University of Birmingham

ILM Coaching & Mentoring Qualifications

Coaching Academy

Context

The University of Birmingham is an internationally renowned university and a founding member of the Russell Group of British Universities. The university has grown to be a leading research institution within England and globally, with Times Higher Education rankings inside the Top 10 for the UK and Top 100 globally. Following an invitation to tender seeking an organisation to assist with the accreditation and training of staff for their internal “Coaching Academy”, Eliesha began working with the university following its award for University of the Year 2014. This was an instrumental time for the university, the following year they would publish their strategic plan for 2015-2020.

Requirement

The broad requirements set out by the university were as follows:

  • Driving forward a Coaching Culture within the organisation – helping to drive improved confidence and capability, performance improvement and change
  • Recruitment and selection of coaches and setting the policy and standard
  • Criteria for access, availability and allocation of coaches
  • Increasing the reach of coaching capability and capacity within and throughout the organisation
  • Encouraging a diverse range of coaches
  • Creating a focal point and mutually supportive environment in terms of developing and driving a coaching and learning culture and improving quality and performance
  • Providing a Coaching and Mentoring provision that is aligned to best practice and innovative up to date research
  • Establishing and supporting an internal Coaching and Mentoring network, bringing coaches and mentors together to share and promote good practice
  • Providing a clear evaluation plan for measuring the quality, relevance and accessibility of Coaching and Mentoring, monitoring and measuring and the impact it is having within the organisation

Solution

To realise the objective of developing a learning culture and a more collaborative and supportive way of working through coaching skills, Eliesha worked in partnership with the University of Birmingham to support the development of their Coaching Academy, made up of accredited coaches – trained to formally coach their University of Birmingham colleagues. Eliesha delivered an accredited ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching programme and an accredited ILM Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring, with the objective of building coaching capacity and capability through the creation of qualified internal coaches.

Eliesha designed and delivered appropriate programmes in support of change and transformation, for Level 5 qualification this included:

  • The first unit, ‘Understanding the Skills, Principles and Practice of Effective Management Coaching and Mentoring’, aimed to enable learners to understand the role and contribution of coaching and mentoring, and build a business case.
  • In ‘Undertaking Management Coaching or Mentoring in the Workplace’ learners are required to demonstrate their ability to plan, deliver and review at least 12 hours of coaching and mentoring in the workplace
  • The final unit of the Certificate, ‘Reviewing Own Ability as a Management Coach or Mentor’, aims to give learners the ability to critically review their own personal qualities, skills and competence

Following the successful delivery of the Level 5 programme, Eliesha designed and delivered an ILM Level 7 Certificate and additional interventions in support of the ongoing development of the Academy as a major resource hub and support service driving change and transformation in the University. The programme consisted of:

  • Understanding the Context of Coaching and Mentoring in a Strategic Business Environment’ – to enable learners to critically review the role and contribution of coaching and mentoring at a senior level to individuals and organisations.
  • ‘Undertaking Coaching or Mentoring at a Senior and Strategic Level’ – learners are required to demonstrate their ability to undertake a coaching or mentoring programme of activity at the appropriate level, this involves planning and undertaking at least 20 hours coaching in the workplace.
  • ‘Reflecting on Your Own Ability to Perform Effectively as a Coach or Mentor Practising at a Senior Level’ – to enable learners to critically review their ability to perform effectively as a coach and mentor operating at a senior level.

To further embed the learning, and to support the delegates outside the face-to-face interventions, Eliesha provided each participant with access, via LMS, to Eliesha’s innovative microlearning toolkits – i.e. pearls of wisdom®. Our L&D team liaised with the University to identify relevant pearls of wisdom® that met their requirements, the pearls were then utilised in a 70:20:10 learning paradigm. The relevant pearls being:

  • Five Temptations of Leaders
  • Trust – 13 Trust-Building Behaviours
  • Giving Constructive Feedback
  • Political Awareness
  • Resilience
  • Your Development – Organisational Objectives
  • Authentic Leadership – An Introduction
  • Barriers to Effective Communication
  • Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
  • Situational Leadership
  • Good Decision Making
  • Support Ideas and Innovation
  • SMART Objectives
  • Effective Action Planning
  • Getting Leadership Right
  • Identifying Areas to Improve
  • Prioritising Tasks
  • Levels of Listening
  • Understanding Empathy
  • Change – Executing Change
  • The Engaging Manager
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Motivational and Developmental Feedback
  • Mentoring – Definition and Role of the Mentor

Results

The University responded very positively to the work that Eliesha had done in developing its staff coaching and mentoring capacity. Consequently, due to Eliesha’s attentive approach to their clients, the university was able to have an active voice in the process where they could shape and provide input on delivery.

Through our time with the University of Birmingham we were able to take five cohorts through ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring programme and two cohorts at level 7 the course was also well received by the delegates who had provided an overall course rating of 86%. Meanwhile the pearls of wisdom®were also well received having been accessed by over 500 members of staff.

Outcomes

The university was satisfied with Eliesha’s input and guidance in training, shaping, and facilitating personal and professional development. It is clear to see in the outlook of the university today that personal and professional development is at the forefront of their efforts. This not only supports them in being an appealing choice for aspiring students, due to the increased appeal for staff, but it is also a great draw from the perspective of their research, which is able to thrive in an environment where staff are supported in the pursuit of their goals.

Since their time with Eliesha, the University has placed considerable emphasis on its staff, taking into consideration what makes them effective in their role and how they can facilitate their growth and development. This can be clearly displayed in their ‘key priorities’ which amongst others list the following as key areas:

  • Providing clear, flexible career routes for academic staff
  • Investing in leadership development

Feedback

“Eliesha has provided the University with ILM level 5 in coaching and mentoring programmes since July 2014. During 2016, Eliesha delivered an ILM level 7 in executive coaching programme with 100% success. Both programmes have been so well received that we are running further programmes for both levels during 2017.

Eliesha also supply us with online “pearls of wisdom®” which are concise, engaging, animated video clips to help staff improve their skills and knowledge in a wide variety of subjects.  Eliesha is an extremely professional company and their work has been of a very high standard, the quality of the delivery from the trainers are excellent and feedback from our delegates supports this.  The number of people completing the training and gaining a qualification is very high due to the robustness of the programme and the support that is given to everyone by the trainer.  Eliesha has played an invaluable part in making our University Coaching Academy the success in the drive for change and transformation it is today.  We have a really good and productive relationship with Eliesha which I hope will continue for many years and I would highly recommend them.’

The business drivers for coaching in the University are primarily to enhance the leadership capability and to support individuals and teams to realise their potential, grow talent and implement change and transformation effectively. Most of our coaching interventions have realised intangible benefits but in the University we have evidence of improved performance, where objectives have been achieved through coaching, we have retained several senior people. We have supported our rising stars with coaching on most of our leadership programmes.  Coaching has supported several strategic change programmes, specifically where there has been a significant restructure.”

Head of HR – People & Organisational Development, Human Resources, University of Birmingham


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