A comprehensive approach

A PERTH-BASED school for coaches will open next week offering prospective coaches and coaching practitioners comprehensive face-to-face training for the first time in WA.

Set up by Kim Lisson, a long-time professional coach and the man who brought coaching’s professional body – the International Coach Federation – to Perth, the school aims to provide a solid training platform for those wanting a career out of coaching and better credentials for its participants.

“We are providing coach-specific training as opposed to generic training, which may be beneficial to coaches,” Mr Lisson said.

“For example a communication skills course that will help someone communicate better with clients. The training we will provide is designed to meet core competencies with the International Coach Federation.”

And if things go well – discussions already are taking place with tertiary institutions – Mr Lisson could soon be offering credit points to those looking at further long-term study.

“We’re hopeful of having our training recognised at the post-graduate level,” he said.

The sector’s industry body, The International Coach Federation, provides members with the best form of quality assurance for its consumers, and, while it has no legislative power, it provides frameworks for coaching accreditation.

“It is not a training provider but ensures a standard,” Mr Lisson said.

Most coaching schools are not based in WA and operate via the Internet or teleconference, while some companies occasionally fly coaches to the State to teach.

Mr Lisson was formerly State managing director for the country’s largest coaching training provider, Coach U, but said his new venture, Coach School, would bring a more hands on, face-to-face approach.

“Each semester is 45 hours of training with six days of work-shop time. Those workshops are three two-day blocks held each month over a Friday and Saturday,” Mr Lisson said.

“That way it impacts less on the professional lives of people.”

The training is complemented by mentoring from a professional coach and written assessable work.

“It is not onerous but certainly rigorous enough to recognise whether someone is developing the competencies required and that they take the profession seriously,” Mr Lisson said.

The school will initially offer two courses, a short 12-week introductory certificate in coaching course and a comprehensive three-semester diploma of professional coaching.

“I would say the certificate level would be for those who are thinking about doing it but not sure if they want to, and for leaders and managers wanting to learn about coaching but not wanting to be a professional coach,” Mr Lisson said.

He said the increasing number of people purporting to be coaches, but not having the skills to offer good service, was of a concern.

“We will also help people find a credible coach. Because I have trained or mentored so many coaches in Perth I can point people in the right direction,” Mr Lisson said.

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