potential coach. The course may be good … but it may not be. It may have credibility amongst those who have heard of it…. and it may not
ILM coaching qualifications: credibility and industry standard
The Institute of Leadership and Management has been working with adult qualifications since 1947. Each year they offer 70,000 qualifications via approved centres (mainly FE colleges and private training providers). The qualifications are not just in coaching, but are also in leadership, management, apprenticeship….. They have a good understanding of how to set up qualification programmes, assess learners, and manage course providers. All centres who offer ILM courses have a high level of rigour and accountability, which is vital for learners.
The ILM gives the training provider freedom over training content and style
As approved centres, for each course there is a minimum expectation of topics to be covered. But there is no maximum expectation. Nor is there any prescription on our delivery style. This means we can offer our coach training courses in the way that is most beneficial to our coaches in training:
- Practical and experiential learning, with plenty of opportunities for coaching practice and feedback.
- Keeping theory to a minimum, and more for home study than for the training room (no PowerPoints!).
- Setting an advanced level for all our coaches to achieve, constantly assessing and supporting them until they reach the level.
ILM – for people who want to coach, and to coach now
Since 2015 we have worked with the ILM and have trained over 400 learners on ILM qualifications, from L3 (beginners to L7 (postgraduate level). We have observed people learning to coach at a high level. And learners have taken their ILM qualification as the gateway to the next stage in their coaching career. The ILM qualification has opened doors to new jobs, and to getting on to approved coach lists. The ILM route is the best opportunity to get skilled, qualified and out there as a coach.
Hope this clears up the benefits of benefits of choosing the ILM coaching qualifications. Happy coaching!