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Home > News > April 2004 > 21-Apr-2004

Coaching industry is growing up, but still has things to learn, says survey

Coaching is an increasingly popular tool in the promotion of learning and development, and has achieved almost universal acceptance as a technique that delivers tangible business benefits, according to a new survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The 2004 training and development survey finds that coaching is seen as a more effective method of learning than training courses: only 16% thought that training courses were the most effective way for people to learn at work. However, 96% of respondents thought that coaching is an effective way to promote learning in organisations'. Coaching is also seen as a key way to reduce ‘leakage' from training courses and therefore improve their effectiveness.

However, the survey also finds that the coaching industry needs to tackle negative perceptions and work together to address concerns amongst HR buyers relating to a lack of accreditation and regulation of providers. Only a third of respondents believe there is sufficient regulation and accreditation of the coaching industry.

Jessica Rolph, CIPD Learning, Training and Development adviser, says, "Businesses and coaching professionals must join together to push for greater professionalism across the industry. If pressure is exerted to secure minimum expected standards, qualifications and results, the ‘cowboy' operators will have no option but to conform."

"If coaching is taken seriously and is properly managed, it can increase business competitiveness as well as helping individuals attain their potential. However, a number of issues currently exist that may prevent coaching fulfilling its potential: few organisations are training their managers, there is still confusion about standards and terminology, and little evaluation is taking place."

Over three-quarters of organisations are now using coaching but only 6% have a written strategy for the coaching of all staff. Line managers are the chief deliverers of coaching but only 14% claim coaching skills training was compulsory for those who manage staff.

"Organisations need to get strategies in place to maximise the impact of coaching for their organisation. This will ensure they get the desired business benefits and that employees receive the best learning available,"says Rolph.

Key findings:

  • Over three-quarters of all respondents report that coaching takes place in their organisations
  • 90% of respondents believing coaching is a key mechanism for transferring training skills into the workplace
  • 99% believing coaching delivers tangible benefits
  • Over 90% of respondents believe that when coaching is applied appropriately, it can positively influence the bottom line
  • Line managers are the most likely group to deliver coaching initiatives in organisations, but fewer than 20% of respondents had ‘all' or ‘a majority' of their line managers trained to carry it out.

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